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

4.7

ambience

4.7

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

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

special occasion (107)
fit for foodies (88)
romantic (78)
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notable wine list (73)
neighborhood gem (58)
good for groups (28)
great for outdoor dining (27)
hot spot (13)
vibrant bar scene (7)
late-night find (5)
scenic view (4)
great for lunch (2)
great for brunch (1)
kid-friendly (1)
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Wonderful meal very much like those we h ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined 4 days ago

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
ambience5
service5
value5

Great service with warm intimate ambianc ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined 5 days ago

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, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Everything was great except for the seat ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined 5 days ago

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, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

We had a perfect evening with the best ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined 5 days ago

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, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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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

Have heard about this restaurant since m ...

 
 (Denver)
·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, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The service from our server Christina wa ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

The service from our server Christina was very nice. I love the details this restaurant takes from the ambience to the food to staff in making sure you have an amazing culinary experience. The food is creative, fresh and current. Prepare to have your palette blown away!

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food5
ambience5
service5

I used to love Nicola's but was very dis ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

I used to love Nicola's but was very disappointed. The food was below average but the prices are still high. Not worth going back.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value1

First visit. Was very impressed. Very ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

First visit. Was very impressed. Very high quality in every aspect.

Food was tremendous!!!!!

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

Celebrated passing a licensing test, Cha ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great experience as always.

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on June 23, 2016

Great experience as always.

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food4
ambience4
service5

Best food in the city hands down

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on June 23, 2016

Best food in the city hands down

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food5
ambience5
service5

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

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Six of us went to dinner for my husband' ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on June 20, 2016

Six of us went to dinner for my husband's birthday. The restaurant is located in OTR but parking was no problem. They have valet parking.

Had a martini at the bar while waiting for our table. Made with fresh juice and fruit, $10.00

Our waiter Daniel was very pleasant.

Food: Bread basket was the best part of the dinner. I had the Carbonara, a very tasteless dish $26😐 , husband had the Bolognese special which was very good $15. The Tiramisu has great texture but very little flavor $10.😐

I would say we had a nice evening but as a whole we were disappointed with the food.

I don't have a problem paying $26.00 for pasta (and I mean only pasta, salads are al'cart ) if the taste is worth the asking price.

Tags: notable wine list
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food2
ambience4
service5
value2

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

 
 (Detroit)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Wonderful food and the service was impec ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Undoubtedly the best meal we have had in ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

 
 (New England)
·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
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

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

 
 (San Francisco)
·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
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food all around. Tried octopu ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
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service5
value4

Great wine recommendation, great service ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Altogether a fine restaurant and a wonde ...

 
 (New York Area)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Amazing experience. The food and service ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

A great restaurant in a very cool settin ...

vip
 (Las Vegas)
·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.

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food5
ambience5
service5

outstanding meal, great service, must ge ...

 
 (Southwest FL)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

special..

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Everything was once again - OUTSTANDING! ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A Wonderful Evening

 
 (Baltimore)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

There is no better restaurant in OTR

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on June 1, 2016

There is no better restaurant in OTR

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wow!

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

High quality high class dining

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on May 27, 2016

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

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

 
 (Northern MI)
·Dined on May 26, 2016

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

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food3
ambience4
service2

This has become our favorite restaurant- ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

We always enjoy dinner at Nicola's!

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Only bad thing about the experience was ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

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