National Exemplar

4.7
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984 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
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. The National Exemplar Restaurant is a full service, neighborly restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. We only use the freshest quality ingredients to prepare each meal. Our goal is to serve great food, provide friendly and professional service in a clean and relaxing atmosphere.
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Private Dining

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Specials

Monday Dollar Oyster Night

Fresh daily selections for $1

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: August 29, 2019

Ends: August 30, 2118

Availability: Mon 5:00PM-9:30PM

Tuesday Burger Night

Featured burger plus craft beer $14

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: August 29, 2019

Ends: August 30, 2118

Availability: Tue 5:00PM-9:30PM

What 984 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
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DG
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great, timely service. Outstanding food reasonably priced.
Nice selection of wines and well crafted cocktails.
All comes together for a most enjoyable dining experience

c
Cincinnati
324 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience5

A nice evening celebrating Christmas with dinner with my sisters! The ambiance is great!

DM
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Noisiest I’ve ever encountered here. Heavy holiday cheer? Not much any restaurant can do about that when it’s busy, but given how close the tables are, not a spot for intimate, quiet conversation.

Food was great, service a bit spotty, but again very busy Thursday night, just a little slower than I would have liked, not terrible by any stretch.

JW
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

On a busy Saturday evening, the atmosphere was hectic but friendly. We thought the servers were doing a very good job keeping up with the demands of the diners and providing a friendly, efficient service. The food we selected was well-prepared and tasty. The only negative thing was what we thought was overpriced beverages -- the draft beers seemed more expensive than normal and the glass of wine was on the skimpy side for the price paid.

j
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely the best Prime Rib in Cincinnati. The mushroom soup is fabulous. And the side of Brussels Sprouts are the best I've ever had. Overall a great place to dine.

National Exemplar
Responded 3 days ago

Thank you for being a part of the neighborhood tradition, jeff! We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your meal. Next time, join us for brunch! We look forward to serving you again.

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OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was the perfect way to spend a 40th anniversary!

K
Cincinnati
22 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Thought it was overpriced.

National Exemplar
Responded 5 days ago

Kathy, thank you for dining with us. Your feedback is appreciated, and we would like to learn more about your visit. At your earliest convenience, please call (513) 271-2103, and ask to speak to Andrew or Lisa. We look forward to hearing from you!

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MK
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We sat next to the fireplace. The service was very good. We will back!

LR
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We come as a group for a Prechristmas dinner every year. The service and food is excellent. We especially appreciate that we are invited To have a leisurely meal with time to exchange gifts and visit.

MP
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to eat. A little pricey but the food and service was great so worth it. Would definitely recommend

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

It was all good , we love sitting in the bar. My only complaint is dinner was quite slow to come.

S
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Great to work with for our large group of 12 when we were making reservations and getting seated. When it came to the delivery of our order the 4 kids meals were all co-mingled and delivered to the wrong seats. They also had no clue what seat ordered what meal when it came time to serve the adults. Overall a nice experience, just a little surprised!

OT
Cincinnati
34 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Lisa Hopkins greeted us nicely as she always does and Joey was a great server. The mushroom pasta was delicious and we would highly recommend the bison burger too.

VJ
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was delicious as usual, we moved here from NY 2 years ago and it’s one our favorite places in our new home.

National Exemplar
Responded on December 4, 2019

VJC1, we are always so happy to host you! It's our goal to make every guest feel at home!

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A
Cincinnati
14 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We eat at the national exemplar because it has great food and a very nice cozy atmosphere and great service.

LT
Cincinnati
147 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

At the top of the list of good value, comfort food restaurants. It is our No.1 go to for restaurant of a last minute, relaxing good dinner. The food has evolved over the past several years, getting better and/or more interesting and contemporary. Recently the wine list has also undergone a change with the addition of some higher end wines to go go with their good value list. Highly recommended for a casual, excellent meal.

National Exemplar
Responded on November 21, 2019

Thank you so much, LaTraviata! It's always such a pleasure serving you.

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KO
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

The only thing was the lasagna was dry and the sea scallops with couscous was to salty. Have had both meals before so was disappointed this time.

MG
Cincinnati
18 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cozy, quiet enough for conversation & really good food. The mushroom linguini was outstanding. Love this place!

GM
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrate our wedding anniversary each year at this restaurant because of the whole experience.

g
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the Exemplar! Quite the ambiance for a delightful dinner with a good friend. Our server Tara was wonderful. Our meals were excellent... and the portions were just right. The carrot cake was simply over the top.

We'll be back soon!

National Exemplar
Responded on November 21, 2019

Thank you for dining with us, geohood! We will be sure to pass your kind comments along to Tara. We are looking forward to your return!

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DS
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great meal in a beautiful setting. We enjoyed the evening very much.

