About Nicola's Ristorante

1420 Sycamore Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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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.

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

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.6

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Romantic (40)
Good for a Date (39)
Special Occasion (35)
See All
Notable Wine List (31)
Fit for Foodies (31)
Creative Cuisine (29)
Good for Anniversaries (29)
Neighborhood Gem (29)
Authentic (25)
Good for Birthdays (24)
Quiet Conversation (19)
Historic (18)
Business Meals (16)
Worth the Drive (16)
Tasting Menu (15)
Private Room (14)
Cozy (13)
Pre/post Theatre (11)
Comfort Food (9)
Fun (9)
Good for Groups (8)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Local Ingredients (6)
Outstanding Value (6)
Bar Seating (5)
Seasonal (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Modern Decor (3)
Healthy (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Molecular Gastronomy (3)
Casual (3)
Family Style (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Great Beer (1)
People Watching (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Scenic View (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Tapas (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Spicy (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Dining Occasion:
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1939 reviews
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Typical for Nicola's, every dish was bey ...

 
·Dined 3 days ago

Typical for Nicola's, every dish was beyond expectations in flavor and presentation, service excellent, and the bread basket worth the visit by itself.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nicola's is always outstanding and we re ...

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Nicola's is always outstanding and we recommend it regularly. We met some old friends and sat, ate, and talked for a while. Nice evening. Rachel was a very attentive server and made good recommendations.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We visited Nicolas for my daughters birt ...

 
·Dined on January 11, 2017

We visited Nicolas for my daughters birthday. It was a quiet Tuesday evening. We elected to do the eight course dinner with the wine pairing. The courses were very diverse and the wine pairings complimented each course very well. Although, I was not a fan of the dessert wine at all.

Over all the staff was very attentive and well versed on all the courses and wine served. A bit pricey but we enjoyed our evening very much.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Been to Nicolas many times and have neve ...

 
·Dined on January 10, 2017

Been to Nicolas many times and have never been disappointed. Would have given our experience a 5 but although our server was extremely friendly and knew the menu from top to bottom,the service getting drinks and our food was painfully slow but I will note that the restaurant was quite busy the night the four of us dined. Please do not let that comment stop anyone from trying Nicolas for the first time or booking a return reservation.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

We had another great meal at Nicola's wh ...

 
·Dined on January 8, 2017

We had another great meal at Nicola's when celebrating a birthday and our daughter's return to college. We started with cocktails (processco and a very nice pear old fashion). My wife and daughter always look forward to the bread basket. We passed around three appetizers, the gnudi, prosciutto and melon, and the beet salad. We are still talking about the gnudi. We had the kitchen split the gnocchi three ways as we knew it is very rich. We topped off the meal with Nicola's great entrees, stripped bass, bistecca, and steelhead trout. I especially liked the glass of wine recommended by our waiter. It was a nebbiolo that by all rights could be classified as a barolo. The service was excellant. Our table upstairs was perfect. And our meal and evening outstanding.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was delicious and beautifully plate ...

 
·Dined on January 7, 2017

Food was delicious and beautifully plated. We had a salad, pasta, main course and a dessert. Pasta Bolognese was my favorite, simply melting in your mouth.

Service was probably the best I have ever experienced at a restaurant. The staff was very knowledgeable, polite, attentive but not too much to feel interrupted.

We'll be coming back. Not only for our anniversary.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Absolute gem of an Italian high end rest ...

 
·Dined on January 7, 2017

Absolute gem of an Italian high end restaurant. Gnudi is heaven on a plate. Wait staff work well as a team. Can only afford to go for special occasions and worth it.

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food5
ambience5
service5

From our welcome when we arrived at the ...

 
·Dined on January 6, 2017

From our welcome when we arrived at the restaurant to our wonderful waiter, it was fantastic.

Tags: Private Room, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Romantic, Authentic, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The service and food was great. This wa ...

 
·Dined on January 5, 2017

The service and food was great. This was my third time and it seems to get better and better. Love this place!!!

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

One of the best dinners I've had in year ...

 
·Dined on January 2, 2017

One of the best dinners I've had in years. The food was amazing and Stephen took GREAT care of us. My family and I will be returning!

Tags: Historic, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Alex was our sever, and was perfect.

 
·Dined on January 1, 2017

Alex was our sever, and was perfect.

