Chelsea Spears / Lantern photographer
Nestled in the core of historic German Village lies Pistacia Vera, a dessert boutique with a lofty reputation among locals.
In 2012, Columbus Alive voted Pistacia Vera as the city’s best dessert, and the patisserie well surpassed my high expectations.
Let me illustrate the reality of that statement: I returned to Pistacia Vera to satisfy my intense cravings for its delicacies not just once, but three times within a month. Call me gluttonous, but I like to think that I simply satisfied a very severe sugar addiction.
The store exuded a sense of classiness in its food and layout. Lime green accents give the pastry shop a sleek, modern feel. A wall of exposed brick heightens the contemporary mood. Large windows line an entire wall of the store and offer a wonderful view of quaint German Village with its brick buildings and cobble streets. These attractive indoor views contend with the refreshing ambience offered by the outdoor seating. Pistacia Vera somehow manages to mesh well with the elegantly historic side of German Village while standing out as a chic and contemporary store of its own.
I assume the sight alone of the various pastries would persuade even the most satiated of customers to pamper themselves. Croissants, tarts and pÃ¢tes decorate the front counter while Pistacia Vera’s signature macarons occupy an entire glass display case row.
Macarons, priced at $1.25 each, came in flavors ranging from classic buckeye to the more unusual maple walnut and varied in color from pink to green. After a lengthy mental debate, I settled on the orange pumpkin spice macaron in the spirit of the autumn season and at the staff’s suggestion.
While rather small, the macaron epitomized the concept of quality over quantity. The amount of flavor packed into the little sandwich shocked my taste buds. At first bite, it offered a thick consistency before giving way to a creamy ganache in the center. Amid the numerous pumpkin recipes I’ve tasted so far this season, this macaron stole first place.
Coffee washed the pastry down quite nicely. I ordered the rather simple $2.75 iced latte to complement the bold flavors of the macaron. Pistacia Vera’s coffee, while bitter and strong, left a crisp aftertaste that didn’t overpower the dessert. With a few packets of sweetener, it was perfectly balanced.
For the final round of my three-course dessert, I sampled “The Nun,” which was pastry for about $4. Excusez-moi for my intended cheesiness, but holy smokes! The flaky pastry was a perfect way to end the visit. Pistacia Vera somehow managed to make this dough light yet rich, with multiple layers of hazelnut intermixed throughout the rather large pastry. I ate the entire dessert without feeling uncomfortably stuffed and not the least bit guilty.
My only complaint resides in the simple fact that Pistacia Vera is only open until 7 p.m. and thus my frequent late-night cravings can’t be fulfilled by this little dessert boutique. But perhaps the limited hours are indicative of Pistacia Vera’s luxurious and refined nature. Accessibility compensates for its restricted hours. Located at 541 S. Third St., Pistacia Vera is only a 10-minute drive from campus and provides Wi-Fi service for customers.
I’m already planning my next trip to the patisserie. What’s next to taste? The classic Ã©clair, and another macaron of course.