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Permanently Closed - Barresi's Italian Restaurant

4.2
69 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Special Occasion

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. In the heart of Deer Park, a Cincinnati Suburb just west of Kenwood, resides a treasure. Barresi's has been a local landmark for years and has grown from six tables in a cafe-like setting to twenty-eight linen draped tables. Barresi's is beloved by its patrons for its authentic Italian cuisine; a blend of tastes from the southern olive oil region near Calabria, and the northern city of Genoa.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Tues - Thurs: 5p- 9pm Fri - Sat: 5pm to 10 pm
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Phone number
(513) 793-2540
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Payment options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Neighborhood
Additional
Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Takeout, Wine
What 69 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.0
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Quiet
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on December 31, 2017

Excellent libations food prepared to perfection. Fantastic evening.

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2017

I believe this was our 12th New Years eve at Barresi's. It would have been our 13th but had seen things somewhat declining a couple years back with a mediocre meal. We tried some place else the following year with a similar experience. So we gave Barresi's another chance and found that it returned to our expectations and reputation. We have been back the past couple years with noticed improvement each time. The veal was exceptional. Fork tender. The only negative I found it to be a little chilly but it was only 7 degrees out.

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1.0Dined on December 31, 2017

While the food and service were excellent, I will likely never return. We went New Years Eve and were informed that they had a limited holiday menu which was still lnclusive of many dishes. However, we were also given the regular menu as it had the wine list on the reverse side. As such, I learned that our entree prices were $6 above the normal cost. They added a 20 % service charge which is what I always tip and had no problem as they needed to insure the staff was taken care of on a holiday. However, they added it on the sales tax. My server did not bring me the sales tax so why was I charged a service fee on it. I never include sales tax in the amount I am tipping on as that has nothing to do with my server. I left feeling gouged and will not return.

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5.0Dined on December 23, 2017

This is the best AUTHENTIC Italian restaurant in the city! starting with the magical savory puffs of dough they serve with salad, the fish is terrific. I had the branzino which was the special, and my husband had the zuppa di pesci- both well seasoned and delicious! One warning to anyone making it a date night - you’ll likely leave with lots of garlic on your breath! :) it’s great to see that the classic restaurants are still delivering a great meal!

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2.0Dined on November 30, 2017

Very disappointing. The food was marginal and the service was provided by an untrained and inexperienced staff. Gnocci was terrible....

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5.0Dined on November 11, 2017

Dinner seemed perfect in every way. We were greeted immediately, taken care of by multiple servers and staff, and food was amazingly delicious. Plenty of healthy choices, or temptations to indulge. The moment you enter the restaurant, you are greeted with fabulous aromas to inhale. I'd go back in a heartbeat!

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1.0Dined on November 11, 2017

This place used to be good... The bread is fantastic. Everything else was pretty lame. My chicken was like a piece of rubber. I didn't send it back because I was afraid of what I might get...

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4.0Dined on November 4, 2017

The bread was wonderful. For appetizers we had Saganaki which was fabulous and deep fried ravioli also very good . We then ordered off the tapas menu. The crab cake was delicious . The roast pork was not very good. The tuna was a little dry . For desserts we ordered tiramisu and a cream type of thing (I can't remember the name) that had fruit at the bottom. The fruit was very fresh but you had to get to the very bottom of the tall glass to get to the fruit I would have liked more fruit . The cream wasn't a custard it was more runny than I expected we poured it into three coffee cups to split . I would probably not get dessert again. You're not supposed to be able to order off the tapas menu unless you're in the bar area but the waitress let us order off the menu.p so we could taste different things . The service was excellent whether it was the bus girl attending to every need, someone refilling your water, clearing your table or the waitress. The attentive service made the evening great. Overall it was a pleasant experience but they are a little overpriced .

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5.0Dined on October 28, 2017

My husband and I shared a bottle of wine. We chose the house Salad and Lasagna . The meal was so delicious. Everyone worked as a team. They were all so friendly and knowledgeable. Service was excellent and the food was really delicious. There was plenty of food on our plates. We brought some home with us. I can't wait to go back.