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food5
ambience5
service5

My friends and family had New Years Eve ...

 
·Dined on January 1, 2017

My friends and family had New Years Eve dinner at Nicolas. I have been there before and had a good experience. However, this dinner was a disaster! They had a tasting menu and did not have their normal menu items available. There were 2 entrée choices: Sea Bass and a Porterhouse. My mom and I split both. Everyone's food was cold when we got it. The Sea Bass was okay. I ordered the steak medium well and it was rare. I returned it and when it game back, it was still rare and very tough to cut. I returned it and didn't want it back. The manger came out and told us that the steak was really cooked, but the lighting made it look rare and that this particular steak always looks pink no matter how done it is. Really? That's the most ridiculous thing that I've heard.

The waiter had a very bad attitude and no one there seemed to care about the experience of their customers.

Overall, the experience was very disappointing and I'm so sorry I wasted my New Year's Eve there. If you only have 2 entrees on the menu, I would think you could cook them properly. Needless to say, after having only a few bits of the fish, I stopped at Taco Bell on the way home. The food there was much better!

I will never go back to this restaurant again.

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

New Years Eve at Nicola's was a great wa ...

 
·Dined on January 1, 2017

New Years Eve at Nicola's was a great way to celebrate the coming of a new year. The food was amazing - the truffle risotto incredible, the bistecca mouthwatering and cooked to perfection. Service was not rushed, the pace of the kitchen perfect. I ordered a 2000 Brunello - where else in Cincinnati can you get a properly aged Italian wine (Ruby's has a great library of American cabs)? Delightful!

Tags: Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Good Vegetarian Options, Private Room, Special Occasion, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

New years eve. Food was fantastic. Ambia ...

 
·Dined on December 31, 2016

New years eve. Food was fantastic. Ambiance lacking in back room with others who complained it was bad.

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food5
ambience2
service4
value5

Very limited menu for New Years Eve. ent ...

 
·Dined on December 31, 2016

Very limited menu for New Years Eve. entree was not cooked to the degree I'd ask for it. Another member of our party had the exact thing happen to his meal. Service was very slow . Staff unfriendly. Won't be back!

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

Outstanding service, unique dishes, abso ...

 
·Dined on December 31, 2016

Outstanding service, unique dishes, absolutely delicious!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Our waitress Megan was amazing! Hands do ...

 
·Dined on December 29, 2016

Our waitress Megan was amazing! Hands down best service we have ever received. It was also our first time at a "higher end Establishment" so we didn't know quite what to expect. She handled it beautifully and made us feel right at home and went through detailed explanations for us.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great spot with wonderful food. Always a ...

 
·Dined on December 28, 2016

Great spot with wonderful food. Always a staple when visiting OTR.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Seasonal, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The ambiance is always lovely at Nicola' ...

 
·Dined on December 27, 2016

The ambiance is always lovely at Nicola's. We had asked in our Open Table reservation for a table in the main dining room on the first floor and this was somehow lost. They tried to then put us in a small room off the main dining room but after the third try we had a nice table where it had been requested. The prosciutto and melone were downright strange, with the prosciutto cut thick and an indecipherable melon-like fruit that altogether lacked the satisfying texture and taste contrasts that makes it such a lovely appetizer. This off-putting start to the experience was rescued by the rest of the meal - the magnificent bread basket, the salads and tried-and-true gnocchi were wonderful as were the fish entrees. The wine selection was great, as was the service and dessert.

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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

Potato Gnocchi is the best I have ever h ...

 
·Dined on December 27, 2016

Potato Gnocchi is the best I have ever had. The Striped Bass was superior and Rachel our server was Outstanding!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Authentic, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Nicola's continues to be one of our favo ...

 
·Dined on December 27, 2016

Nicola's continues to be one of our favorite dining establishments. From start to finish, the menu offers fantastic food with authentic Italian flair. We especially enjoy the Monday night Bolognese pasta special.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Private Room, Cozy, Tasting Menu, Authentic, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Historic, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Spicy
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Great atmosphere with excellent service. ...

 
·Dined on December 26, 2016

Great atmosphere with excellent service. We went there after the holidays for a nice family dinner.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

If you're looking for a superb restauran ...

 
·Dined on December 23, 2016

If you're looking for a superb restaurant experience offering authentic Italian cuisine, there is honestly no better restaurant than Nicola's!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Fantastic all around dining experience! ...

