Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.18mi
  4. Distance: 0.30mi
  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
  3. Distance: 0.18mi
  4. Distance: 0.30mi

About Nicola's Ristorante

Located just north of Downtown in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati’s hip and historic neighborhood, Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano has long been a fine dining staple of the city during its 18 years of operation. Owners Nicola and Maureen Pietoso pride their restaurant not only for its highly acclaimed contemporary Italian menu, extensive wine list, and variety of unique dining spaces, but most especially for their restaurant’s long-standing reputation for being warmly hospitable and accommodating.

1420 Sycamore Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
Liberty Street

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(513) 721-6200

Website:
http://www.nicolasotr.com/

Catering:
Nicola's Ristorante offers catering to diners' homes; 5-8 courses with wine parings, minimum 10 people, no Saturdays or Sundays, starting at $90.00 a person.

Parking Details:
Street parking and valet parking Monday through Saturday.

Executive Chef:
Joel Molloy

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Our award-winning food, wine, unique private & semi-private dining spaces, and professional service combine to create truly memorable experiences for business meetings, social celebrations, weddings, and rehearsal dinners. We can tailor the event to your individual needs.

Nicola's Ristorante Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

87% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (52)
Special Occasion (50)
Good for Anniversaries (43)
See All
Romantic (41)
Fit for Foodies (35)
Authentic (35)
Creative Cuisine (33)
Notable Wine List (33)
Business Meals (28)
Neighborhood Gem (27)
Good for Birthdays (26)
Quiet Conversation (25)
Pre/post Theatre (20)
Cozy (18)
Worth the Drive (16)
Great for Outdoor Dining (15)
Good for Groups (13)
Tasting Menu (13)
Bar Seating (12)
Fun (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (10)
Local Ingredients (10)
Seasonal (10)
Hot Spot (9)
Comfort Food (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Casual (5)
Late-night Find (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Happy Hour (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Vegan (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Healthy (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
People Watching (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tapas (1)
Disabled Access (1)
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2145 reviews
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·Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful place to eat. Had the seasonal gnocchi which tasted absolutely wonderful. Staff was friendly and gave great advice and answered all questions. Very professional environment.

Tags: Business Meals, Late-night Find, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 5 days ago

I tried the most famous Italian restaurant in town being an Italian.
The food was good, but I may have expected some more variety in the menu and respect of the tradition.
I had spaghetti all’amatriciana, I would have preferred to find bucatini, but I have to say that spaghetti were homemade , and I see the point. The sauce probably a bit too liquid. I’d say 8/10.
My date had risotto ai porcini, a traditional dish in autumn in Italy. I tasted it , I would say 7.5/10, as I found Nicola’s variation of recipe too elaborated. For instance I was surprised to see cheddar cheese, and the density of the risotto not truly ok.
That said a lovely place with nice ambience and people, I’ll definitely give it more chances.
Ps ... Italians are truly demanding when it comes to food.

Giovanni

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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 6 days ago

A great place period!
Knowledgeable staff, food is always soooo good, this trip my wife and I dined at the bar, Ronnie was fantastic, great conversation with him and the other individuals at the bar, made for an awesome experience..

Tags: Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Romantic, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined 7 days ago

Celebrated our anniversary at this special spot downtown. All the food was delicious. The pasta we ordered was a family recipe (tagliatelle with bolognese)...it did not disappoint! Home made noodles with a bolognese that tasted like your grandmother cooked it all day...sunday supper style. The scallops were some of the best i have ever had. Even though the bread bowl is extra do NOT deny yourself the luxury of this indulgence. The salads were alright...a little on the rich side but it was still tasty. Capped the night off with a cappuccino and the eclair! The service was great. If you're looking for a great date night Nicolas needs to be on your list of places to dine!

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Bar Seating, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 9, 2017

The experience was wonderful as always! My boyfriend and I celebrated our 4year anniversary and everything was perfect. Nicolas is by far my favorite place to go to for both a special occasion or just a nice meal.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tulsa)·Dined on October 9, 2017

You can always rely on great food and impeccable service at Nicola’s. Outstanding wine list and be sure to order the bread assortment.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

Loved everything about the experience we had. We showed up at 7 for our 8pm reservation and had as much fun with the bar tenders as we did during the meal. The cocktail menu was tasty at first glance, but after chatting with the bartender and realizing how much prep went into the ingredients, this was an event in itself. If it's still on the menu by the time you read this, please order the peach shrub.

