Nicola's Ristorante
Nicola's Ristorante

Nicola's Ristorante

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.nicolasotr.com/
  • Phone: 5137216200x
  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Nicola's Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
236 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.8
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (200)fit for foodies (181)romantic (171)notable wine list (136)neighborhood gem (104)good for groups (41)hot spot (36)great for outdoor dining (35)late-night find (11)vibrant bar scene (8)scenic view (2)great for lunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Fabulous in every way!
    kemevaVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Loved the smoked sweet breads, gnocchi, soup, short rib, german chocolate cake, wine... etc... Great food, service and night!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Our server, Bradley was excellent. He was very knowledgeable about the menu and suggested a wonderful wine. I had the butternut squash tortellini and it was delicious. The pasta was tender and the sauce was outstanding. I was with three others and they enjoyed their meals.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    RFO2
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Fairly expensive, but the great food is worth it. Our appetizers were seared sea scallops in a white wine sauce, and foie gras covered in a fruit paste. Scrumptious. Entrees were gnocci in a delicate cheese sauce and veal osso bucca with green cous cous (flavored with a broccoli reduction). Dessert was panna cotta with apples diced in tiny pieces). With one glass each of Italian white wine recommended by the waiter (who was from a small town in Italy near Lucca), the whole meal scored 9+ out of 10. Nicolas is a perpetual winner in the best dining places ratings in the Cincinnati area, and the scoring is well deserved.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice evening
    Food4me
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We chose Nicola's to celebrate a recent retirement. Our waiter was very knowledgable and able to describe all dish preparations. Food was excellent. The greatest disappointment - we waited over a half hour between salads and entrees. It diminished the dining experience because no one on staff had acknowledged the long wait. We were not asked if we wanted additional cocktails, or wine or.... Instead we were left wondering if we had been 'forgotten'. Once our entrees arrived, we had to ask for a wine list, and again wait. So, our wine wasn't poured, or ready, when we began to eat our entrees. The food was delicious and the ambiance was sophisticated. Undecided if we will return and hope for a better service experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Italian food lovers
    4SaturdayNightDinersVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Food was exceptional starting with the beats, pasta dish, the rolls, the fluke fish entre........all was prepared to a t, delivered perfectly, was very delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An amazing experience.
    RookieFooder
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Coming to Nicholas was a truly amazing experience for us. We're not the most dedicated "Foodies" but the service, the ambiance and the setting was perfect. The food was an artistic expression in mouth -watering euphoria. Think about that for a second... Hats of to the Chef. He set up my imminent wedding engagement that evening perfectly. The wine list is overwhelming - but that's a good thing for us personally. We loved the iPad list and the amazing selection. We can't say enough about this hidden gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    harryhaller1
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Best Italian cuisine in town; artfully prepared, super wine list, fantastic service. Wife & I keep coming back. Thanks
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best kept secret is Nicola's
    Mindy
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    I had never heard of Nicola's Ristorante but my son had and been there many times. So, for my birthday this week he treated me to dinner. Now, I understand why he loves this place. It is over the top with amazing, amazing food and service. The server was kind and respectful towards all my questions. He explained the menu to me but I still had those questions. All the combined flavor's are totally and I mean totally so tasteful. Hat's off to the chef and the hospitality. If you are a local and haven't tried Nicolas you are missing out. If you are a local and want to impress family, friends or visitor's this is the place! My work place there are many out of state vistors who ask for reconmendations and I will definitely suggest
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We keep coming back......
    eeniemeenie
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    This past Saturday four of us dined and each thoroughly enjoyed our meal. If I could just stay away from that bread basket.......every entree wasdelicious and the desserts were a perfect ending to a lovely evening. Foie Gras is my Achilles heel. But I would order it again and again. The Minestra Tosccana soup was approeciated by my guests on the chilly evening. Alfter the Pork Belly appetizer we redeemed our arteries with the perfect roasted beet salad and the Broccoli with pancetta and caciocavallo and buttermilk. I ate the triangolopasta entree that was a perfect balance. Others had the Butternut Squash Tortelloni with speck and several had the seafood risotto (perfectly cooked al dente) and of course,those iressistable short ribs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ktrock8
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Excellent food and service. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and friendly. Dinner was delicious-great ambiance! Would definitely recommend and can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kate Mount Adams
    Kate
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    i had a wonderful meal here on Friday evening with two close friends that we have not seen for ages. Great food and fabulous wine, would recommend to a friend or colleague. Will be back again soon, wish there was a restaurant like this in Mount Adams!.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Misty123VIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    It was a fabulous meal! Will definitely be returning!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent all around
    TBPlayer
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Terrific food, great service and lovely atmosphere. We had the five-course tasting menu and were very happy—great balance and we left comfortably full but not bloated. The cooking is traditionally authentic but with a creative flair. The wine pairings were lovely, with pours that left us satisfied but not inebriated. We asked to make a substitution on one course and there was no problem. Our waiter was friendly and funny while maintaining the sort of respect you would expect in such an elegant place. The bill was quite reasonable—we've paid more for lesser experiences. We give it an unqualified enthusiastic recommendation and look forward to returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nicola's is a gem.
