National Exemplar

4.7
1326 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.
avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details
What 1326 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
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
progress_bar_value foreground of progress bar
progress_bar_background background of progress bar
Sort by
Filters
A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
103 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Had a wonderful meal. Love the fresh oysters as usual. Had the Mussel Carbonara for dinner. They have change the recipe a little. It has a lot of bacon.. it is very flavorful.
Everything we had were fresh and tasty. That is why we keep going back every week. The best Oysters around!

National Exemplar
Responded 2 days ago

It's always our pleasure serving you! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your dinner and we can't wait to see you in again next time!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Found this place randomly looking for a different place to have dinner within a 20 minute driving range. They greeted us with a smile and allowed our party of five to seat in the patio even though it was getting dark already. Food was very good, everything we tasted was delightful. The mushroom soup was excellent, and the cuts of meat were prepared spot on. My wife's pasta with short ribs was divine. Out waiter, was very pleasant and was very attentive to my son and daughter requests which I appreciate. The location is within a German like town and it is very beautiful. Would visit again just to walk around, and have brunch in the same restaurant, which based on other reviews seems to be excellent as well.

J
Jennifer
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an excellent meal at National Exemplar! The food was delicious and service was excellent! They even made a nice sign for the occasion we were celebrating.

National Exemplar
Responded 3 days ago

Thank you, Jennifer! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit with us! We hope to see you in again soon!

Report
BS
vipBerSher
Naples
49 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband is from Cincinnati and has eaten here many times. This was my first visit and I hope I will be able to return! We ate out on the front porch, which was lovely. Everything was perfect, the atmosphere, food, wine, etc. it was nice and quiet so we could talk to each other without yelling. I have nothing negative to say.

National Exemplar
Responded 3 days ago

Thank you so much for choosing to share your experience! It's our pleasure making sure your time with us is an exemplary one! We can't wait to see you in again soon!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service table side and Lisa runs an amazing restaurant!

National Exemplar
Responded on July 21, 2021

Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! Lisa is our own Exemplar gem!

Report
j
vipjake
Cincinnati
19 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This eatery has the best food in town.They never cut corners and service is always as good as can be.Megan is a great server and is always funny and cordial. Keep up the good work!

National Exemplar
Responded on July 21, 2021

Thank you for stopping in, Jake! We try our best to provide exemplary service to each of our guests and we are happy to hear you enjoyed your visit. We hope to serve you again soon!

Report
A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
104 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

As usual, we love the Oysters. This time, we brought two friends with us who also love Oysters. One of the order Liver w/onions for dinner. He said it was as good as his mother used to made them. They plan to come back with us in the future.

National Exemplar
Responded on July 21, 2021

We are so glad to hear you and your party enjoyed the oysters! We can't wait t serve you again soon!

Report
CP
vipCarolPms
Cincinnati
125 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Liver & onions fans -- this is your place ! An odd dish to find these days but this is the best in town -- just enough, prepared correctly, not dried out or over fried. Mashed potato base was not too intense to take away from this dish. Carrot cake followed -- moist, quite generous portion. I do think the place needs some updating in the decor. Do not think this is your grandparents type of place -- it is truly a neighborhood gem worth venturing out.

National Exemplar
Responded on July 20, 2021

Thank you for stopping in! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit with us, it's always our pleasure serving you! We also appreciate your feedback on the decor, we value our guests' thoughts as it helps us identify ways we can improve for the future. We hope to serve you again soon!

Report
R
vipRojodo
Cincinnati
13 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food and love the old world vibe in the lounge area!

RP
RebeccaP
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quiet, relaxed, upscale ambiance. The mushroom soup is amazing.

National Exemplar
Responded on July 20, 2021

Thank you for stopping in, Rebecca! We hope to see you in again soon!

Report
j
vipjake
Cincinnati
20 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best oysters in town...I wish they would not run out! Great drinks Always a great place to dine

MM
MsMolly
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and a wide variety of items on the menu.

A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
104 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

We love the National Examplar. Service is top notch and Lisa, the Manager is a consummate professional. I always have my hot tea, lemon and honey. Lisa and her crew always come over to check making sure everything is OK. We dine there every Monday, to enjoy their very fresh and delicious Oysters. We cannot enjoy Oysters so fresh and delicious anywhere else in Cinci area. Also Oysters are from different area, not only always the same place. The Examplar is a gem in this area.