Our meal was certainly memorable. The waiter had so much information to share, and did a great job of selling the menu. We moved through each course and enjoyed every plate. The two of us shared the misto plate. One goat cheese salad, one prosciutto. One crab farfalle, one potato gnocchi, and for entrees, one pot roast and one duck plate. I can't be critical of any dish because they were all so flavorful. The loudest flavor came from the crab farfalle and I would order it again.

The menu is reasonably priced, and you don't have to order every course like we did. The larger pasta portion could be split between two people.

Come early and stay late. Ask questions of the bartenders and wait staff, they were happy to share.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Unbelievable food and great service..second to none..

Tags: Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 7, 2017

I've dined here >150 times - regularly since it opened many years ago/ It has changed/adapted from an authentic Italian to a broader offering with Italian inspirations. We visited just as the fall menu was introduced and the kitchen learning the new dishes. A couple of standards remain and those were reliably great. The new dishes were good to okay. The octopus wasn't cooked properly, but has some great potential taste. The seasonal gnocchi (don't worry - the standard gnocchi is still there) has the great gnocchi with what was billed as a wild mushroom sauce - itty bitty pieces of mushrooms with mild taste.
Great wine list, friendly service, nice location for downtown activities make this a place high on the list of best in Cincinnati.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Our server was very knowledgeable of the menu and her recommendations and service was excellent!

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 6, 2017

All of the food was delicious! We will definitely be back again for more special occasions and date nights.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 5, 2017

The food was incredible, and the service was first class. We were celebrating our anniversary, and everything made the evening perfect!

Tags: Seasonal, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 2, 2017

Amazing service, and the Monday night deal is one of the best deals in the city. Everything from the presentation to the value was incredible, the food was delicious and we had a lovely time.

Tags: Good for a Date, Cozy, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Dinner was outstanding. Service was great.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on September 26, 2017

Fabulous! We've been here twice for celebrations, and both times have been met with great pairings of wine and food. Service was spot on. One of our Favorites for romantic evening out!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fun, Cozy, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 17, 2017

Strip loin was incredibly tough and difficult to chew. Two in our party ordered this entree, one was cooked to order perfectly , the other was ordered medium rare and came very rare. Watermelon salad was perfectly balanced with the sweetest melon. Waited forever for desert, only table seated upstairs so not sure what was going on.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on September 15, 2017

Great food and service We especially enjoyed the pasta options. My husband loved your wine choices and the beet salad.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 15, 2017

This was a first experience of fine dining for my husband and I. The service was excellent and the ambiance good!! However since we are vegan we only had two options to choose from. It was good but nothing outstanding. We noticed that other tables were getting a bread basket but we couldn't eat any because it wasn't vegan. We don't mind paying a higher price if it was worth it, but we were still hungry when we left the restaurant as the portions were so small. $12 for a salad that could have been eaten in 3-4 bites was a bit too much for us. We ended up ordering a pizza later on that evening because we were starving.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
·Dined on September 11, 2017

My friends and I have gone for the Monday night special twice now. That would be a half price bowl of spaghetti bolognese that comes with a salad. It's an incredibly satisfying meal that leaves us the flexibility to splurge on a bottle of wine we maybe wouldn't have otherwise. Monday doesn't have to be terrible, that's why we keep coming back to Nicola's.

Tags: Fun, Hot Spot, Comfort Food, Romantic, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 11, 2017

Nicolas is one of Cincinnati's premier restaurants. They had a special available which was half price for pasta Bologna . Our server never told us this. When we realize that after we had ordered our dinner, we really didn't care. When we asked our server he said well we don't really mention it to people and its mostly for young people. When I made the reservation I mentioned it was for my wife's birthday. It was her 75th birthday. Nothing was said or done except when we paid our bill, the server said thanks for celebrating your birthday here. More importantly my wife's beef was OK but not wonderful and my turbot was a little too salty. I think the restaurant was not very wonderful when we were there and we won't go back for a long time.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on September 11, 2017

Nicola's continues to maintain its excellence. The entrees are all fantastic while the housemade pastas do not have adjectives worthy to provide description. The staff is attentive but not intrusive. Too bad summer is passing as the watermelon salad was killer. And a shout to the bartender whose bourbon based cocktails are a must try. I know the wife is getting ready for fall with the Ginger Old Fashioned due to reappear.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on September 9, 2017

This is absolutely my #1 choice of restaurants in Cincinnati. It is a gem. Nick is a gracious owner and the food is always amazing.