    bataviaeddie
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Gr at food; great service; extremely knowledgeable staff; and great ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Best
    Jimbev
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    In our opinion Nicola's is the one of the finest restaurants in Cincinnati. I cannot think of a better one yet. The service, ambiance, food, charm are first class.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding across the board
    OhioDiner
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    My wife and I stopped at Nicola's for our anniversary and were not disappointed in any way. The service, food, and atmosphere were all top notch. We will gladly return again in the future!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Expericence
    Chicagofoodie
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Absolutely fabulous food. It was our anniversary and we loved it!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Wonderful, accommodating staff. Excellent service. OsoBuco was dry but everything else was delicious and beautifully presented.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding meal
    juju
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The food was described very well by our waiter. Presentation was especially good. The entire experience was very enjoyable. We had never been to this restaurant before but definitely will be going back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good
    Stillcantsee
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Food was very good, portions are small. Very nice athomsphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Really Good
    goodeater
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Overall I had a positive experience. The food was great, our waiter was friendly, and the ambiance is pretty nice (despite sitting by the kitchen door). The gnocchi is awesome... super rich and creamy (so rich I highly recommend splitting it), probably some of the best I've had. Also had one of their fish entrees which was very good, but wasn't thrilled with it. Overall something just felt like it was missing for me to absolutely rave about the experience. Our waiter told us they were a little under staffed, so that could have been it. I'd go back, and likely will, but I'll probably just split a pasta dish and save my expensive, multi-course dining for Orchids.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Jimmyboy
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Nicola's is always good. Expensive, but worth it. Something not on the menu is a large antipasto for five. We asked and got a smaller one for 2 people. The service was good, although the waiter was a little too officious. We prefer a little more restraint in our wait staff. Nicola's bill tells us how much you should tip at various percentages. I would prefer to do the math myself.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing!
    Daniel
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    This was the first time my spouse and I have been to Nicola's and it was great. It was my wife's birthday and without us even mentioning anything, our waitress noticed her reading a birthday card so they gave her dessert on the house. It was great and we will be back for special occasions!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Wonderful 40th anniversary dinner! Our favorite restaurant in Cinti! The only negative was the table location by the kitchen door....noisy and active.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a treat!
    Cincytop
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We went to Nicola's early on a Saturday night for our anniversary. I like the atsmosphere in that it is upscale, cozy and not stuffy or pretentious. The bread basket is always a delight. We shared two pastas and the kitchen was nice enough to split the orders for us and present each of us with a nicely divided dish. The Triangolo was especially delicious. Being from Atlanta, we find it hard to find restaurants that offer consistently unique and quality food in a nice environment in Cincinnati but Nicola's hits the mark. Also, service is spot on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Before the Symphony
    MrsAnuci
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    My husband and I ate at Nicolas before attending the opening night of the Cincinnati Symphony. We had the cauliflower salad and the goat cheese salad. For our entrees we had the mezzaluna, the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese and the pea risotto with lobster. The portions were just right and the wine list was great. The best thing was the risotto, it was so good we were trying to figure out how to make it at home before it was gone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • RADdine
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This is the second time we ate at Nicola's. This time was not as enjoyable becasue they had a wedding party there that created much more noise than usual, and we had to eat on the second floor, and the service was slowed. The food was excellent, but seemed to be more expensive than the last visit, about $88 per person for a party of 4 with only one bottle of wine @ $50. Still one of the best resaurants in Cincinnati.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner at Nicola's
    Diner816
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    We were in town visiting colleges with my son, and found this Italian gem. My son loves pasta Bolognese and he was not disappointed. My dinner and my wife's were equally as good. Our waiter was very friendly, entertaining and did not hesitate to provide recommendations when asked. The wine list is quite extensive and presented on an iPad. The gazpacho starter was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend Nicola's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Food and Ambiance
    jah1
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    My husband and I adore dining at Nicola's. The food is amazing and the service is even better. We are so grateful to have found this wonderful restaurant. We keep going back and are now considered regulars! When we walk in the door the extraordinary people at the front greet us like we are their best customers, I am sure we're not but it is so nice to go somewhere and know that your business is appreciated. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that likes FANTASTIC food and WONDERFUL service. Don't miss hanging out in the bar for a bit, the bartenders are fabulous too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Brad
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I was recommended to try this restaurant and what an amazing place. I have been in Cincinnati since the beginning of 2014 and this is by far the best restaurant I have been to and I've been to quite a few. You are truly treated as a guest. The staff is excellent, professional and extremely courteous. I can't say enough about this place. I will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NICOLA'S
    Travelers
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Perhaps the finest restaurant in Cincinnati and one of the best in the state. A dining experience. The food is unique and excellent and the service is great. Have never had even an average meal. Treat yourself to a great dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb
    jdmdVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Food was as beautiful as it was delicious. Our server, Gabriel, was extremely knowledgeable and spoiled us with his great service and recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb
    Crazyforfood
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We love this restaurant. Food is always excellent and the service outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun place great food and atmosphere
    love2eatitalianfood
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Such a fun place with great food and service. I highly recommend this restaurant. Will definitely go back when in the Cincinnati area again
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service and Food Quality
    TomC
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Garth was our server and did a great job from his recommendations on the food as well as the Jermann Pinot Grigio. Food quality is always superb. Only recommendation would be that management would consider providing a free desert for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, as was the case for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Becky/ Martini Club
    Becky
    Dined on 8/28/2014
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    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HJF
    ivydad
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Our first time under the new Chef. Had the 5 course tasting menu. Good choices, ingredients and presentation. The meat on the salty side. Would recommend it without hesitation. Attention to details classy service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great service & food
    deb1
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    We have enjoyed the five course prix fix twice and enjoyed all the courses. The regular menu is wonderful too. Highly recommend, somewhat pricey but perfect for special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special occasion
    Lovelandmom
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This place does not disappoint. We came to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary, and will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Restaurant
    jdoecustomer
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Great restaurant and a place suitable for very special occasions, but not too fussy. The food is spectacular, perfectly prepared & presented, as to be expected for the price, and worth every penny. Staff is gracious, knowledgeable, and helpful. The bread basket is over the top. You will never be disappointed, no matter the occasion nor company.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.