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Nicola's Ristorante
Nicola's Ristorante

Nicola's Ristorante Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.nicolasotr.com
  • Phone: (513) 721-6200
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Joel Molloy
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • 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.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Liberty Street
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Street parking and valet parking Monday through Saturday.
A word from 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.Continued
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We went to Nicola's because of a review that said they had "the best breadbasket in town." That was an understatement. I've never eaten anywhere that can match the variety and quality of breads they serve routinely. My favorite was the little pillow filled with eggplant. My salad (golden and red beets with goat cheese) was splendid, and the linguine Bolognese was simply the best I've ever had. Our waiter was pleasant, conversant but not annoying, and knowledgeable. I'll go there again!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Another great dinner, superb pork tenderloin, red drum, Jonah crab (among the three of us), with a Gavi de Gavi that paired well with everything. Attentive service that wasn't overbearing."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Nicola's Ristorante never disappoints. The food is exceptional, the service is great and the atmosphere is lovely. A perfect place for a date, celebrating a special occasion, or enjoying dinner with friends and family. I had the Sweetbreads for an appetizer. The presentation was great and the flavor superb...as was the rest of the meal."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "The, food, service, and atmosphere always exceed our expectations. Nicola's has recently changed their seasonal menu so everything we ordered was new to us. Each course was better than the last - even he cocktail list had a wonderfully refreshing list of summer drinks. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we were tempted to make reservations for our next visit. We love this restaurant!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I dined there for our anniversary Thursday night. I had searched some reviews online about nice romantic restaurants in the area and Nicola's was on just about every list. I had my hopes up and was a little nervous about my girlfriend being impressed and boy oh boy did they ever hold up to expectations. We told them it was our anniversary and they treated us like royalty it felt. From the champagne toast at the beginning and the end to all 5 courses we had, the whole night was awesome. Our server, Lee Ann was so accommodating. She practically described the entire menu for us and helped me pair wines. She was patient with us and timed everything perfectly between courses. We will definitely be back!!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "The home made pasta was sooooo good. The best Italian restaurant in cincinnati, period. Overall it gets pricey when you add the wine but is worth every dime."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Wonderful setting in the restored old incline building. Unique Italian inspired food that you wont find elsewhere. Large and excellent wine list. You wont go wrong with trying anything on the menu. Not inexpensive...but worth every penny!! I wonderful dining experience!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We were 1st times to this fantastic restraunt. we ordered sweet breads thinking they were "sweet breads" and it turned out to be a spectacular treat. The also have the biggest most ornate bread basket in the city. At the servers recommendation we ordered the boucheron goat cheese salad and the cauliflower salad. Both extrordinary. We got 2 pasta dishes as our entrees. I had originally planned to get the risotto but at the servers recommendation we went with the Triangoli and the Gnocchi. Both also extrordinary. We save a little room for dessert and shared a delightful tiramisu and cappuccinos. The evening was perfect the food was impeccable and we will definitely be returning"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "The Vitello (sp?) appetizer was superb! The wine, excellent. Ditto the coffee. And the bread basket: totally indulgent and without parallel. The ambiance, lovely and the right blend of dressy, sophisticated, but not pretentious or over the top. The staff, welcoming and engaged. Always a favorite of ours. Keep it up! The other couple who dined with us complimented their pasta entree, actually raved about it."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Nicola's is one of Cincinnati's finest restaurants. The food is superb and the wait staff tend to every detail without hovering. The Boucheron Goat Cheese Salad is a starter that I get every time I go."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Went to Nicolas- best Italian in the city. Delicious gnocchi and trianglolo- the seasonal special. It was for my husbands bday and they comped a drink and desert. Romantic and delicious. Will go there for special occasions always!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "One of the nicest restaurants in Cincinnati. A true gem"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "took my wife there for her birthday... had a wonderful time... food was excellent, as was the service... and the ambiance was wonderful too.. (not to quiet... but quiet enough for a nice conversation...."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Absolute Italian Fusion that rocks. Highly recommend the Chef's Choice with wine pairing. We had the five course and it was impressive. I just loved the way EVERYTHING worked together from the palate cleaning to the dessert. The wine choice was perfect. Thanks all!! BTW, our server was on it and with it."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Wonderful dining experience to celebrate our anniversary. Nicola's never fails to please. Leonardo had excellent wine suggestions; even some to try for a future visit. The new salad menu item with cauliflower was excellent (and unique). Ambiance is such that I always feel I'm in an intimate restaurant in Tuscany."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "I took a date here for her birthday and was very pleased! I was kind of thrown off by the location and outside appearance but it was a beautiful restaurant, with beautiful people and amazing food! Highly recommend the Gnocchi! The service was top notch. Our waiter was very personable with a great sense of humor and was very helpful with suggestions. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good authentic and romantic Italian meal."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Second time dining here, but not the last. Relatively expensive, and charging $3.50 each for a tiny bottle of Coke is a bit absurd, but there are all the little elements that make a dining experience…well, an experience. Some advice: Eat the bread! Seriously, I wouldn't mind making a meal out of the different breads offered in the basket. My girlfriend and I actually found ourselves frustrated that the group at the table next to us didn't even touch it! I had the smoked sweet breads, then the pea and lobster risotto. She had the hamachi, then the gnocchi. All was delicious, and appropriate for the season. Well, the gnocchi…it's appropriate always. It's really outstanding. Great place for a date, or any special occasion."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "As good as usual. It was a wonderful place to spend our 52nd anniversary together."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We had another outstanding dinner and always enjoy Nicola's!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "While the food was good, it wasn't great and the price was very expensive for the quality. I should have looked closer at the menu as the choices are very limited. The service was great and the restaurant was quiet, which was very nice. It was easy to carry on a conversation."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We selected the chef's 5 course meal with wine pairings and we were not disappointed. Everything was cooked to perfection. Our waiter took time to explain all of the dishes and the wines selected to go with them. Before we started we told the waiter we were partial to red wines and he accommodated us explaining why they chose the red they did when they may have served a white. We left feeling very satisfied and would definitely return"
