Pie art: Pistacia Vera

G.A. Benton, Columbus Alive

You could drop Pistacia Vera next to the best pastry shops in New York, London or Paris and it'd not only fit in, it'd vie for top spot. Glamorous, masterful, spectacular: only superlative descriptions - none exaggerations - suit the astounding treats created there.

Pastry chef Spencer Budros and business partner (and sister) Anne come by their love of food organically - father Jim is a famous and enthusiastic local gourmand and co-founder of City BBQ. Clearly Dad helped Anne and Spencer cultivate tools (like discipline and ridiculously high standards) they'd later use in quests for restaurant and confection perfection.

Pistacia's stellar reputation is largely staked on elegant French-style pastries. So it's unsurprising that a scientifically precise yet artistically passionate Franco-approach is detectable in every sublime bite of Pistacia's versions of pie - like a glossy, custardy and explosively lemony Tarte au Citron (made with freshly squeezed juice) and a stunning Spring Frangipan - both of which are bound in stout walls of buttery, toasty and even nutty shortbread crusts.

Speaking of nutty, Pistacia's complex Spring Frangipan is decaled with crackly toasted slivered almonds that hint at its tongue-blanketing almond cream-based interior as well as its playful layering of textures and flavors. Adding to the fun are bright, fruity blasts from fresh raspberries, plums and wonderful in-store-crafted Chambord preserves.

Photos by Jodi Miller

Pistacia Vera

541 S. 3rd St., German Village