National Exemplar

4.7
1297 Reviews
$30 and under
American
The National Exemplar, located on the first floor of the Mariemont Inn, is a popular neighborhood restaurant. It offers American-style cuisine in its spacious dining room or relaxing outdoor patio. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the National Exemplar offers an outstanding experience.

Southerby’s Pub, located off the lobby, offers dining as well as a cozy place to have a drink and features oversized chairs overlooking one of the original 1920’s fireplaces. In the evening settle down in an over-stuffed sofa and savor a drink with the locals in this intimate lobby pub.

In April of 1983, The National Exemplar began operation in the Mariemont, Ohio landmark, the Mariemont Inn. The Inn was constructed in the mid-1920's as a small piece of the very unique Mariemont community, founded by Mary Emery. The National Exemplar Restaurant was named after learning that Mary Emery once referred to her developing community as the National Exemplar, meaning national model community.
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What 1297 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined 18 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Will be back in the future.

CC
vipCeeCee
Cincinnati
39 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The service was impeccable. The food was phenomenal. The drinks were outstanding! The only down side was it’s pretty dark in there.

GW
GaryW
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good food, nice outdoor seating, fine service.

BV
vipBVHunt
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Anniversary dinner at a place we haven’t been before. A great choice.

A
vipAlzero
Charleston
14 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We've been here on and off for 40 years and it's still consistently great. The restaurant is run so well, especially and obviously because of its management and the chef behind the scenes. It's a gem of a place with outstanding service, servers, and food. Well worth a visit if for no other reason than to enjoy the memorable environment. But the food is outstanding, too!

SC
SandraC
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner from the beginning to the end. The National Exemplar's interior is lovely and warm. From the moment we entered to the moment we left, we were treated wonderfully by the staff. Service was impeccable, prompt, warm, and attentive. The food was excellent. My Seafood Linguini was full of fresh shellfish, delicious and plentiful. My husband said his liver and onion dish was the best he'd ever eaten and perfectly prepared. We started with cups of the Hungarian Mushroom Soup which is worthy of its excellent reputation. The wines we ordered were perfect accompaniment with our dinners. We were seated in a cozy and quiet booth. The restaurant was full but we had no difficulty hearing and our server. We will definitely be back.

LD
vipLDPoch
Cincinnati
37 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated my daughter's birthday in style with another wonderful dining experience at the NE! Well wishes from the entire staff plus the champagne and classic carrot cake dessert made it the perfect end to a very special day. Always a pleasure...

LT
vipLaTraviata
Cincinnati
187 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

just a quick one dish (Branzino) meal that was excellent. Great attentive service on frequent drinks.

A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
95 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

This is our regular oyster at the Exemplar on Monday. My husband and I each had one dozen freshly shack oysters. As usual, the oysters were freshly shacked. Oysters were sweet, had a taste of the sea. It is the best oysters any place around Cincinnati. And the price of 1$ each can’t be pass up. We love Oysters, so we are there pretty much every Monday to enjoy the fantastic delicious value.

BR
vipBobR
Cincinnati
25 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always the food and service were excellent

N
vipNatalie
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We decided to try dinner at a favorite brunch spot for our anniversary dinner and it didn’t disappoint! The service was top notch and we will definitely return for dinner soon!

RS
vipRichS
Cincinnati
44 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful setting for al fresco dining. Everything we ordered was excellent, and the service was great. One of our very favorite places to dine.

PM
vipPegM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sat putside- beautiful setting. Food was lovely, despite starting out with stale bread.

A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
96 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Service as usual is excellent. We continue to love their Monday night Oyster special. No other restaurants in Cincinnati can top the Exemplar. The taste and the value is unmatched.

R
vipRunningmama14
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful place to celebrate our anniversary! Service was outstanding!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time there. Went after a movie and we were late but no hassle to accommodate the 3 of us. Very nice old style decor. We all loved our meals and split the carrot cake for dessert- delicious. It was my wife and my anniversary and they treated us to a small flight of champagne. Definitely go back!

s
vipscotte
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We loved it! Food was amazing! Service even better! We will be back

NE
NEALP
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived a few minutes late. They were okay with the 10 minutes late. The waiter was very nice and recommended food. The food was fantastic. We will return to try something different.

R
Rick
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Plenty of choices. Great staff. The carrot cake is amazing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience4

Prime rib was fantastic as usual, but server was on the struggle bus. Brought a half filled drink, and took so long to get silverware I just went to the hostess and got it myself.