MT
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Everything about this dining experience at a favorite spot met expectations EXCEPT that Open Table did not pass on my special request for a particular seating preference. Therefore the restaurant was unable to accommodate that request. Lesson learned, I suppose. I will not trust Open Table to do that again if using them in the future, but rather contact the restaurant directly.

M
Cincinnati
33 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Really delicious scallops and branzino. I frequently order scallops when eating out and I'm often disappointed. These were wonderful. Would definitely come back for more. Or server was super kind and polite!

SI
Cincinnati
23 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

DON'T MISS THE SHORT RIBS & PASTA- FABULOUS!!!!!

THE WAIT-STAFF AND AUXILIARY FOLKS ARE WARM AND WELCOMING.

JJ
Cincinnati
54 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistently great food and service—Tara is the best!

National Exemplar
Responded on December 4, 2019

Thanks, JeffandJess! It's always a pleasure to serve you!

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DZ
Cincinnati
21 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience2

Good food. Pleasant environment. The special listed on the menu for Friday and Saturday nights were sold out by 6:45; didn’t tell us until we tried to order the special.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my first time to the restaurant. My family members had all been, and grew up in Mariemont, so they were familiar with it. I can’t recommend it enough. Our server Joey was perfect. Can’t wait to visit again 😊

National Exemplar
Responded on November 6, 2019

Thank you so much for your feedback! We'll be sure to pass along the praise to Joey and can't wait for your next visit!

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LT
Cincinnati
147 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The N.E. keeps getting better. No, it is not a Restaurant L, an Orchids, or a Boca but I put it in the top tier of that next group of restaurants that have many dishes every bit as tasty as some of the big boys, just not as unique to the restaurant or as complex - nor as pricey. The menu is not large, but the food is definetly above the comfort level that was the tradition at N.E. before the last three chefs, each of whom has moved the food in a higher direction. The wine list keeps getting upgraded; there are now a few familiar name, higher end selections available for the special occasion. Highly recommended for a causal, good meal.

T
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a fantastic place to bring guest from out of town. Food was excellent, and the experience fantastic.

National Exemplar
Responded on November 6, 2019

Tuesday, it was a pleasure to host you and your guest! We take pride in being a neighborhood gathering place!

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KO
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my birthday with Sunday dinner at the Exemplar. The ambiance was warm and cozy. The wait staff were super friendly. Food service was prompt. The signature Hungarian mushroom soup and Bolognese lasagna were wonderful. It was a delightful evening.

JJ
Cincinnati
55 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always!

OT
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience5

The 6 dollar Caesar Salad had only romaine, zero dressing or anything else that would make it a Caesar. Service was intermittent. Otherwise, a good meal.

HC
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The service was lovely and the food delicious. The lamb slider was moist and well seasoned on a delicious bun. The mushroom fettuccine was rich and filling with a pronounced black truffle flavor and the brussel sprouts were cooked just enough and were complimented nicely by the bacon. They seated us right in front of the fireplace which was perfect for the cool autumn day and my warming cup of mulled wine.

JJ
Cincinnati
55 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Hungarian mushroom soup is the perfect start to any fall/winter meal, and the fireplaces add warmth and charm.

M
Cincinnati
25 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food - all three meals served, including the Salmon dish, Mac & Cheese and famous mushroom soup...and we liked the short rib dish. Very good. The service was excellent thanks to Prescilla and other servers. The place was busy but not noisy, and charming setting with fireplace going. It was a very nice Saturday night dinner. Will return.

National Exemplar
Responded on October 30, 2019

Thank you so much, Michael, for your feedback! We'll be sure to pass along the praise to Prescilla and look forward to your next visit!

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DJ
Cincinnati
18 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

All four food entrees were very good . Salads were fresh and good size . Bread was excellent . Carrot cake was large easily shared by four people . Very good service . polite and pleasant

TB
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Soup and salad delicious, honestly everything was. I can’t wait to go again

JJ
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been going to this restaurant for years and I always visit when I am in town visiting family

National Exemplar
Responded on October 30, 2019

JamesJaredTaylor, thank you for being such a loyal visitor to The National Exemplar! We always love hosting you!

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OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Service was not up to par

JC
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The food was good once we got it. My wife order bison burger well done it came out raw. They didn’t bring out sides until we tracked down the waiter and told him. The waiter never offered to get us another drink, we had to waive him down to get something else to drink. Once we got the food and it was corrected it was very good though.

National Exemplar
Responded on October 29, 2019

JamesC, thank you for dining with us. We value your feedback, and are disappointed to hear your visit did not meet the 5-star experience we strive to provide to every guest. We will be sure to pass your comments to our kitchen and staff to ensure your next visit is improved with us. Thank you.

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