Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
Street parking and valet parking Monday through Saturday.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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