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/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

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.7

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Ambiance
Cincinnati / Dayton
Notable Wine List
Cincinnati / Dayton
Italian
Cincinnati / Dayton
2 More
Best Ambiance
Cincinnati
Italian
Cincinnati
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Special Occasion (124)
Romantic (100)
Fit for Foodies (95)
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Notable Wine List (85)
Neighborhood Gem (69)
Good for Groups (31)
Great for Outdoor Dining (28)
Hot Spot (14)
Vibrant Bar Scene (11)
Late-night Find (8)
Scenic View (3)
Great for Lunch (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great for Brunch (1)
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1727 reviews
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Best overall dining experience in Cincin ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined 6 days ago

Best overall dining experience in Cincinnati. Excellent service & food in a comfortable setting. Amazing breadbasket and a classic bolognese and strong Italian wine selection.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Love this place

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 22, 2016

Love this place

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food3
ambience5
service2
value3

For our anniversary I wanted a special p ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

For our anniversary I wanted a special place with gourmet offerings. They met my expectations and exceeded them. The Maitre'D was most warm and welcoming, our reservation was recorded correctly, the hostess and waitstaff were very attentive.

It was our first visit to Nicola's and so our waitress was helpful in understanding the menu and making suggestions which we both found helpful.

We do not go to much extravagance in dining (we generally prefer cooking at home) except for these special occasions, and it is so nice to take a chance on someplace new and have our little risk-taking rewarded. We would have stayed and lingered longer except the food was so good we would probably have over-eaten and felt miserable later. We felt very comfortable, and will certainly repeat. Please thank the folks at Nicola's for a very special Anniversary dinner!

Timothy Werner

Tags: Historic, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We celebrated our 30th Anniversary with ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

We celebrated our 30th Anniversary with Nicola's - our favorite restaurant. Food was memorable as was the wine selections. They gave us a special treat for dessert - a plate that had chocolate writing on it. We look forward to our 40th here!

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Unbelievable. Best. Dinner. Ever.

vip
 (Atlanta)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Unbelievable. Best. Dinner. Ever.

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food5
ambience5
service5

We always enjoy dining at Nicola's. It ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

We always enjoy dining at Nicola's. It is our perennial wedding anniversary restaurant, but also a great spot to enjoy an amazing Italian dinner even when we have nothing to celebrate. The servers are friendly, the wine list is great and the Italian food is cooked to perfection. Try sharing the gnocchi as one of your courses!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was AMAZING. I am mad at myself for ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

Food was AMAZING. I am mad at myself for taking so long to come here--I will definitely be back. I felt the prices were great for the quality and quantity of food. There are so many options that I need to come back and try.

Incredible space--one downside was the couple next to us was loud and drunk and obnoxious which definitely took away from our experience but at no fault to Nicola's obviously. It was great to be able to use OpenTable to reserve a reservation, the place was packed which is always a good sign.

Service was just 'meh' which I thought was odd at such a superior restaurant. Salad took an entire hour to come out and we ordered immediately upon reviewing the menu.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience3
service2
value5

Went on a Monday night for the pasta bol ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

Went on a Monday night for the pasta bolognese. It is the best bolognese I've had. It comes with either a house salad or a caesar salad. Both salads are excellent. Service was excellent also. The meal was paced so that we did not feel rushed, which was great because the restaurant was very booked.

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food5
ambience5
service5

What an amazing experience. From the foo ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

What an amazing experience. From the food to the service to the ambiance. I took my girlfriend there for her birthday and we had amazing food and great drinks. Would recommend 100%

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful service, delicious food, was a ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Wonderful service, delicious food, was a little disappointed with the "driest" red wine they had (not very dry) and the tiramisu was good but almost no ladyfingers in it. Would go again

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food4
ambience5
service4

Another great experience at Nicola's. Th ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Another great experience at Nicola's. The food and service was excellent. I can't wait till next time.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Overall there was very little to complai ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Overall there was very little to complain about. The tables were a little tight but still pleasant. The dinner was great!

