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Nicola's Ristorante
Nicola's Ristorante

Nicola's Ristorante Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.nicolasotr.com
  • Email: nicolascincy@gmail.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.
  • Private Party Contact: Nicola Pietoso (513) 721-6200

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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Diner Reviews
  • "Our first visit to Nicola's was great! Garth, our server, was one of the best we have experienced as his polite manner, gracious attentiveness and special concern were noted by both of us. The menu was limited but our choices were perfectly prepared and delightfully delicious! The valet parking was very convenient and the attendants were very helpful to us."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Fantastic food, great services, and nice ambience. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "The four of us just had a perfect evening. This was the best service that we have had in any restaurant on five continents. Seriously. The waiter knew just when to make himself known. I was unable to describe a Super Tuscan to my satisfaction. The waiter kindly said, "May I amplify on that?" He really knew wine. There was an excellent wine list. Great food. The White bean Soup with seafood was fantastic. We had arrived early and were sitting at the bar. They allowed us to split a portion without making us feel guilty. We also split appetizers and the pasta dish at the table and they were absolutely fine with that. Just by chance we were seated in the small room that only has four tables. It was just a really fine dining experience."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Service was impeccable, food outstanding, presentation indescribable. Just maybe the most memorable dining experience ever"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "I had one of the best meals I -- eating solo -- had ever had. They handled the usual table-for-one awkwardnesses with aplomb. The presentations were spectacular -- complete with one coup-de-theatre, a mini-bell-jar raised tableside to release the smoke with which the sweat breads had be fumed. Amazing attention to detail without getting all caught up with science and technology (a trend that needs to be put to sleep). Why doesn't this place have a Michelin star or two?"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Bolo Monday is excellent. High quality food for a great price! For $13 customers receive a bread basket - possibly the most diverse bread basket I have ever been served at a restaurant, a salad, and bolognese pasta. I highly recommend Bolo Mondays, and I plan on returning to order off the regular menu in the future."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "WE HAD A WONDERFUL MEAL AND THE SERVICE WAS OUTSTANDING"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Loved the inside. Very classic. Service was great; friendly and knowledgable translating the Italian into English. While very busy, we still had a pleasant dinner for 4 where we could hear eachother. Food was good, but my mouth did not go wow when we left. We had a great time and will go back. GH"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The food at Nicola's is excellent as well as the service! We will definitely return."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Nicola's never disappoints - our friends had never been there and moaned with pleasure through the entire meal. Our server was excellent and knew the menu inside/out! His suggestion to take the gnocchi entree and to divide among the table as a pre-entree was perfect. I rated the ambiance as very good because we were seated next to the servers station, it wasn't loud, but distracting. LOVE the way they serve the main course, everyone gets their plate at the same time. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We have been to Nicolas several time. On our recent visit the food did not live up to our expectations. In fairness, it was a Friday and we were not eating meat. That limited our selections. The Frutti De Mare was not shown as having Squid ink pasta. I just do not like the look of it and would have requested another pasta. We will try again."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The truffle gnocchi is consistently excellent and melts in your mouth. Nicolas knows how to prepare fish very well. It is best to go when the restaurant is not super duper busy as The wait staff is very good and attentive during these times. The homemade breads are Easy to get full off of so beware!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Simply one of the set restaurants in the city. Pasta and bread here are outstanding, but the rest of the fare is equally impressive. Creative, attention to detail, and impeccable service."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Pulling up to Nicola's was stress free, with valet available for a simple $5. Worth every penny in the cold. I wasn't sure how busy it would be when I arrived, so I made a reservation... Upon entering, my fiancé and I checked our coats at the host for free, and were promptly led to our table. Our server was genuine, without the fake serving face that I despise (extra tip), and gave us great suggestions for wine as well as the neighborhood special, being Monday night. A house salad, bread basket (8 types of bread, 2 of each), and the house pasta for $13. For that price, we also ordered a rabbit appetizer. Everything was great, but the dessert was beyond expectations. We left with a box and full stomachs. It was a great experience."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "We have dined at Nicola's numerous times and have always had great service and delicious food. We have celebrated many special occasions there and would recommend this restaurant to everyone."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I have been the General Manager of a restaurant in NYC for over five years and in the restaurant business for over 20 years and let me tell you, this place is spot on. Service was impeccable, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was charming. You can't go wrong with an experience like this."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "GREAT food! My wife and I really enjoyed our dinner in Nicolas and found everything about to be excellent."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Food is good but portions are very small. Service is competent but a bit officious. Went there for a special occasion but was not quite special enough. Also, some extra touches that were prearranged by a family member for this special occasion were not delivered. Probably won't go back. Too many other good restaurants where diners are better taken care of."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Food was outstanding and service was great. Waiter knew menu very well and was able to make reasonable suggestions. Salads were very good. Can't wait to go there again."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Very slow service. Dinner on Friday night took 2 1/2 hours to complete."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Second trip in the past 3 weeks - everything delightful. Food is fabulous and they were great accomodating our various food allergies. Enjoyed the orangecello Cosmo!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The food is always terrific at Nicola's. This time was no exception. This though was our first time to be seated upstairs in the front dining area. The noise level was very high making conversation at the table a real strain to hear. I will not sit in this area again."