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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/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

4.6

ambience

4.7

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Notable Wine List
Cincinnati / Dayton
Italian
Cincinnati / Dayton
Best Food
Cincinnati
3 More
Best Ambiance
Cincinnati
Notable Wine List
Cincinnati
Italian
Cincinnati
Best Restaurants in Over the Rhine ›

special occasion (118)
fit for foodies (101)
romantic (89)
See All
notable wine list (86)
neighborhood gem (63)
good for groups (31)
great for outdoor dining (27)
hot spot (17)
vibrant bar scene (9)
late-night find (7)
scenic view (4)
great for lunch (2)
great for brunch (1)
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Newest
1682 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Celebrated passing a licensing test, Cha ...

Dined 4 days ago

Celebrated passing a licensing test, Charles was a wonderful waiter. The food was tremendous and the manager assisted with a wine pairing, so good we order two bottles. Never felt rushed, dined at our pace, which was 2.5 hours. A must visit if you have not dined with the team at Nicola's in the past.

Tags: special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

My wife and i went there for a date nigh ...

Dined 4 days ago

My wife and i went there for a date night. we could not have picked a better place to go to. the whole experience was remarkable. from the moment we walked in, we were treated with the utmost respect. the service, food, & atmosphere was more than we ever expected. we will definitely be back soon.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5

Great experience as always.

Dined 6 days ago

Great experience as always.

food5
ambience5
service5

Best food in the city hands down

Dined 7 days ago

Best food in the city hands down

food1
ambience1
service1
value1

Our dinner was fantastic and our waiter ...

Dined on June 20, 2016

Our dinner was fantastic and our waiter really was perfect.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

We were there on a Monday and had the wo ...

vip
Dined on June 20, 2016

We were there on a Monday and had the wonderful pasta along with great wine. The out door patio was set for dinner and looked lovely but for the humidity we would have sat there.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

My wife and I enjoyed dinner for her bir ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

My wife and I enjoyed dinner for her birthday...it was fantastic. We did a "tour" of the menu enjoying an appetizer, salad, first and second plate (very traditional Italian), and desert. Our waiter, Troy, was great and the entire experience was very special!

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful food and the service was impec ...

vip
Dined on June 18, 2016

Wonderful food and the service was impeccable! It is always a pleasure to go to Nicola's.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Undoubtedly the best meal we have had in ...

vip
Dined on June 18, 2016

Undoubtedly the best meal we have had in Cincy in the last several years. Nicola's is a winner in every regard.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

Good food but not exceptional, not for a ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

Good food but not exceptional, not for any of our three courses. The best part of our meal was the wine. Overall, it was unnecessarily expensive for an above-average meal. I doubt we'll go back.

Tags: special occasion
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food. It's hard to prepare oct ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

Excellent food. It's hard to prepare octopus well, but their appetizer is excellent. The service was outstanding, including our waiter, Daniel.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent food all around. Tried octopu ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

Excellent food all around. Tried octopus for the first time, and it tasted really good. The bread bowl was unique and very good. There were multiple dishes we wanted to try, and the waiter suggested we pick some items and then he split the portion into individual dishes for us. So, we got to try multiple dishes. This was our first time here, and I highly recommend it.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great wine recommendation, great service ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

Great wine recommendation, great service, delicious gnocchi and tagliolini, goat cheese salad and scallop entree.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Altogether a fine restaurant and a wonde ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

Altogether a fine restaurant and a wonderful total experience. Beautiful surroundings, a menu that is both traditional and creative, with all the dishes beautifully executed and presented. The wait staff was great, finding that elusive balance between formality and friendliness, and obviously they are well-versed about the food and wine, offering excellent knowledgeable advice when requested. They seemed genuinely proud of what the restaurant has to offer. One of our party has a pretty serious food allergy and our server made absolutely sure the chef was aware of it, and checked on every dish to make sure it was OK. The chef made appropriate adjustments in a couple of dishes, which we appreciated. We had a tasting menu, and thought the timing was just right. Obviously fairly expensive, but not at all out of line for what you get. We will absolutely go back and recommend it highly.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Amazing experience. The food and service ...

vip
Dined on June 14, 2016

Amazing experience. The food and service were both outstanding. Be prepared to spend money, but it is worth it.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

A great restaurant in a very cool settin ...

vip
Dined on June 14, 2016

A great restaurant in a very cool setting. The wine list is awesome. Have seen some reviews about slow service but our staff was attentive and excellent. The The octopus was amazing. Will definitely getting going back next time I visit Cinci.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

outstanding meal, great service, must ge ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

outstanding meal, great service, must get gnocci and bread bowl

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

special..

Dined on June 11, 2016

I am a critic of Italian food , been to Italy and lived in St Louis ,which has a very large Italian population. This is the real thing!

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Everything was once again - OUTSTANDING! ...

vip
Dined on June 10, 2016

Everything was once again - OUTSTANDING! I love that the menu changes frequently enough to stay current with the season. You can not go wrong with anything you order. I really like the fact they are able to produce the dishes to same level of delicious if you have food restrictions. Service was Very Very good. Desserts could be titled better to reflect what they truly are. They are amazing and should reflect so in their wording. Overall, great night.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful

Dined on June 4, 2016

We have been there before and service, food and atmosphere keep getting better. It is one of our favorite places to dine. Our waitress was especially helpful and attentive.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

A Wonderful Evening

Dined on June 4, 2016

After a couple of disappointments at other places we returned to Nicolas to unwind the week over a great meal. We got that and more. It was a lovely evening dinner on the patio. My date couldn't decide between the pesto ravioli and the gnocchi so our amazing server Leeann suggested getting half of each. Brilliant idea that provided leftovers. I had the bistecca which was cooked expertly. Simple, delicious, beautiful food. If you go ask for Leeann (sorry dear if I've misspelled your name!)