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5.0Dined on October 28, 2017

Food was excellent including the apple cobbler dessert. Our server was professional and personable making for a wonderful evening out.

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4.0Dined on October 21, 2017

The food was delicious. Very friendly server who was very helpful with suggestions!

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5.0Dined on October 18, 2017

The perfect spot to celebrate double anniversaries! The service is always lovely without being stuffy. The food never disappoints.

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5.0Dined on October 7, 2017

An excellent experience. Our server Mary was very enjoyable and knowledgeable made great suggestions.

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4.0Dined on August 24, 2017

It’s good as Italian options are in town, but if it’s trying to be more authentic the staff could be a little more knowledgeable of Italian specialties.

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2.0Dined on August 19, 2017

The menu has changed from the old Barresi's I used to know. I was disappointed with that. my dinner was good but my husband's lasagna was average.

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5.0Dined on August 12, 2017

Food is always on point but the service makes you feel like family. Love this place. Wish I lived closer.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2017

Always delicious food and pleasant, attentive wait staff! Such an enjoyable evening!!!

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2017

Great food and service. Really enjoyed it.

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2.0Dined on May 13, 2017

Very dated interior. Food and service were just OK.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2017

Found this restaurant on Open Table. We wanted an authentic Italian meal and Barresi's didn't disappoint!. We were a party of 3. Our waitress, Rosie, brought out hot zeppole for bread. What a treat! We started with the calamari, artichokes and carpaccio. All were wonderful! The salads were fresh and the dressings were homemade. For main courses, we had the gnocchi with pesto, veal marsala and zuppa di pesce. Again, all of the food was perfectly cooked and exactly as this Italian American from New Jersey would expect. Desserts weren't as good as the appetizers and main courses but were certainly better than most restaurants in Cincinnati.
The only disappointment of the evening was while eating our dessert another party was seated and were being told the specials. Our waitress, who admitted up front that she was not a regular employee but a friend of the owner who was helping out, never told us about the specials. If we had known, we may have made different decisions, but overall, we were very satisfied with our meal and will be back!

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2.0Dined on May 10, 2017

Last time my family and I had been there the place was packed and food was wonderful. The place had a wonderful vibe. That was 20 years ago. Recently We went on Thursday May 10th 2017 to celebrate my birthday and we was not impressed. Place was dead, restaurant had a mildewy/musty smell and food was just ok. Would never go back.

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4.0Dined on April 29, 2017

Great authentic Italian cuisine , excellent service.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2017

This is one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2017

both the food as well as the service were wonderful

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3.0Dined on March 11, 2017

I've been wanting to try Baressi's for a long time since a friend told me that it was her favorite restaurant. When we walked in, I was very enamored with the decor and the ambience. The service was excellent and the menu choices were enticing.

We started with an appetizer of mussels, which is one of our favorite things to eat. Unfortunately they were slightly overdone and the and the sauce was just average at best. My companion and I each had a veal dish for our main course. My piccata was not very tasty and boring. My companion's veal Parmesan was by far the most disappointing. The veal was not breaded which was surprising as I have never had veal Parmesan that did not come breaded, and the marinara sauce was tasteless. Considering this is an Italian restaurant, it was surprising and disappointing to say the least.

I was really hoping to love this restaurant because, as I said initially, I loved the ambience here and Ambience is very important to me. Unfortunately the food did not live up to any standard that I would want to repeat.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2017

We enjoyed a very good meal. My son found the meatballs to be fantastic, and my daughter loved her gnocchi. Our waiter delivered excellent service.

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5.0Dined on February 23, 2017

Great food, excellent service, reasonably priced for what you get.

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2017

We hadn't been here for years, and were pleasantly surprised. It is beautiful, the service is great, and we really enjoyed it.