 
·Dined on December 23, 2016

Fantastic all around dining experience! It was our first time, but won't be our last!

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food5
ambience4
service5

Perfect evening to celebrate the holiday ...

 
·Dined on December 23, 2016

Perfect evening to celebrate the holiday with the family. It was our first time at Nicolas so we tried the two items that are their specialty - gnocchi and tagliatelle bolognese. Both were outstanding! Nicolas will become a go-to place to celebrate a special occasion.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Service was outstanding

 
·Dined on December 22, 2016

Service was outstanding

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food5
ambience5
service4

This was my first time here and I was bl ...

 
·Dined on December 20, 2016

This was my first time here and I was blown away by the excellent service, warm atmosphere, and delicious food.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was amazing - had the bolognese and ...

 
·Dined on December 20, 2016

Food was amazing - had the bolognese and best I've found in this city and so authentic to Italy!

Was a snafoo on check in - hostess didn't press the right button upon our early check in and we sat waiting for nearly 40 minutes and didn't complete the open table rsvp I made. We were seated promptly after a second inquiry.

Tags: Family Style, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Nicola's is our "go to" place for a grea ...

 
·Dined on December 19, 2016

Nicola's is our "go to" place for a great evening of excellent food and an outstanding wine selection

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great time, great food and a great atmos ...

 
·Dined on December 18, 2016

Great time, great food and a great atmosphere! We love coming down there for dinner.

Tags: Fun, Good for Groups, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Private Room
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nicola's is a great place to celebrate s ...

 
·Dined on December 17, 2016

Nicola's is a great place to celebrate special occasions. They have well thought out menu that makes you keep coming back for more. Highly recommend.

Tags: , Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Romantic, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We get together every holiday season wit ...

 
·Dined on December 14, 2016

We get together every holiday season with the same group and choose a festive spot. Nicola's is one of my favorite restaurants in Cincinnati - the food and service are always excellent. We were seated upstairs which is not as nice as downstairs so I was a little disappointed with that but overall the evening was lovely.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

The antipasta and entree were superb.

 
·Dined on December 14, 2016

The antipasta and entree were superb.

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food5
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service5

The food was amazing!! LOVED the goat c ...

 
·Dined on December 11, 2016

The food was amazing!! LOVED the goat cheese salad, gnocchi and tiramisu!!!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I took my daughter here to celebrate her ...

 
·Dined on December 5, 2016

I took my daughter here to celebrate her 19th birthday. The server was gracious, and delivered the tiramisu with a small lit candle on the plate. The bread basket is wonderful, with a variety of delightful rolls, bread sticks, and fresh sliced bread. Each course is delivered by the wait staff as a team, bringing a feeling of elegance and professionalism to the dining experience.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

As always, wonderful evening with the Ni ...

 
·Dined on December 3, 2016

As always, wonderful evening with the Nicola team! Service perfect, food is best in the region! Perfect place for our evening to celebrate our success, thank you!

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food5
ambience5
service5

An incredible meal at an incredible rest ...

 
·Dined on December 2, 2016

An incredible meal at an incredible restaurant. Get the bread basket for certain. The new lamb shank and the steady Bolognese were fantastic. My wife had the gnocchi and that was perfection. Save some room for the Panna Cotta for a vast array of flavors.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

What surprised us was that , while the s ...

 
·Dined on December 2, 2016

What surprised us was that , while the selections on offer were similar to those we have enjoyed at Nicolas' in the past, the tastes were surprisingly and interestingly different. All the pieces fit together perfectly.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Amazing food and an unbelievable value w ...

 
·Dined on November 29, 2016

Amazing food and an unbelievable value with the Monday "$15 bolognese and salad" special. We normally save Nicola's for special occasions (it's our anniversary spot) but by coming on a Monday night, it's more accessible as a nice date-night instead. We will be back!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was excellent and the waitress ...

 
·Dined on November 26, 2016

The food was excellent and the waitress was very knowledgeable about the food and the wine. It was a real treat to be able to get together with my family, enjoy good food and conversation where we could hear each other. Sometimes restaurants are so noisy that it is impossible to have a conversation. The bread was to die for. That's primarily the reason we chose Nicola's Restaurant, because I wanted some good hot bread with my meal. We had spent the entire holiday weekend in Cincinnati and had never been served good bread.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

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