1420 Sycamore Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $31 to $50
- 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.
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
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Nicola's Ristorante - Best Restaurants in Cincinnati ›
Nicola's Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
221 reviews since May 4, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (197)fit for foodies (167)romantic (158)notable wine list (127)neighborhood gem (94)great for outdoor dining (40)good for groups (36)hot spot (31)late-night find (9)vibrant bar scene (9)scenic view (3)great for lunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Becky/ Martini ClubBeckyDined on 8/28/2014Xxxxxxxxcxxxx. Cxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Cxxxxxxx. Xox. ZzzzxxxxvcfffdcggvhgdghvxhffcSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- HJFivydadDined on 8/27/2014Our 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special occasionLovelandmomDined on 8/23/2014This place does not disappoint. We came to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary, and will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special RestaurantjdoecustomerDined on 8/22/2014Great 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/22/2014This 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:
- Good, dependable, priceyTravelstoeatDined on 8/21/2014Appetizers 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:
- Magnificent experienceMarriedcoupleDined on 8/21/2014What 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MemorableDineAmiteDivasDined on 8/19/2014Ambiance 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Terrific!karldyeDined on 8/16/2014Nicola'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful evening!heroVIPDined on 8/16/2014Great way to spend a Saturday eveinng with friends -- delicious food, terrific drinks, slow, leisurely service -- a delightful night!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PaulbDined on 8/16/2014Had an excellent celebratory dinner here. Service is top notch, food was superb, and the evening was enjoyed by all.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stunning from beginning to endCourtneyDined on 8/15/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- So glad I got to go heresesingletonDined on 8/15/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Italian in OTRJSM2014Dined on 8/15/2014My 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:
- Excellent food and atmoshpheregoodfood4allDined on 8/15/2014Went 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:
- As Usual - Excellent!DeligtedDinersDined on 8/15/2014As usual...and what we've come to expect - Excellent! Food & Service always Superb.Special Features:
- The Perfect Evening OutMowweryVIPDined on 8/14/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- So close, yet so far awayEatingwellDined on 8/14/2014Service 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:
- OverpricedcincybirderVIPDined on 8/14/2014This 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:
- A fine dining gemAJcuisineDined on 8/13/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- eatitupDined on 8/13/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The first won't be the lastGNUCKSDined on 8/13/2014Thoroughly 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:
- Best meal in Cincy.OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/12/2014Absolutely unbelievable, definitely the best meal I have had yet in Cincy. Each plate had a unique flavor profile + great mix of textures.Special Features:
- Restaurant WeekCmartiniDined on 8/12/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FabulousheidilooDined on 8/12/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Italian BlissOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/12/2014This 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- awesome experience!katieNdanDined on 8/11/2014We 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful food!FoodIsLifeDined on 8/11/2014My 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FIRSTIMERSflywamsrDined on 8/11/2014Restaurant 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wine!!ififDined on 8/11/2014I 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.Special Features:
- ezdinerDined on 8/11/2014Based 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExquisitefoodforsteveDined on 8/8/2014Having 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- lindaVIPDined on 8/8/2014Once 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Will go backOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/6/2014Wonderful experience they treat you quite well. The food is excellent. Highly recommendSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AMAZING!!KindleVIPDined on 8/2/2014this 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We were treated like royaltyBradinCicyDined on 8/1/2014The servers at this place really know how to make people feel special.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hard work pays offFoodkingDined on 8/1/2014Absolutely 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great service and atmosphereDaveseeVIPDined on 7/30/2014Even 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 ...Special Features:
- Lives up to its past reviewsNCTravelerDined on 7/26/2014We 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!Special Features:
- One of Cincinnati's finestcvg2014Dined on 7/26/2014Another 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.