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Nearby points of interest

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  4. Distance: 0.30mi
  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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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.

1420 Sycamore Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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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

4.6

service

4.7

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (64)
Special Occasion (55)
Romantic (50)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (46)
Fit for Foodies (40)
Notable Wine List (39)
Authentic (36)
Creative Cuisine (35)
Neighborhood Gem (32)
Quiet Conversation (26)
Good for Birthdays (24)
Worth the Drive (22)
Historic (18)
Business Meals (16)
Pre/post Theatre (16)
Cozy (16)
Private Room (14)
Handcrafted Cocktails (14)
Seasonal (11)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
Bar Seating (10)
Tasting Menu (10)
Comfort Food (9)
Good for Groups (9)
Fun (7)
Great for Outdoor Dining (7)
Local Ingredients (6)
Casual (5)
Family Style (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Outstanding Value (4)
Healthy (4)
Molecular Gastronomy (3)
Modern Decor (2)
Vegan (2)
People Watching (2)
Organic (2)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Waterfront (1)
Spicy (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Late-night Find (1)
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S
2024 reviews
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 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 22, 2017

Best restaurant in Cincinnati would recommend to anyone.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for a Date, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 21, 2017

Favorite place in Cincinnati! It's our to go place for special ocassions and just for the fun of it! Our server was EXCELLENT as was the food.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Historic, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Organic, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 16, 2017

The food was outstanding. Straight from Italy!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Our favorite restaurant in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area! Food and service incredible!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Historic, Gluten Free Options, Good for Birthdays, Vegan, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Private Room, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Great for Outdoor Dining, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Organic, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 14, 2017

I took my fiance there for his birthday and the food and atmosphere were absolutely amazing! We sat on the patio and it was beautiful. I hate that I cannot remember our servers name but she was a little blonde and was sweet as could be. We will definitely be back again! Thank you for the great experience.

Tags: Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 10, 2017

Very accommodating- I messed up my rsvp date and they were most willing to seat my party of 4.

Always yummy food and authentic bolognese.

Tags: Family Style, Authentic, Romantic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 9, 2017

Sat in the back room and was the only table, not the ambiance I was expecting. Host staff served the cake we brought in to another table and only comped one round of drinks. Food was outstanding but the experience was not.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 9, 2017

Excellent service by knowledgeable staff. Fantastic food.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 3, 2017

We went on Monday night for the half price Bolognese and salad. I had never been before and I thought it was a great little restaurant. It may have just been the night but it seemed like everything had just a little too much salt (bread, salad dressing, Bolognese). Despite that I would still love to go back sometime soon. I was too full to try their homemade desserts (Tiramisu).
.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 2, 2017

The evening was exquisite. We arrived early for a drink at the bar and moved on to our table at our reservation time. The menu is original, the food and presentation just wonderful. Nicola's is a gem in greater Cincinnati.

Tags: Romantic, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on April 1, 2017

Had not been here for several years ... forgot what a great, authentic Italian gem!!!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 31, 2017

I have been coming to Nicola's for many years. My most recent visit was with out of town friends who had high expectations given that I told them this was my favorite restuarant in Cincinnati. Nicola's came through, as usual. It is hard to beat the ambiance, food and service. I always leave Nicola's happy that I chose it.

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on March 30, 2017

Top notch. Possibly the finest restaurant in the city. Very knowledgeable staff. Outstanding service and presentation. Fabulous wine list. Sat 15 feet from Robert Redford. Truly a special experience.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 28, 2017

Recently married

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 26, 2017

The food and the service were outstanding I had the lamb shank and it was by far the best I've ever had and I've tried a lot of others. Very laid back, interesting décor, and a "no rush" vibe about it. I'd highly recommend the to anyone.

Tags: Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 24, 2017

I can't remember my waiter's name, and I wish I did. A mature gentleman that capped the experience. He was quick to offer ideas and recommendations. Additionally, he was understanding and discrete. (Oh, and he had the smooth baritone voice of Barry White so when he recites the menu it should be an R&B hit.)

The food was superbly prepared; the pasta was truly al dente and reminiscent of trips to Italy. The seating on the second floor in an otherwise idle restaurant was poor. It displayed dusty fixtures on the first floor and unimaginative decor. The hostesses were polite to me and my date, but appeared slightly inconvenienced while seating other guests.

Ending on a positive note, the lamb shank was tender and seasoned well. Even the purple cauliflower was full of flavor!

Tags: Authentic, People Watching, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 20, 2017

Nicola's is not just the sum of its parts. Each part of Nicola's is by itself an 'A' player. You want a bartender who can handle the classics yet be creative? Done. You want great service that reaches the balance of being attentive while not being intrusive? Done. You want a menu that can satisfy just about any taste, mood, dietary preference? Done. Nicola's is old school without being stodgy and incorporates some cutting edge culinary approaches. This would be hyperbole if not for being completely accurate.

Tags: Bar Seating, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 19, 2017

We've previously had good experiences at Nicola's but hadn't had a meal here in several years. This time the experience was very disappointing, all the way around. Food quality was just okay, not aligned at all with the high prices ($250+ for two people) and way below expectations. Service was fair though it got better as the night went on. Restaurant was extremely loud, chaotic, too much hustle and bustle, and negative energy. For some reason there was a youth soccer team running around the restaurant--not appropriate for a place that claims to be a fine dining experience. I've read other similar reviews from recent experiences. The restaurant seems to have lost its mojo. I would not recommend it to a friend or colleague.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience1
service3
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 19, 2017

We went to Nicola's to celebrate two birthdays and a 45th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed the food, The ambience, the service and the wine. The food is cooked to perfection and it is eventful and creative. Long after dinner was complete we stayed and talked and never felt rushed.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 18, 2017

It was a perfect evening celebrating my wife's birthday. We had wonderful service and our food was delicious ! It is a special place that continues to be at the top of it's game.