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I go to Nicola's regularly and it always exceeds my expectations. Consistently excellent food, service and ambiance."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "This place is a tight squeeze around the tiny bar. Their bread is good and the service is outstanding! However, the kitchen?? Our evening took up 3 hours 45 mins from sit down to check. We sat for so long in the noisy atmosphere, my wife and I received painful headaches. Having, traveled quite extensively around the world including Italy, I must say, their food is less than desirable. If you're forced to go here, may I recommend ordering the short ribs over the Sea Bass? If you want Sea Bass just go to Bone Fish. Tiramisu here is nothing but a bowl of cream with large lady finger on top (no layers). For an Italian themed restaurant, they miss the mark. It's more like a loose interpretation of Italian food "done hillbilly Cincinnati style"."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Great romantic dinner before the Book of Mormon at Aronoff Center. Appetizers and artisanal breads were awesome, as was featured fish selection, Greek salad, Bolognese, and wine. Deserts were on the house in celebration of our wedding the prior week. Nicolas continues to be my favorite restaurant in Cincinnati for everything but steak!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "This restaurant is one of my all time favorites. It has never failed me. Food is always outstanding, service is impeccable. Ambience is great (main floor). Pricey but well worth it."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Enjoyable evening, but the food was average and the bill was well-above average. Valet parking was a disaster....."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The host nearly ran over our group to get to a regular standing behind us. The waitress rushed us out the door. The host got impatient with my 85 year old mom because it took her too long to put her coat on. Last time for me."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Everything was great from the minute we walked into the front lobby until we left. Charles Mosher"
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "We go to Nicola's at least 1-2 times a year to celebrate special occasions (we actually had our rehersal dinner in their private dining room which was fantastic). Honestly I've never had anything but an exceptional experience prior to this visit, so I'm guessing they had an off night. Food was not great and service was not as usual. We were rushed to order, had almost no time to enjoy our wine and talk, and after finishing our empty plates sat for forever. I will still go back, but probably not with the anticipation I have in the past."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "First time visit but hopefully many more to come ! Every offering on each course was special & unique, & each were extraordinarily tasty. Highly recommend for that once per month special dinner."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "My date and I were seated in a small back room which enhances the noise noise level. We were seated near another couple and a large party of 8. The conversation from the large party created a noise level that hindered our ability to have even casual conversation. As it was a busy Saturday night we could not be seated in another location. Obviously it would be bad for business for the waiter or owner to ask that the members of the large party not scream at the the person four seats down. However, they should have offered to reseat us. Needless to say, it didn't help that the large party was extremely obnoxious."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We had an outstanding meal at Nicola's. The service is excellent. I was particularly impressed with the server's knowledge of the menu. He helpfully suggested diving an order of gnocchi which resulted in the perfect portion of this rich dish. The food was expertly prepared. I was very impressed by the depth of flavor. I would recommend the rabbit. There was also considerable attention to the visual presentation of the dishes. My only recurring complaint about Nicola's is the dining room. Based on prior experience, I asked to be seated where I would not be looking into the bus station. We were seated in a three table room that unfortunately ended up being very loud; the other diners' voices carried considerably."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "We've been to Boca, The Palace, Jeff Ruby, and others and this is the best of the bunch. The menu is on the pricier side, but the quality of the food, the presentation is all very well done. A bit loud at times, and they could expand on their post-meal drinks (need to add their single malt list to their iPad drink menu), but this are just nitpick items. We will be back."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "The service was spot on and the overall vibe was relaxed but elegant. The octopus starter was complex and tasty but it was the stellar Veal Saltimbocca that was outstanding and memorable. A true melt in your mouth deliciousness that will definitely have me going back for more. One of my favorite restaurants in Cincinnati!"
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "This was our first experience dining at Nicola's. Upon arrival, we were very impressed with the friendliness at the hostess station. We also thoroughly enjoyed perusing the convenient tablet with long list of wines and cocktails complete with descriptions of the flavor profiles of each. Additionally, the food was fabulous, the truffle risotto and short rib dish was simply amazing; however, the dismissive attitude of our server, Ramon, put a damper on our experience. He was inattentive, never re-filled our wine, but managed to do so to the three tables around us, and brought our check while we were still finishing and had half our bottle of wine left. We hope to return to will make sure to request that he is not our server."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Really disappointed. Despite making reservations 2 weeks ahead of our date night, my wife and I were stuck at a table next to the coat check. Way too much traffic and noise as people were coming in and out. The server was lack-luster. Initially she was attentive, but soon we were almost forgotten. Long time between visits to check on us, took forever to order dessert and even longer to receive and pay the bill. Not impressed at all."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "My husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day at Nicola's. We had a fantastic experience -- delicious food, attentive service, and a remarkable wine list (presented on an iPad!). I ordered the Boucheron Goat Cheese salad and the Crispy Potato Gnocchi. Both were outstanding. I especially enjoyed the salad dressing and pistachios on the salad and the four cheese fondue sauce on the gnocchi. We were seated in the back room of the restaurant, which had a cozy fire blazing in the fireplace. At the end of the evening, I was given a rose in honor of Valentine's Day -- very classy. Overall it was a very quiet, elegant, and romantic evening."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Great food . I feel as if I am eating something totally different for the first time. Great job"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Our late night Valentines Day meal was superb in every way."
    Dined on 2/14/2014