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
227 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.8
  • Food4.8
    Service4.8
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (198)fit for foodies (173)romantic (163)notable wine list (126)neighborhood gem (103)great for outdoor dining (39)good for groups (37)hot spot (36)vibrant bar scene (9)late-night find (9)scenic view (3)great for lunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This is without a doubt the best meal I have had in Cincinnati. The last meal I had like this was in Florence, Italy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, dependable, pricey
    Travelstoeat
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Appetizers and salad were fine, nice taste and decent portions but for the price there could be a little more food. Entrees were both underwhelming, for different reasons. My pasta was a filled triangle with corn and chicken. The pasta was nice, the sauce too sweet from the sweet corn, and the chicken was chunks of rather boring chicken breast. Really? My husband had the Branzini, a lovely fish cooked nicely and with seasonal vegetables, but the presentation was odd- a large square plate with food on one half, barely covering the side, and nothing on the other half of the plate. Just a big white bare plate. Not pretty. Net, a nice dinner but not a stand out. And for $170, with wine and tip, no desserts, it fell short.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Magnificent experience
    Marriedcouple
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    What a wonderful place to celebrate our wedding anniversary! The service was excellent, the food outstanding, and the wine superb. We highly recommend the Tomasino wine. We also greatly enjoyed several stuffed pasta dishes which were freshly made and beautifully flavored. Our only complaints were 1) a large party that was somewhat loud during our dinner experience, and 2) the menu is rather expensive which can be hard to justify particularly given that I have a knack for making gourmet pasta. On the other hand the food was superb and the portions were good; moreover the restaurant was generous with regards to offering complementary dessert/treats to commemorate our special occasion which help offset the impact of the cost.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consumer delight
    Zozo
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I have been dining at Nicolas since they opened and have never been disappointed. The wait staff is friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. The food is sublime, starting with the very best bread basket I have ever had, I always look forward to it. We did the 7 course chef's menu with wine pairings and each course was a sensory and visual delight. My husband and I travel extensively and always make a point of eating at Michelin 2-3 star restaurants, Nicolas deserves 3 stars by my reckoning.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Memorable
    DineAmiteDivas
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Ambiance is perfect: soft lighting, brick walls, wooden beams. Staff was attentive, and lets the diner drive the pace of service. At first glance, the menu was daunting, but the server explained everything in detail, and answered all of our questions. Chef offers pairings I've never imagined (think, Burgundy Truffles on Potato Gnocchi!). He even prepared a dish no longer on the menu table side for some long-time customers. Now that's going the extra mile!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrific!
    karldye
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Nicola's is a real gem, tucked away at the very edge in Over The Rhine. The food is extraordinary, seemingly a combination of very high end Italian cuisine with French overtones. Truly a magnificent meal. Expensive, and worth it. Put it this way, I ate there two nights in a row!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful evening!
    heroVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great way to spend a Saturday eveinng with friends -- delicious food, terrific drinks, slow, leisurely service -- a delightful night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Paulb
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Had an excellent celebratory dinner here. Service is top notch, food was superb, and the evening was enjoyed by all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stunning from beginning to end
    Courtney
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    My boyfriend and I came here for restaurant week and had an amazing time. The tables are situated in a way that promotes and intimate dining experience. The service was incredible, but the crown jewel was definitely the food. Where else can you enjoy freshly made pasta paired with impeccable wine? Do yourself a favor and splurge on this place, you won't regret it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So glad I got to go here
    sesingleton
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I visited this restaurant during restaurant week, the menu was fantastic! Our server was very informative & did a wonderful job of explaining the dishes...so well in fact that he changed my mind on what I was going to get. I was not disappointed at all! Fantastic food & service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Italian in OTR
    JSM2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    My wife and I recently celebrated her birthday at Nicola's. The entire experience was outstanding! The food quality and preparation was absolutely on par with fine restaurants in Italy. We just moved back to the US from Europe and had the opportunity to visit Italy several times. Nicola's would be right at home in Northern Italy. The waiter - Jordan - was very personable, and was very knowledgeable about the menu, ingredients and preparation. The house made breads were fantastic, and our meals were the best we've ever had in a US Italian restaurant - and we travel coast to coast regularly. We would highly recommend Nicola's to anyone looking for a true Italian meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and atmoshphere
    goodfood4all
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Went for restaurant week and found the food delicious, the wine menu extensive and the ambiance perfect. Tried items that I would normally not like the cauliflower salad. The waiter was attentive and answered our questions providing input to favorites. Would recommend and will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As Usual - Excellent!
    DeligtedDiners
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    As usual...and what we've come to expect - Excellent! Food & Service always Superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Perfect Evening Out
    MowweryVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    My husband and I ate here during Restaurant Week and both had the three-course special. It was a beautiful night so we sat outside. All in all, it was a memorable evening. The food and wine were outstanding. The service very good. Nicola's is a restaurant that should be on everyone's "Must Try" list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So close, yet so far away
    Eatingwell
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Service was spectacular, but food missed the mark. Some dishes were excellent, including the foie gras. Others, however, were bland -particularly the pork tenderloin entree. Would dine there again, but the food didn't live up to reviews.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced
    cincybirderVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    This is my 2nd time to Nicola's. We went for Restaurant Week. The cucumber gazpacho was fantastic, the pork loin was mediocre, the panna cotta was good. For what you get, I think the food is way overpriced and it's not the best I've ever had, especially at their regular price. The service from the kitchen was super slow. They forgot one of the entrees for someone at our table. Our server was fun and very nice but all in all it was a so-so experience.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A fine dining gem
    AJcuisine
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    My second visit did not disappoint. While quite busy for a week night we did feel rushed and the service was very attentive. Great wine list, outstanding selections, entrees for every taste and palate all served in a cozy and warm environment. Our server was amazing and made our dining experience all the more special.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • eatitup
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    The food is always excellent, inventive and esquitely presented. Almost too pretty to eat. And i have never had poor service in this restaurant either. All service personel are polite, wanting to please and friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The first won't be the last
    GNUCKS
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Nicola's during restaurant week. Service was top notch from the moment we walked through the door. The food was up to our expectations and lovingly presented. Have been to Via Vite many times but our first time to Nicola's. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best meal in Cincy.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Absolutely unbelievable, definitely the best meal I have had yet in Cincy. Each plate had a unique flavor profile + great mix of textures.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Restaurant Week
    Cmartini
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    My boyfriend and I visited for restaurant week, which coincided with our anniversary. I can't see us retuning regularly or if there aren't any special events going on. The food was wonderful, but if you're spending a lot (with the regular menu, not restaurant week) I think you can do better elsewhere. However, the atmosphere is very intimate and romantic, which other places that are equally expensive don't have going for them. I will say the mozzarella on the farfalle was one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted. I initially though I had eaten a chunk of butter on accident - it literally melts away in your mouth. I would reserve this place for special occasions with a small group, and would definitely return if a deal is going on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous
    heidiloo
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    I have been to Nicolas several times before and it's always been good. I went for restaurant week with a large group. They could not have been more accommodating. The menu was delicious. We will be back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.