SG
SarahG
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service. The manager Lisa, is always so nice and so professional. She makes sure guests are treated right!

MC
vipMikeC
Cincinnati
8 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Nice meal. Attentive servers. Lingered over the warm carrot cake to end the meal.

PE
vipPattyE
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience3

The restaurant was packed and it seemed too much for the staff to handle efficiently. Waited 30 minutes for our reservation, ordered quickly, drinks came and then salad in a timely fashion and main course did not arrive for almost an hour. Asked several times about where the food was -"it will be out soon"By the time it came they were closing and there was no time for dessert etc. Server said when we asked there had been some kind of accident earlier and that was the reason for the problem Dont know what to say but that but it was excessively long waiting with no apology until we wakes about it. Too bad, because the food was very good and the server and hostess were very nice but waiting almost an hour for grilled fish was extreme.

JO
vipJOGMan
Naples
51 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

When we’re in the area we tend to dine there. The charm and food is always been very good.

A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
104 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

We really enjoyed our dinners Monday night. Almost every Monday we are here. No other restaurants in Cinci, West Chester or Mason area has wonderful Oysters as in the Examplar. They are so fresh, plump and deliciously briney. As usual, my tea is definitely hot with honey and lemon on the side. Lisa the Manager came by as usual to check on us , making sure everything was the way it should. Icing on the cake I was given a huge piece of complimentary Carrot Cake for my birthday. What a sweet and though gesture. We simply love the Examplar. They also have a new item on the Menu (Pork Chop), it was juicy and delicious. Make sure to order it next time you are there.

MC
MartyC
Cincinnati
7 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful meal, wonderful service.

S
Shelbyville1
Western KY
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great service. Wonderful mushroom soup and prime rib. Returned the next morning for breakfast.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

MH
vipMichaelH
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We love to eat here . But tonight the service was not great.
We waited so long for drinks. Some food was great(French dip) some not. ( steak salad ) asked for dressing on side and it was smothered on the salad. Also wanted a wine menu for dinner , got it and then no one ever came back to take the order …

JT
vipJohnT
Cincinnati
41 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had the best chicken on my caesar’s salad! Yum

D
Doc1
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dine there regularly ever since its beginning. Wonderful setting, great food, teriffic service. Attention to our anniversary was appreciated. Always a treat and never disappoints. I have one very minor concern and that is the side dishes offered. I personally like creamed spinach, many do not. Carrots were not on the menu and why? They are plentiful, cheap and used to be offered. I consider this wonderful establishment as well deserved upscale reputation, so why in the world offer Mac and Cheese unless it is for very young children and I canot see that they are in attendance every time we dine there. So why offer that dish? I used to order Roasted Brussel Sprouts or Cauliflower but I have not seen them in some time and I am very tired of Broccolini! Same for Whipped Potatoes. I would love to see some new items offered. That aside, this is our very most favorite eating establishment for special occasions. Keep up with the great quality, we love this place!

E
Eat2live
Cincinnati
7 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice quiet place for us to talk.

CB
ChrisB73
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always consistent service and always a good meal.

B
vipBobby
Cincinnati
260 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So good as always. Truly the best prime rib anywhere we’ve ever gone. That’s what my guest had. I had the new tweaked version of the mushroom fettuccine. Now with penne and truffle. I may have to order it ten or twenty times more to see which one I prefer. It was delicious. Hungarian mushroom soup is to kill for.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service.

Report
LM
LoriM
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

National Exemplar is consistently amazing! We have never had an experience that was less than excellent. Food and service is exceptional!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, great ambience and wonderful food. Oysters were exceptional!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

CC
vipCeeCee
Cincinnati
42 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
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 on June 12, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good food, nice outdoor seating, fine service.

BV
vipBVHunt
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

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

A
vipAlzero
Charleston
14 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
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 on June 11, 2021
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
40 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2021
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
192 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

A
vipAlesu
Cincinnati
104 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2021
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
28 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always the food and service were excellent

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 1326 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