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National Exemplar
National Exemplar

National Exemplar Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.nationalexemplar.com
  • Email: lhopkins@nationalexemplar.com
  • Phone: (513) 271-2103
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast and Lunch: Daily: 7:00am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Sean Daly
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Full-service menus available upon request. The National Exemplar is part of The Phoenix Restaurant Group which is a full-service restaurant management company located in Cincinnati, OH. Specializing in full-service restaurant dining, catering, banquets, special events and rehearsal dinners.
  • Private Party Facilities: The National Exemplar Restaurant offers a private dining menu for your business or social function. Our food is prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients just as we do in our restaurant. Our menus offer a variety of full service selections and are presented with the utmost care by our culinary staff. You and your guests will feel welcome in our English Tudor style room complete with two fireplaces. We provide linens, napkins, candle centerpieces, and flower vases to compliment the table at no charge to you. Our private room can accommodate groups from 14 - 85 guests. For larger groups and specialty wedding packages, please contact our downtown Cincinnati private dining facility and restaurant, The Phoenix. Visit The Phoenix at www.thephx.com.
  • Private Party Contact: Lisa Hopkins (513) 271-2103
  • Entertainment: Live Music on Friday's in our front bar, Southerby's Pub.
  • Special Events & Promotions: As part of The Phoenix Restaurant Group, we can host large corporate events to a small private dinner in your home. We have over 30 years of experience hosting, planning and managing events in the hospitality and restaurant industry. Our vast resources, experienced sales and event planners, restaurant managers and talented culinary department can help you create any event big or small from 2 people to 5000 people.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Madisonville Road
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Exit I-71 at Red Bank Road, follow Red Bank Road to 50 East, take 50 East (Wooster Pike) to 6880 Wooster Pike, on the circle in Mariemont (inside the Mariemont Inn).
A word from National Exemplar
In April of 1983, The National Exemplar began operation in the Mariemont, Ohio landmark, The Mariemont Inn. The Inn was constructed in the mid-1920's as a small piece of the very unique Mariemont community, founded by Mary Emery. The National Exemplar Restaurant was named after learning that Mary Emery once referred to her developing community as the National Exemplar, meaning national model community. The National Exemplar Restaurant is a full service, neighborly restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. We only use the freshest quality ingredients to prepare each meal. Our goal is to serve great food, provide friendly and professional service in a clean and relaxing atmosphere.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Delicious food, generous portions, great date night!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "We had an excellent dining experience. The food was exquisite and our server was one of the best. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to friends."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We went for dinner on a Friday night at 7. There weren't that many people there; we didn't need the reservation we had. Linguine w clam sauce was a weird combination of spicy and bland; that is, the only spice you could taste was black pepper, and there were pecks few clams. Grilled salmon was excellent, however.....really, really good. Service was aloof. Wine list was about average in quality but high in price. I'm never really on board with small plates/shareables. Seems like I spend more and leave hungry so we didn't try that section of the menu just stuck to dinners. This ace has been through so many chefs, menus, and concepts. This is not one of the better ones. What can you say about a place that's empty by 9 pm on a spring night?"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This is our neighborhood "go to " spot. Great food, drink and service. Staff is so welcoming, menu updated frequently."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Off the beaten track for a casual visitor to Cincinnati but well worth the effort to find it."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Well prepared food, attentive, well-timed service - maybe a bit too eager before we ordered, since we had not been there in many years and needed to consider the menu. Nice selection of wines by glass. Notably the white wine offerings were varied; too often they are limited to chardonnays plus 1 other option. Our reservation was early, before theater, so many empty tables. Atmosphere quiet. Private rooms available."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "This is one of our favorite restaurants. We enjoyed an early dinner which was well prepared and beautifully presented. The only fault we can find with the Exemplar is the lack of moscoto on the wine list."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Great food, service and atmosphere. We will be back!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The food was very delicious. I would highly recommend it."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Pleasantly surprised upon returning to the Exemplar after about 6 months to find they have updated their menu and added some interesting new dishes. Prime rib was good and melted in my mouth like butter, but less flavorful than I usually enjoy (maybe I ordered it too rare :( ??); however, the accompanying paper thin sliced au gratin potatoes were delicious. New boar lasagna was extremely tasty and something we will come back and order again."