Tags: Authentic, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on September 7, 2017

My husband and I were with friends who had never been to Nicola's. Two of them had grown up in a nearby neighborhood and were reminded of those days by being in the old car barn that Nicola's has renovated into a charming but elegant dining space. We live nearby so we visit often; more to enjoy the bar crowd than to dine, since the menu befits a special occasion or an expense account more than a casual meal. Except that is for Mondays! The Monday Night special is very popular. But we meet so many nice people waiting for a seat at the bar on Mondays that we don't mind the wait! I'd be happy just with the bread basket; all fresh baked in Nicola's kitchen.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Bristol)·Dined on September 2, 2017

This place finds new ways to disappoint. Bread at 75 mins. Antipasta at 1 hr 45 mins. Entrees at 2:30 mins. Asking dessert options at the 3 hr mark. Waiter kept asking my opinion of Alabama - Florida State, neither of whom I follow. Scratching this place off the list for good.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on September 2, 2017

excellent meal.
great service.
lovely ambiance.
will be back.

Tags: Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 2, 2017

A wonderful find during our visit to Cincinnati. Extraordinary experience.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on September 1, 2017

Best meal I have ever had. Nothing to say but excellent all around.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 31, 2017

Had a great anniversary dinner with my wife and were treated to a nice bonus plate.

Tags: Good for a Date, Business Meals, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 27, 2017

The food was delicious, and each plate was a work of art. Our waiter was wonderful: friendly, knowledgeable, and timely - he was available just when we needed him without interrupting conversation or approaching us mid bite. We will return.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Fun, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 27, 2017

We normally have a wonderful experience at Nicola's, but our last visit was not up to par.
The service was not at the level we expected. There were 2 different servers who argued as to who was going to be our server, the entrées were delivered to the wrong people and were properly switched with "an attitude," and the coffee was, at best, lukewarm.
The food was good, but again not up to the level of our previous visits. And to top it all off, our table was crowded in and in a major traffic area. Even with the appreciated complimentary champagne in recognition of our anniversary, the dining experience this time was definitely NOT worth the price!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Always more than satisfied with Nicola's. The food, service, and ambiance are always superb.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 25, 2017

The Roasted Beets salad is the best. Great service.

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 22, 2017

Loved it! Amazing service! Was our Anniversary dinner. :)

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 21, 2017

The food is always excellent, however the service was TERRIBLE! I was drinking a Diet Coke, and I could not seem to get another, after asking my server & another server. Finally after 10 minutes, I had seen my server and asked, and got one. But she didn't bring me a class of ice, so I has to ask again for that. Another person at our table had a similar experience getting cocktails. This was a business dinner for 6, and was somewhat embarrassing as the server didn't seem very experienced, but was knowledgeable over the menu.

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food5
ambience4
service1
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 19, 2017

I have always enjoyed this restaurant. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is lovely.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 18, 2017

Always excellent food and service.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 16, 2017

We had a wonderful dinner at Nicola's for our wedding anniversary. The staff gave us special attention for our special night, the food was delicious and the service was wonderful.

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 15, 2017

The food was delicious and service excellent -- if you like formal. I'm afraid we were out-of-synch with the philosophy of the restaurant. More recently we have enjoyed splitting dishes and sampling a variety of items. Though the staff graciously accommodated our requests, I left thinking how incompatible 'sharing/splitting' is with 'presentation'.

Very nice restaurant, I should have known better.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on August 14, 2017

The service and food where excellent. Overall it was classic Italian food with a contemporary twist using many fresh ingredients. Reminded me of being in Italy. The bread basket was excellent many choices!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Seasonal, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Romantic, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Cozy, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 14, 2017

They sat us right by the bathroom although there were many other tables open. The dishes we ordered were good but not amazing. Seemed overpriced, especially considering the ambiance.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

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