Tags: Historic, Bar Seating, Private Room, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Always one of my favorites! Never disappointed with the food quality.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Nicola's is among the top fine dining restaurants in Cincinnati. It delivers on the promise of creative recipes, fresh ingredients, a great wine selection.
Special moments, for just because... it doesn't let you down.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 18, 2017

This restaurant is fantastic! Wait staff was friendly and accommodating from the get go, good wine selection, and the food is amazing! They encourage splitting plates and serve partial servings on individual plates rather than typical family style. Melon salad and steak stood out to me, although everything our table ordered was outstanding. Can't wait to go back again!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 16, 2017

The service was wonderful. Obviously well trained. The food was fantastic. Great wine.

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Indiana)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Food is incredible. Hard to find good continental Italian in the midwest. Nicola's is the best I have found east of St. Louis and west of New York. Nothing I have found in Chicago or Atlanta matches it. If I could give it six stars for the food, I would. Even if you are concerned about calories, there are options. This restaurant is Tuscan, not Sicilian. Great pasta is available, but there are plenty of other choices.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 11, 2017

One of my top 3 restaurants in all of Cincinnati. Every meal there has been amazing and I adore the personal service we get when trying to pair wines to our meal.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Local Ingredients, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Good Vegetarian Options, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Romantic, Private Room, Good for Groups, Tasting Menu, Fun, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 7, 2017

This was a birthday dinner with a friend; great food, service, and ambiance. Glad we had reservations... for a Tuesday evening, it was very busy.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Private Room, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 5, 2017

We had a wonderful dining experience at Nicola's. The food was delicious and our waitress was extremely knowledgeable, pleasant and helpful.

Tags: Good for Groups, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 5, 2017

Nicola's is fantastic!!! My boyfriend and I were celebrating our 2 year anniversary and I'm thrilled that we chose this restaurant. It is expensive, but worth it for the great food and atmosphere. The bread basket was to die for!

Tags: Authentic, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 4, 2017

Great food .Table was located near kitchen door .Two diners had to watch traffic during dinner . Very annoying.Great bread .Beet salad was short on beets . Service a bit slow ...no time for dessert .

Tags: Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience2
service3
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 4, 2017

I have dined at Nicola's several times over the past 15 or so years and it has always been great. It was my friends first visit and she loved it. I will return more frequently.

Tags: Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 4, 2017

Great food and service. Every bite of everything we ate was incredible.

Tags: Historic, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 4, 2017

Enjoyable as always. If it's your first time you owe it to yourself to try the Gnudi. It is out of this world. Lovely atmosphere, decent prices, and pleasant wine selection. Perfect for the old date night.

Tags: Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on March 2, 2017

Hit all the marks. Wonderful service, amazing food, we had a memorable meal. I have been raving about it since to everyone that asks.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 28, 2017

We got the agnolotti and it didn't have any flavor at all. The gnudi appetizer was really good, which made the entree that much more frustrating. I would give them another shot with a different entree

Tags: Good for a Date
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 27, 2017

I heard great things about the restaurant and everything was true. We all enjoyed the "Monday Special" and the bread was fabulous. Will definitely be back.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 25, 2017

My fiancé and I have been coming here for years and it is our favorite restaurant in the Cincinnati area. We are never disappointed with the fabulous food or wine. The wait staff is wonderful- they make everything on the menu sound delicious, and their recommendations never disappoint.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Romantic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 18, 2017

For this price, you expect the food to be perfect. Just not up to the same standards it was a few years ago.

Tags: Romantic
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 17, 2017

We absolutely loved Nicola's! It was our first time there, and the tasting menu was unavailable which wasn't an issue at all, our server recommended an excellent way to navigate the menu and therefore try several different dishes. We split a hot appetizer, the gnudi, and it was fantastic. The kitchen will split everything in half for you which is really nice! We also split a bread basket, a salad (with the goat cheese base-amazing!), and split a half portion of the gnocchi (another great thing- you can order the pasta dishes in half portions), and then we split a main entree. The half portion of the gnocchi was by no means small, we were stuffed before our main entree came out! We were glad that we split each and got to try a lot of the menu, and we can't wait to come back and do it again! The service was excellent as well, our server was fantastic and even gave us puppy training tips after we told him we were getting a puppy soon, he was fun and personable!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Private Room, Romantic, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Authentic, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Very disappointed! I specifically saved this restaurant for a survival date but everything feel flat except for the service. To decor seemed very uninspiring not up to date and I hate to say it, it just felt "old". But that is something I can overlook if the food is good. And that is my biggest complaint, they might as well put a SALT block on the table. Other than the salad everything they brought out was not slightly salty but extremely salty, I got the bolognese and could only eat a few bites and my girlfriend could only eat a little of her for cheese gnocchi(sp?). The restaurant was busy, apparently a lot of people like it but I will recommend other Italian places throughout the city before hear, especially considering the price.

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food1
ambience3
service4
value1

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