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "While we are frequent diners at the Exemplar, they still know how to make you feel special on a special occasion. We asked to be near the fireplace and we sat right by it...perfect. Liz, our server, took great care to be sure we knew about recent menu changes that helped clarify things for us in making our dinner selections. She was attentive without hovering, which was great. We enjoyed the food very much, especially that wonderful warm carrot cake! We can't wait for warmer weather and getting back to the terrific outdoor dining season...our favorite."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We have lived 5 minutes from the restaurant for over 30 years. They have recently recreated themselves. Same comfortable old English feel. But new menu with great food. I had one of the best kale salads I've had. You can chose between two sizes of pasta dishes. I had the small size pasta with clams. Perfect amount and excellent. Good wine selection. Nice desserts. It's nice to have a local gem liken the National Exemplar."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "This restaurant is one of those gems that I'm glad we found. High class service, great food and a wonderful old building...What's not to like? They have absolutely the best beef liver that I ever had. I don't want it from any place else after having it there. Every thing we ever ordered from the menu has been great. I highly recommend it."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "Glad that they kept the Hungarian mushroom soup, but were disappointed with the new menu. Most of our favorites are no longer there."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We were ignored throughout most of the evening. Spoke with our waiter maybe 3 times. Someone else brought us our water, our drinks, and our food. No one came to take her finished plate, so we had the pleasure of watching what was left go cold - which took away from the romantic ambience. Another staff member even apologized for our waiter's lack of attention. Waiter was, however, extremely attentive to the 6 party table next to us - so I'm sure they had a wonderful evening. The food was good, the wine selection was good, and the restaurant was clean and well maintained. Will not be back."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The National Exemplar at the Mariemont Inn holds a special place in my heart. My husband and I celebrated our engagement there 18 years ago, we had our wedding reception there and have had many family celebrations there! I can say that our experience there last Saturday did not disappoint! The menu is new but has lots a great new choices as well as old favorites. We shared the crab cake appetizer, I had the Linguine with Clams and my husband had the Filet with Crab and Shrimp (use to be called Steak KP) and Creme Brulee for dessert. DELICIOUS! The service was very good as well and the ambience was warm and inviting (we were seated by the fireplace). A lovely romantic and relaxing evening. We will be back!!!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We had a great time! Our server (Liz) was great! She was very attentive to our tables needs and helped with my diet restrictions of Gluten Free. Dinner moved at a great pace, not too fast I didn't feel rushed!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "When your tired of all the cookie cutter chain restaurants. Nice change. Relaxed atmosphere and quickly accommodated our change in party size. Great service. I had prime rib as did two others and it was cooked perfectly. Will definitely visit again."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "It was a wonderful experience! My husband and I happened to be there for breakfast the same day but it didn't make our dinner experience any less pleasant Definitely will come back frequently"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We dined at the Exemplar on Valentine's Day. The warm fire, dimmed lights and quiet atmosphere set just the right tone. Our waiter was attentive in the best way and the food was both delicious and beautifully presented. We enjoyed our meal and will definitely return."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We always enjoy dining at National Exemplar. Food is consistently good and atmosphere enjoyable."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "My husband and I went to the National Exemplar this past weekend and it was just so lovely. When I made the reservations I mentioned that we were celebrating our 2nd year anniversary and if we could have a private booth/area, not expecting they would even read the request. But I was wrong! As soon as we arrived at the restaurant they sat us in a cozy quiet corner with a window view, it was very nice. They even gave us champagne, which was so wonderful plus dessert. Everything was just so thoughtful, from the time we arrived to the time we left, I would definitely recommend this treasure of a restaurant. Did I mention the food was so yummy?!! Thank you for a great experience!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We went here for a weeknight birthday dinner, and we would have been fine without reservations. Our server was great, especially with our kids. My husband had a steak that he considered "okay". I had the Pan Roasted Gerber Farms Chicken Breast, and was very pleased, especially with the grits. The beer selection wasn't extensive, but included a few of our favorite local craft beers. The girls both had mac and cheese, of course, and it was delicious. DO NOT skip the carrot cake! It's huge and amazing."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "My husband and I really enjoyed our meals at National Exemplar. The service was outstanding and we loved the warm, comfortable atmosphere - especially nice to be seated by the fireplace on a cold winter night. The server was spot-on with her recommendations and was very friendly."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Nice combination of class, charm, and intimate dining with a modern day menu. Have been going to the exemplar for 35 years and have seen it very slowly evolve, keeping it's stately charm and now with an updated menu. It's not for the young crowd but they now have outdoor dining, live music, and an updated menu. We had a bottle of wine, appetizer, entrees and desert. The pace was perfect and service was very good. Suggest reservations for a sat. Night."