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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
  • "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
  • "One of the nicest restaurants in Cincinnati. A true gem"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
    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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "The food & service are, as always, first rate. What more do we need to say."
    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
  • "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
  • "We had our rehearsal dinner here 17 years ago. Glad to see Nicola's is still around. A brief (a plus to me)seasonal menu and all done very well. They wished my wife a Happy Birthday when she sat down and provided a complementary dessert. Figure $50-$60 per person, just for food, but, it's worth it."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Best in Cincinnati with great food - don't miss the gnocchi - great setting and wonderful service. Dine outside of the weather's nice. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We oder five courses. All of foods were very salty. I wanted to claim but there was guest with us, so I didn't. I love this restaurant. I hope to fix it. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Wonderful wine list . I had gnocchi s and they were delicious...excellent service for our small group"
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "There's no better place to celebrate three birthdays. The food was marvelous, the service impeccable. To put it simply: Nicola's has gotten to be one of the finest restaurants anywhere. It's just that good."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Made Open Table reservations after reading reviews. We were in Cincinnatti it was our wedding Anniversary. They placed us in a hallway with two other booths, instead of the main restaurant. Decor was dated, but the food and service were good. Overall would not go back. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Food was awesome! Service was very good... Love the creativity of the Chef."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "The menu is limited. Their are no special entrees of the day. SO WHAT? The food was very good. Definitely would recommend to friends. The wine list is excellent and priced reasonably. Italian cooking of excellent quality. The menu is kept small so that every meal will be a special prep. The dishes are beautiful to view, and wonderful to taste."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Great service and fabulous flavors on the entrees. Pork tenderlon, marinated in sous vide, locked in the flavors. Tender and flavorful, but could have been prepared more on the medium side versus rare. Chicken entree and tagliatelle Bolognese were very good. Cauliflower insalata - light Mediterranean flavors, as was the fennel salad - delicious. Desserts so-so. Devil's food cake too dense, like a flourless version. Panna cotta - could have been lighter, less custardy."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Great first experience. Not really worried about the food, had heard to many excellent comments from friends. Our server, Bradley, did a great job of pacing the meal. Never felt rushed or that there was too much time in between courses. He did a very good job of explaining the menu. Maybe a touch pricey, but the entire experience was well worth the cost. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "A great dining experience with outstanding food and tremendous service. Very nice bar tenders and very accommodating to an elderly person with service needs. We will return again and often as possible! "
    Dined on 5/16/2014