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

There is no better restaurant in OTR

vip
Dined on June 1, 2016

There is no better restaurant in OTR

food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Wow!

Dined on June 1, 2016

First time there and was NOT disappointed! Bartender made a great suggestion, our food was WONDERFUL and the bread basket truly is the BEST IN THE CITY! WOW! Cannot wait to go back again. What a treasure in Over-the-Rhine!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

High quality high class dining

Dined on June 1, 2016

Great cuisine with authentic Italian taste. Outdoor seating was beautifully designed to feel like an Italian vineyard!

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Nice experience. Food is terrific, and s ...

Dined on May 27, 2016

Nice experience. Food is terrific, and service just right. We were very happy.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We love Nicola's. We are frequent diner ...

vip
Dined on May 27, 2016

We love Nicola's. We are frequent diners there, and have never been disappointed. On this visit, the weather permitted us to sit outside, and it was wonderful. As always, the service was impeccable, and I think this is the best food in Cincinnati.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service2

This was the first time we did not have ...

Dined on May 26, 2016

This was the first time we did not have an excellent experience. Hopefully it was an off night.

food5
ambience5
service4
value4

This has become our favorite restaurant- ...

Dined on May 20, 2016

This has become our favorite restaurant- especially to celebrate special occasions. There isn't a thing I would change. Enjoyed every minute of our dinner- from the first bite of the incredible bread basket to the last sip of fine wine.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We always enjoy dinner at Nicola's!

vip
Dined on May 17, 2016

We dine at Nicola's for special occasions and any time we want an exceptional Italian meal with great wine and outstanding service.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Only bad thing about the experience was ...

Dined on May 11, 2016

Only bad thing about the experience was the seat. We sat at the table right next to the swinging kitchen door. It was awful, I even called earlier to state it was my girlfriends birthday and thought the seating accommodation would have been better. They did end up moving us before our entree. That in itself was a little awkward moving also. Overall food was great, service was good, but they need to just get rid of that seat all together. Did at times feel like the waiter didn't want to be waiting on us, just a vibe I was feeling but no way to prove that. Overall good restaurant, probably won't go back for a while though.

Tags: notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Wow! Barb - Happy B-Day! 5 course and ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

Wow! Barb - Happy B-Day! 5 course and wine are $100 x 2 people!!!!!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious

Dined on May 9, 2016

We went out for the Pasta Bolognese Monday special. Both the salad and the pasta were excellent. Of course we had to order the bread basket.....dinner at Nicola's without the bread basket would be a big mistake. We all had the Orangcello Cosmo and it was soooooo smooth.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service1
value4

Food was excellent, service was abhorrent

Dined on May 7, 2016

The food, from start to finish, was amazing. We had the minestrone and polenta to start, the goat cheese for the salad course, and the gnocchi as the pasta course. Dessert was amazing as well - I had the strawberry panna cotta and my husband had a dessert coffee. The bread basket is always a gem as well. The service, however, left a lot to be desired - I've had better service at the local IHOP. Our server seemed to fuss over the larger tables around us but only stopped at our table once after he took our orders. He never asked how our food was. He did notice my empty glass about halfway through the pasta course (so, later in the meal), but even after I ordered a refill, it never came. Lucky for us, other waiters kept our water glasses full or else we would have had empty glasses throughout. By the dessert course, however, we had no water left and were sucking on ice cubes. Getting the check was an ordeal too. Again, the waiter hovered around his big tables but we waited a full 40 minutes after our dessert plates were cleared away to get our check. Then another ten minutes for him to process our card. We noticed another two-top near us, where the old man was practically waving his wallet around to try and get the waiter's attention. Alas, we were not a big table of celebrating graduates, so we languished in the corner and dreamt of drink refills. All told, it was a great meal overshadowed by poor service.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

We had a great meal on our first visit.! ...

vip
Dined on May 3, 2016

We had a great meal on our first visit.! We will definitely be back!

food5
ambience5
service5

The food was great, especially the goat ...

Dined on May 1, 2016

The food was great, especially the goat cheese salad! Our server was very helpful and made it an extra special night out.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Amazing!

Dined on April 30, 2016

If I could give this place more than five stars, I would! The food was incredible and the service staff (as well as the management) went above and beyond excellent service! Don't miss going. You won't be disappointed!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great evening Food was wonderful, as w ...

Dined on April 29, 2016

Great evening Food was wonderful, as well as service and atmosphere.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding!!!

Dined on April 27, 2016

Traveled in for a business dinner and selected Nicola's from best restaurants online review. The service was excellent, the bar tender was a wine Sommelier and very knowledgeable, as was our server. The food was amazing from their homemade assorted bread basket, to their salads, entrees and deserts, beautiful presentation and outstanding quality, simply fabulous! Perhaps the best Italian restaurant I have ever been to. I have found my #1 Cincy dining location, can't wait to go back!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Birthday dinner

vip
Dined on April 21, 2016

Another great dinner at Nicolas. Best bread basket in the universe!! Excellent wine selections to pair with exquisitely prepared food. We will return.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fabulous outside dining

vip
Dined on April 18, 2016

We have enjoyed dining at Nicolas several times but this was our first time dining outside. We had a great meal, a great server in Troy and a beautiful evening. Loved the ambience, the wine, and always outstanding food.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list

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