I took a break from work on a rainy afternoon last week to visit Kitchen 452 in Walnut Hills. The location in the historic DeSales corner business district is filled with other small businesses. The outside of the restaurant and adjoining spaces is really colorful and full of beautiful architectural details. I found a free parking spot on Clayton Avenue, which is the street just north of the restaurant, and quickly headed inside.
The inside of the restaurant is very tastefully restored, featuring exposed brick walls, stained glass windows, and beautiful hardwood floors. The are only a half-dozen or so tables inside, and most were occupied upon my arrival. One of the owners, Jen, was cleaning off one of the tables as I walked toward the register and stopped to introduce herself. Once she was back at the register she introduced me to the other co-owner, Leah, who also took the time to stop her food preparation and say hello. It was a nice touch and left me feeling right at home.
The menu is written on a large chalkboard on one wall and is also provided at each table. It is fairly short and simple with two soups, a few salads, and handful of sandwiches. They are focusing on seasonal and fresh ingredients, so the menu will change regularly. After placing my to-go order and waiting for it to be prepared I caught a whiff of their creamy tomato soup and it smelled delicious. It would have been perfect for the rainy and cold February day, but I would have to wait until another time to sample it.
The sandwich I chose on this first visit was their hot ham and Swiss with green apples and Dijon mustard on Shadeau wheat bread ($7.79). All sandwiches come served with a side of pita chips that have a nice seasoning on them with just a hint of spiciness. The sandwich was served on toasted bread and was filled with a healthy amount of ham, a large slice of Swiss, and perfectly thin wedges of apple. The mustard provided a nice contrast to the sweet and tart flavor of the apple. The combination was excellent!
I also had a side of their orzo with root vegetables and ginger dressing ($3). The vegetables were fresh and cooked perfectly to match the orzos tender texture. The ginger dressing added most of the flavor and it was a nice touch. I would definitely order this again, though I wish I could swap out the pita chips for a side dish to go with my sandwich. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the pita chips, it is just nice to have extra options. And ordering both items was a little much for me for lunch time.
Kitchen 452’s space on Woodburn Avenue was formerly occupied by the Skinny Pig, which was only open a few short months in 2011. After one visit to Kitchen 452 I really hope that they stick around for years to come. I know that I will definitely be back for more soon.