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food4
ambience5
service5

Nicolas is one of the top 5 restaurants ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Nicolas is one of the top 5 restaurants in the Cincinnati area. Food is amazing! Atmosphere is wonderful for a romantic evening or special occasion. Highly recommend doing the Chefs tasting with wine pairing. Doesn't get much better than that!!!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was an unfortunate visit to Nicola' ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

This was an unfortunate visit to Nicola's one of our favorite restaurants in town. It was Cincinnati Restaurant Week, so I knew it would be busy and a preset menu. It started well with a delicious appetizer and their always pleasing bread basket. Where it went wrong is with my main course, I had chosen one of their signature dishes the gnocchi with a truffle cheese sauce. It was served on an extremely hot plate and the sauce had separated. Unfortunately our waiter never had the courtesy to check on our table after the plates were served by a different waiter. He proceeded to chat with a neighboring table for about 15 minutes unavailable for me to get his attention. Once he had finished is conversation of a personal nature with the other table he acted surprised that I wanted the dish remade. Needless to say my date had finished eating by then. The remade dish came out delivered by a manager, who told me that they used less truffle oil this time, obviously thinking I mistook the oils for the seperated sauce. I had this dish at least 4-5 times before and it never had this issue and the truffle oil is what makes it so delicious. The manager never checked on us until we got into our Uber and he stormed out of the restaurant to yell something at us. I know it was restaurant week, which suppose to showcase our downtown restaurants. Nicola's one of our finest failed miserably.

By the way the desert (panna cotta) was OK.

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food3
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service1

From the moment we walked up to the rest ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

From the moment we walked up to the restaurant the service was outstanding: valet parking man opened the door for us, hostess greeted us, bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable, waitress was EXCELLENT from menu choices to service! And the food, truly some of the best! Bread bowl is a MUST have, very unique and scrumptious. Our entrees were outstanding. Bottom line is that we will be going back!

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding! As an Italian, I am very p ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 9, 2016

Outstanding! As an Italian, I am very particular about Italian food. This was fantastic! The house salad was perfectly dressed simple leaf lettuce and red onion with oil & vinegar. The bread basket is well worth the $1.33 per person. The spaghetti bolognese was just like grandma made with San Marzano tomatoes. Very fresh and homemade pasta. The lemon cake was a Sweet/tart great finish to the meal. Another person has the scallops. They looked amazing. The presentation of food and service were both outstanding. Great place for a date night or special occasion.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Beautifully delicious meal with incredib ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 8, 2016

Beautifully delicious meal with incredibly knowledgable wine staff!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Went for Cincinnati Restaurant Week. Me ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 8, 2016

Went for Cincinnati Restaurant Week. Menu was good and the trout excellent. Always a delightful setting. The waiter was very helpful in his suggestions.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our waiter wasn't the friendliest and ha ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Our waiter wasn't the friendliest and hard to find at times.

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Kid-friendly, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

very slow service. Waited 30 minutes for ...

vip
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

very slow service. Waited 30 minutes for first drinks, with similar delays between courses. The waiter was misleading on the food, yet, after being very slow to ask, then rushed us on our food choices. The food was, at best, average, being over spiced and, in one case, partially burnt.

We had just finished signing the check when the manager came over and told us that people waiting at the bar wanted "their" table -- very abruptly and rudely (he did offer free drinks at the bar, which we declined). The reason that we took a relatively long time for dinner was the extremely slow and inattentive service.

My wife and guest agreed that they had never been treated like that before and were offended, as was I. Very disappointing experience in a City with much better alternatives.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value2

Service was impeccable, gracious, correc ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 3, 2016

Service was impeccable, gracious, correct but relaxed. The mixed bread basket with delightful small, adorned rolls and salads to start were terrific. Our entrees were quite good and our desserts were scrumptious. We went early and noise level was very low. This is our place for anniversary or other special occasions.

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Fantastic meal! It was also a nice night ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Fantastic meal! It was also a nice night for quiet dining on the patio.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our server was so kind and patient with ...

