There is a well-known secret in East Walnut Hills.
This secret is set in a European style building, with cozy NYC-style seating. Upon entering you are greeted with warm Cincinnati charm. Brunch, lunch, dinner, date night, after date night, girls night, or cocktails/sparkling wine night….you name it, THIS, is the place to be.
Intrigued??? …..want to know what it is?
It’s O Pie O!
STOP! I know what you’re thinking…..PIES???
These aren’t your ordinary pies..THESE. ARE. BETTER… we call it Pies 2.0! Not pizza pies and not your mother’s pies….
We spoke with owners Lou Ginocchio and his sister Laura about their cool little Pie Shop. Their story is beautiful yet, simple…
True Cincinnatians (they grew up in E. Walnut Hills and their grandfather grew up a mere 2 blocks from the restaurant!) left for a few years and decided to return to the city they loved.
Lou who has a Ph.D and a former teacher in South America, found his niche by coming across Pie Shops in Brooklyn, NY. Together with his brother-in-law, they decided to bring this gem to Cincinnati, hence the birth of our very own pie shop in East Walnut.
Their Pie Shops name, O PieO, was a collaborative effort with their family members, finally settling on a catchy name that sounds like it’s paying homage to their home state, Ohio.
Lou describes their pie shop as a family business, together with his sister and their Head Chef – Angie, they research and collaborate, while also emphasizing the importance of truly listening to their customers in creating these perfect little morsels of heaven.
Now on to the Pies!
The main feature of their menu are the Savory Pies and Sweet Pies and make no mistake we were there to taste both.
Round 1: Savory Pies
Beef & Mushroom: This rich, savory balanced blend of beef and mushrooms housed in a sweet crust. If you are a lover of beef and mushrooms then this is it for you. If mushroom is not for you (not naming any names… Luan) give it a chance… you will be surprised…we were. In the food science world, there is a Japanese word to describe this experience…kokumi.
Greek Quiche: A beautifully coordinated layer of goat cheese, spinach and tomato with each flavor complimenting the other. The tomato gave the pie a little acid cutting the richness of the goat cheese that made for a beautifully balanced pie.
Carrot , Leek and Goat Cheese: The savory notes of the cheese, coupled with the underlying sweet taste from the carrots and the sautéed leaks left for an eating experience full of surprises
Quiche Lorraine: while traditional, transported you to a French experience right here in Cincinnati…simply one word described this..incroyable!
We sat dumbfounded….
THIS couldn’t be possible. Pies couldn’t be THIS GOOD. Crusts couldn’t be this flaky, you had to close your eyes with every bite –BAKED TO PERFECTION. Fillings couldn’t be this mouthwatering making you yearn for the next bite.
Lou while curious about our opinion, gave us the run down on the different types of crust and techniques….the whole nine yards. We watched silently in amazement as he unfolded his knowledge layer by layer about pies..between him and the head baker Angie Frazier ( whom he gives the upmost credit) they could have the equivalent of a Ph.D in “Crustology”…you laugh but we are serious.
Round 2: Sweet Pies
Salted Dark Chocolate: With rich, creamy notes, this pie did not disappoint. The slight bitter notes from the roasted cocoa signaled it was dark chocolate. Some science..a little salt, makes your dessert sweeter without having to add too much sugar.
Honey Vinegar: This light pie was creamy sweet and refreshing. The acidity from the vinegar brought a “brightness” to this pie that made it good for any season. Wanting something refreshing in the summer..or maybe a hint of summer in winter, try this.
Last but not least, is O Pie O’s adult version of a Pop Tart: This will rock your kiddie-pop-tart-loving socks off. Glazed with cinnamon brown sugar, not excessively sweet like it’s inspiration, this one will leave you wishing this is what came out of that blue box.
Eating is an emotional experience and thanks to Lou, Laura and the staff we had one of the best pie eating experiences. Not only do they make great pies, it is evident that each one is made with heart and soul.
Tell your friends, tell your family, tell everyone. The best place for Pies in Cincinnati is O Pie O!