GH
GeorgeH
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, our meals were delicious and the service was impeccable. It you have a chance to enjoy the Exemplar's outside dining, by all means try it out. We find it rather relaxing to watch the Mariemont traffic float by and listen to the chirping birds. The horticultural work around the dining patio is very nice.

MC
MartyC
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful meal with terrific service!

LT
vipLaTraviata
Cincinnati
187 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a great night to dine outdoors on the Exemplar's very nice patio. Instead of our usual entry oriented dining, we opted for several appetizers and a very nice bottle of Champaign. Everything was excellent and, using the best evaluative measure: we would buy each of them again. I would be happy to go back tonight and have the exact same meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food as usual.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Great food. Lousy service. Have been previously and service was great however this time absolutely horrible. By the time we were both done with our dinners our server asked how everything was. Also never checked on us even during appetizers to ask if we needed any beverages. They normally provide bread for the table however we didn’t get that this time. Was very disappointing for how expensive the meal was. Except a higher level of service when you’re at a restaurant that has menu items upwards of 30-40$ in my opinion.

GM
GeorgeM
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was very attentive but not intrusive. The food was great, but it would have been nice to have more choices. Everyone seemed to work as a team which I found very refreshing. Overall it was a great experience.

r
rev1
Cincinnati
16 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always a pleasure to dine at National Exemplar. Good food in a very pleasant environment.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wonderful first dining experience! Sat at a beautiful outdoor table. Jenna, our server, was very friendly and helpful. She even gave us a little complimentary champagne for our first time in. The entire waitstaff was kind and attentive. Food was outstanding. Will definitely be back!

A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
96 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

We went to Examplar on a Tuesday to try their Burritos. We had the meat Burritos. It was good. We also tried their ew salad, which is a Strawberries and rhubarb salad this is a new dish, and it was delicious. I think it is time that National Examplar offer their diners a new soup. That Hungarian Mushrooms Soup is at least 40 years old. It is time to either retired it or offer 1 or 2 new soups on the Menu. Maybe even a Gazpacho soup in the Summer.

AM
AnnM
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The three of us had a great meal with wonderful ambience in our booth inside the main dining room. Service was prompt and very friendly. Adorable young wait staff. Food was great - each of us cleaned our plates! We each ordered some version of their pasta dishes. Loved the side dish veggies too.

LT
vipLaTraviata
Cincinnati
187 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good as usual. The National Exemplar over the years has moved from a local comfort food spot to a choice that fits into the limited group of very good second tier Cincinnati restaurants, while still maintaining its neighborhood comfort feeling. Excellent dining that won't break your budget. Highly recommended.

MD
vipMarjorieD
Cincinnati
25 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleasant to spend an evening on the outdoor patio. Great food with good selection of entrées and salads. Caring prompt service. Beautiful flowers all around, nice view without too much traffic noise. This was all pre-cicada, though!

MG
MarkG
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was excellent and so was the prime rib.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food. Great service. Lightning in the bar area was a bit too dim.

GF
GerryF
Omaha
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall3food4service5ambience4

Food and dinner drinks did not come out in a timely manner. Food and service was good.

BI
vipBettyIvano
30 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had wonderful service and food was excellent

PM
vipPatrickM
Chicago
53 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

After a wonderful graduation day, topping the day off with a tremendous dinner at National Exemplar was a great experience to cap off the honor with an incredible restaurant. The service and staff were attentive, proactive polite and professional! Coming from many hours away, choosing the right place, this restaurant came highly recommended- With good reason. Everything from food quality, to service to cleanliness and sanitation, this restaurant is a gem in the Cincinnati area. There was not a single concern in our group about the evening, only raving compliments. A fine dining experience, that exceeded all expectations! Great job team!

H
sallyH
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The National Exemplar is truly a hidden gem. Always a good atmosphere and the food is a great bang for the buck. Their kitchen is really putting out some great dishes. Keep it up.

LL
LizL
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall3food5service4ambience1

Loud anti-vaxxers at the next table made for some uncomfortable indoor dining.

M
Merissa
Pittsburgh
10 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service! Celebrated a birthday and received a night champagne toast at the end.

FAQs

National Exemplar does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. National Exemplar also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (513) 271-2103.

National Exemplar is rated 4.7 stars by 1297 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

Tweets by National Exemplar