 
 (Columbus)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Our server was so kind and patient with us and did an excellent job explaining the meal choices.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

The maitre de was cool reluctant to acco ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

The maitre de was cool reluctant to accommodate a change in seating.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience3
service3

Exceptional fish! Always love to indulge ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Exceptional fish! Always love to indulge in the bread basket. Appreciate a place where we can dine and actually carry on a conversation. Very attentive to time frame for concert dates.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Staff very attentive. Ambiance was wonde ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

Staff very attentive. Ambiance was wonderful. A nice ending to our date.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Once again, another delicious meal at Ni ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 25, 2016

Once again, another delicious meal at Nicola's. The bread is so good. I don't know why I bother ordering in entree. The pasta was delicious, as was the salad. We were too full for dessert. Had a lovely table. It is nice to go to a restaurant with a good vibe, yet still be able to carry on an intimate conversation.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Absolutely amazing food! One dish was b ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Absolutely amazing food! One dish was better than the next!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

The food was special, unique, delicious, ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

The food was special, unique, delicious, and filling. The bread basket is excellent!

The service was good, and slow paced so we were not rushed.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Excellent food and location. The food po ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Excellent food and location. The food portions were rather small

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food5
ambience5
service5

They were wonderful in accommodating us ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

They were wonderful in accommodating us with an infant and insuring that we did not disturb any other patrons. The food was wonderful as always

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is our favorite restaurant in Cinci ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

This is our favorite restaurant in Cincinnati! The waiters have always been knowledgeable, friendly and aren't constantly interrupting us during conversation. The foie gras, gnocchi, and scallops are some of our favorites. We have never eaten a dish there that was disappointing and this was our 5th time there!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

Wonderful meal very much like those we h ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 19, 2016

Wonderful meal very much like those we have eaten in Florence and Rome. The bread basket was incredible. Staff was highly professional and get high marks.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
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Great service with warm intimate ambianc ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 19, 2016

Great service with warm intimate ambiance . Our server JT was incredibly helpful and thoughtful. Truly turned out to be a spectacular dining experience for our special occasion . Will definitely come back soon!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

Everything was great except for the seat ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 18, 2016

Everything was great except for the seating. There were many empty tables throughout the restaurant, but we were seated at a table under the stairs next to three empty booths with very little lighting. If I go there again, I will definitely call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure I am seated in a different area.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

We had a perfect evening with the best ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 18, 2016

We had a perfect evening with the best Italian pasta. The service was, as always, just delightful. How lucky we are to have Nicola's, giving us a taste of Italy.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food is always exceptional and never dis ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Food is always exceptional and never disappoints. The bread basket is worth every penny, many times over. There are so many delicious dishes that it's hard to decide courses. Don't skip the gnocchi. It is soooo rich but yummy!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

THE best dining experience in Cincinnati ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

THE best dining experience in Cincinnati. Thank you!

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food5
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Have heard about this restaurant since m ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Have heard about this restaurant since moving back to area 18 months ago. Frankly the food is underwhelming. The restaurant is very nicely decorated and the service was excellent. The food for the price is so-so. In fact the entire table said we could have stopped with the bread. Would recommend you order the bread (you pay for it). I ordered the octopus appetizer and it was very small plate. It had 3 pieces maybe 2.5 inches each. 2 were Ok one tasted very fishy almost bad. Also ordered the fish which was Ok but nothing memorable. My wife ordered a pasta that was a glop of starch. She basically moved it around the plate and didn't eat it. It was warm at best. We ate at Sotto's a month or so early and I would recommend you go there.

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food2
ambience4
service4

We got engaged here in March of 2015 and ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

We got engaged here in March of 2015 and loved the place so much that we came here after our wedding on Friday July 15th. The service was outstanding! We had the gnocchi - it was phenomenal - practically melts in your mouth! The goat cheese salad is always a favorite! We also had the new cheesecake desert! I would recommend this restaurant to anyone!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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