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Recently, we had dinner at Nicola's for the second time. Both times we both thought the food was outstanding, as was the advice from our waiter. Absolutely love the ability to split each course, thus better matching our desire to try one of everything, with an appetite to limited to do that at most restaurants. The food was all really excellent, as were the wine recommendations for our differing preferences. We love this restaurant, and intend to drive the 100 mile round trip at least once a year."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Greatest restaurant in Cincinnati and possibly the region."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Just ate at Nicola's and everything was outstanding. It's such a warm, great envirornment that is great to go to on a date night or to catch up with friends. Servers are first class and will go above and beyond to ensure you have a great experience every time. Although it is a little off the beaten bath of OTR, this place really cares about their patrons and serving quality food. The place is not huge, so I would recommend making a reservation as they do get crowded during peak dining times."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Nicola's never fails to disappoint. The food and ambiance is amazing, and it will always be a favorite stop on the list. !'d recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys great Italian food. The different dishes my party tried were all great but the gnocci had to have been the most flavorful. It definitely was one of a kind in flavor. I'd recommend this particular dish to those who want something to remember."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Every trip to Nicolas is exceptional. The food and service is always superb. I even messed up the reservation and they were still able to accommodate us."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "THE FOOD AND SERVICE MADE THIS ONE OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCE. THE WAITER WAS EXCEPTIONAL."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "We celebrated our wedding anniversary here with the chef's tasting menu and wine pairings. The service and meal were excellent."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "We celebrated our anniversary and it was a great experience. The food was crazy good and the wine list was exquisite. The service was amazing. The only problem we had was with noise from other table next to us. It was close enough that we could hear everything they were saying. It was annoying at times"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "My husband and I recently celebrated our anniversary at Nicola's and had a wonderful time. This was our second visit and both visits were great! Great food( try the gnocchi and risotto), service, and atmosphere. We really enjoyed ourselves and were too full to order dessert but the restaurant knew we were celebrating and were kind enough to give us a large serving of tiramisu, which was delish!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Not sure what took us so long to get to Nicolas, but everything about it was excellent. The atmosphere was perfect for a dinner with my wife and daughter, and would be just as good for a business dinner or evening with friends. The service was particularly good! The server(s) had excellent knowledge, were very attentive and the food was served/removed at the right times - seemingly rare these days. The food was simply outstanding. We shared some dishes (the staff was good enough to accommodate us by splitting in the kitchen) and tried a variety of menu offerings. All were extremely well presented, the portions were perfect, and the flavor and food quality as good as I have had in a while. Thanks for a perfect dining experience!"
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "Service is very knowledgeable, helpful and not condescending when asking questions. Timing of drinks, appetizers and entrees is perfect. Food is ... it's just perfect. I recommend the Lobster Ravioli or Gnocchi as an entree."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "This was our first visit to Cincinnati. We (my husband, adult daughter and 16 year old son) were very pleased with everything we ordered. We could have made a meal out of the bread basket alone. The only appetizer we weren't crazy about was the Sweet Bread appetizer. Each of us ordered a different appetizer, entree and dessert. If we're in the Cincinnati area again, we will definitely dine at this establishment again."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "My wife, child, and I went to Nicola's for a family birthday dinner. We've been to Nicola's several times in the past, and it remains one of our favorite restaurants in the city. The smoked sweetbreads were phenomenal, and the rabbit appetizer was great as well. The pastas were also excellent - gnocchi, carbonara, and the famous Bolognese did not disappoint. On the flip side, the spinach gnudi served with the chicken course was doughy, though was improved greatly by the chicken jus. The real disappointment was the short ribs. Neither my wife nor I cared for the risotto, and both of us found the ribs themselves lacking in seasoning. Our server recommended the ribs highly, so this may be simply a matter of personal taste."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Never been before but my client recommended so I took her. It was a truly exceptional experience from the time at the bar to the time at our table and even a quick view backstage (kitchen) at the end of the night. Food was exceptional (highly recommend the short ribs) as was the service and I loved the decor. Next time I am in town, I will be back!"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "it's really our fault. 10 minutes late to our reservation, we got seated next to the kitchen door. with staff running into our table, and the bustle of servers in and out of the kitchen, it wasn't ideal. our server, denny, was amazing though. he recommended wine, dishes, explained what we received and how it was prepared. next time, we'll make our request for preferred seating. we really should have known better, but be certain to request not the table next to the kitchen doors. food was delicious. we split everything and they brought it out in 2 separate plates, which we prefer, although we're always able to accommodate when one plate is delivered. our entree prepared sous vide is all we needed to hear."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Everything about this dinner experience was first rate! I was with two friends but other friends attending the same conference were at two nearby tables -- we were all exceedingly pleased. I recommend Nicola's without any hesitation!"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "The food & service are, as always, first rate. What more do we need to say."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Another fantastic dinner out with superb service. The food is always great and you just cannot get enough gnocchi! Also great white bean soup."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We have never been disappointed dining here. It remains our favorite restaurant, and I still think its the best in Cincinnati. We really enjoyed the return of lobster ravioli."
    Dined on 6/6/2014