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2017

We had a more secluded table which was nice. The servers were very attentive. The food is very good there but we feel that the prices are on the high side. We've been coming to this restaurant for decades as it was a favorite of our parent's and we could get a room to accommodate a special occasion like an anniversary. The ambiance is much improved over that time and the food is still very good but not quite as good as it used to be. We would still recommend it!

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4.0Dined on February 4, 2017

Very good quality food and ambiance in a cozy, quiet one-of-a-kind restaurant (definitely not a chain)!

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4.0Dined on January 25, 2017

Great service and food but, prices were a little high... especially by making all pastas and sides a la carte.

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4.0Dined on January 21, 2017

Food was good and the WAITRESS PATRICIA was fantastic which made the dining experience more enjoyable. A bit pricey for Italian but would go back with a groupon.

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2.0Dined on January 14, 2017

The dessert...we choose the custard...although tasty contained raw eggs which our server did not tell us. We figured it out afterwards and when we asked..she said "oh. I guess I should have said something."

The ambience was tired and could use some updating. Extremely dimly lit. Not romantic lighting...just difficult to see and read the menu.

The food was good. The best parts were the hot rolls and chicken breast which was cooked perfectly and very moist. But, it was unexpected that the pasta was a la carte. Very odd for an Italian restaurant.

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4.0Dined on January 14, 2017

The service was excellent. Our server was very attentive. Our water glasses staid full. The food is expensive but good. I would recommend it to others, but at that price I can't do it too often.

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3.0Dined on January 14, 2017

We hadn't been there in at least 20 years after a poor dining experience. We should have left it at that.

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5.0Dined on December 23, 2016

Greeted at entry by extremely friendly staff who seated us immediately. Our server was at our table within a few minutes and was super helpful. All her suggestions were top notch. Food was incredible. Overall excellent value.

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5.0Dined on December 15, 2016

Nothing new or trendy but consistently good. And if you've never had their zeppole, you are missing out.

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3.0Dined on December 15, 2016

I was a little discouraged after reading other reviews prior to dining here. I had never been before and was hoping for more. The prices were high (everything ala carte) and though the food and service was good, the prices were not justified. I went early so the noise was minimal but I could imagine it being quite loud with the restaurant even half full. Overall I would not recommend this restaurant to friends.

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2.0Dined on December 10, 2016

I really wanted to like this place. Two stars is probably generous when it comes to the food. I ordered the veal piccata. The veal was thin as it should be but was grey and simply did not appear to be pan seared in any way. The menu is a la cart so I ordered it with angel hair which is always a great combo. The meal came out and appeared to be swimming in water. I asked the waitress who looked at it and immediately took it back and they prepared another plate. However, the dish came out and again was swimming in liquid, only it likely had more butter in it this time. Someone explained that they used broth to make the dish. This is true, however, you have to allow the liquid (usually white wine, lemon juice and broth) to cook down in order to make this flavorful sauce that is enhanced by capers - which also looked as if they were rehydrating along with everything else on the plate. There was some minor flavor to it (which is why I gave it two stars) but it was impossible to eat. It felt as if I was fishing for the bits and pieces i could gather on a fork. The pasta formed a drippy mess when trying to eat it. (Like eating noodle soup with a fork!)
The ambiance seemed nice but the customers were loud in a small room. Can't fault the restaurant for people who don't know how to behave in public but it was annoying.
This place holds itself to be a fine dining establishment but it really missed the mark in every way with the exception of the service...and the bread. The little baked knots of dough were really, really good. In fact, I actually used a few to soak up the liquid in my meal and it still made little to no difference.
My husband had chicken over spinach and his chicken was bland and appeared more boiled than pan seared. It was worse than mine!
I hate writing bad reviews but when I can make a meal 10X's better than what I can get at a decent restaurant, something needs to be addressed. It's not a difficult dish, really.

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1.0Dined on December 9, 2016

Showed up with a reservation and was not honored. Said they knew we had it but they got busy and go to bar for a drink. Went to bar and there were no bartenders and we tried to get someone, but after 15 minutes, we left. Will not go back. The couple next to us finished and entire bottle of wine waiting.

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