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "I dined with a friend on a week day evening when it wasn't too crowded. We sat by the fireplace which was delightful. Our server was great and accommodating. My meal was very good and the chef accommodated my request for a different sauce. The soup was fantastic."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "I took a beautiful lady for her birthday dinner to the National Exemplar. We both were moved by the excellent dinner of prime rib and it was only topped off with a excellent server named Tyler. I have been to the National Exemplar many time over many years and it is good that they have kept up with the quality, history and excellent reputation of the establishment."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "We reserved the private dining room for our family dinner for 15 people. The room worked out extremely well. Our waitress was very nice and very attentive. We had a wonderful evening and were able to sit and chat around their large oval table and not disturb any of the other dining patrons. We even had a 2 yr. old with us who was able to walk around and not get away from us because the room was closed off by a door. The food was not what I expected. I ordered the carrot soup, side salad, Amish chicken with brussel sprouts and grits. The carrot soup was thin and lacked any sort of robust flavor. The chicken also was not seasoned well...very little flavor. I was really disappointed. The salad and creme brulee were good. Good flavor."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "My wife and I brought my grandmother in for a post-Christmas dinner. The menu has changed a bit in the last few years but the classics like Prime Rib, Fettuccine Bravo, and Liver were still present. I tried the Risotto, which was great. (Loved the italian sausage and the artichoke hearts!) My wife and grandmother both had Fettuccine Bravo, and were very happy with the taste and portion size. Sarah was an excellent server; very knowledgable about the wine and the food. Everything came out in a reasonable time. We sat on the pub side which was very cozy and comfortable, even on a busy Friday night. While my grandmother certainly enjoyed herself, younger diners would find a lot to like here, too."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "We are never disappointed by this restaurant. Food, service and location make it a favorite."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "I had a special for the evening that was Red fish it was just so-so. The fish was bland in what looked like a watered down tomato soup. The wine and my wife's prime rib was good however. There was a lobster mac & cheese that had an ample amount of lobster meat and a decent taste that we had as an appetizer and the Hungarian mushroom soup was good as always. I would say my only down side was the special that for $25 was not that notable. The server Tyler was very good and seemed to know a lot about the menu and gave excellent service."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Went for dinner at New Years and had a nice dinner. Great service, good food, and the fireplace was so nice to sit by. We go often and eat at the bar which also has great atmosphere. Love this place."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "First time visit for my wife and I and the food was quite delicious. However, the pan seared brussel sprouts were a bit burned rather than seared. Additionally, we were unfortunate in that it was New Years Eve and we were seated in what had to be the worst seat in the house, that being directly near open doors that were used to escort folks to their table as well as in line with the entrance doors which left us in a breeze of sorts during dinner. And with all of that, we will still return! BTW, they took the brussel sprouts off of the check and the chef sent his apologies."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Those of you who have read my critiques in the past know that I prefer bone in pork chops over red meat any day of the week. This night was no different. It just so happened that the grilled pork chop was one of the specials. Needless to say, that is what I chose and it was absolutely grilled to perfection. My wife on the other hand is all about the filet. She ordered the steak KP and though it was done to the turn, the cut was very tough. I did not realize that until after our server asked me how everything tasted. Mine, of course, was delicious so I said "fine". My mistake. After that, she didn't want to make a fuss and just finished her sides. At any rate, the atmosphere was lovely, as always."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "For the past 4 years,we use this restaurant primarily for special occasions.We have not been disappointed and will go again next year. We also go here at least 3 or 4 times."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "a kind of old fashioned place that has updated its menu/feel a little bit like a nice retirement home but the food is quite good"
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Outstanding restaurant...Owner and employees bend over backwards to make sure you have a great dining experience."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "As always a reliable place to dine before a movie or with a group of friends."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "Nice experience. Young guy waiter was very knowledgeable & professional. The menu wasn't as extensive as I remembrred, but found things went out liked. Food was very good."
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "The National Exemplar restaurant in Marimont Ohio is a wonderful place to go for dinner. Given the storied history of the Marimont Inn, the quality of the and service food should be on a par with the best restaurants in Cincinnati. My wife and I visited the Exemplar for our anniversary dinner. Do we have to ask for non-well liquor when at a restaurant like this? My wife and I were disappointed in the food quality and service. Prime rib was a very thin cut and dry. Pork special was shredded and presented in a tasteless fashion. Sure you can do much better. Why not serve a vegetable with the special or main dish? Waiter was slow to return to the table-lacked any sense of a polite presence. Will return in hopes of a better experience."
    Dined on 11/9/2013