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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
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Great way to spend a Saturday eveinng with friends -- delicious food, terrific drinks, slow, leisurely service -- a delightful night!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "As usual...and what we've come to expect - Excellent! Food & Service always Superb."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Absolutely unbelievable, definitely the best meal I have had yet in Cincy. Each plate had a unique flavor profile + great mix of textures."
    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."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "This was my second visit in a week and both trips were exceptional from a food stand point. Fresh, delicious and authentic. The service was better the first time. The second time it was lacking in attention. The atmosphere could be very elegant but it misses the mark. Not horrible but could be so much better. But will I be back? Absolutely. I live over a hundred miles away but the food is worth the drive."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "We had a great experience dining here during restaurant week. LeAnn was an shading server and the food was beyond our expectations! We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "My wife and I ate here during Restaurant Week, knowing that the menu is pricier than we usually like to pay. To our delight all three courses were fantastic, as was the service. We would recommend this to anyone who wants a special dinner out."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Restaurant week brought us out for the the first time. The food and service will bring us back!!! our server(Jordan) was a true pleasure....so knowledge of the menu."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "I went to Nicola's for restaurant week and the menu was perfect!! I had the cauliflower, farfalle and the orange cake; plus a perfect wine suggested by the server. Me and my best friend went but this would be an excellent restaurant for a 1st date."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Based on my previous visits to this restaurant the waiter's are usually very knowledgable about the menu and engage in discussion about the items on it but this time he didn't go into any detail. Also we were seated in a small (wine?) room with 4 tables. I prefer the open restaurant area."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "Having proposed to my girlfriend here, I was simply blown away by the entire dining experience. Our server, Denny, was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and wine list options. After I proposed, he promptly brought out two glasses of champagne. For couples, I would recommend splitting the salads and entrees. They will bring everything out on separate plates for you and it will allow you to experience more of the menu. We ordered a bottle of wine, salads, gnocchi, triangolo, tiramisu, and dessert drinks while escaping for about $150. Everything was simply amazing. For the experience we had, it was well worth the price. I can't wait to go back here for our anniversary!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Once again we had a delightful dinner. The food was very good. You can't go wrong with the gnocchi. I should have gone for the chicken but we were suggested a meal that we didn't enjoy much. Great service by Kenny and Andrew!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Wonderful experience they treat you quite well. The food is excellent. Highly recommend"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "this restaurant is a must. There was not one aspect of the food, service, atmosphere or attitude that was not outstanding. Boca, another nice restaurant in town, gets a lot of attention. However, I feel Nicolas is #1. The dishes we had were so creative like nothing I'd had before. Smoked sweetbreads (and I never liked sweetbreads!!) with smoked figs, cannenilla beans paste. So good! Cauliflower with crushed pistachios, creamy buffalo mozzarella, golden raisins, lamb ossobucco over a European couscous and a gnocchi that could compete with any Italian mamas homemade one. I could go on and on. Please go. Nicolas was packed, but not loud and such an intimate atmosphere. Service outstanding."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "The servers at this place really know how to make people feel special."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Absolutely nothing to complain about at Nicola's. From valet-arrival to departure when Chip our outstanding server had our car brought around. In between, delicious and properly portioned courses - I had the lamb osso bucco - served with flair. A delightful experience."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Even though I messed up the reservation, the host staff was very effective in covering up my mistake and we were seated within a half hour! The food was good - I liked the pea soup over risotto with lobster, my wife thought it too much with undercooked peas, I would have liked more lobster. One surprise was what was described as beefsteak heirloom tomato by the server was the cherry tomatoes on a caprese salad. They were delicious, but somehow I imagined a single large slice of tomato. My wife ordered the traditional pasta, and despite her taste for salty dishes, she said it was too salty. Overall we loved the meal, the service, the wine, the atmosphere ..."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "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