National Exemplar

4.7
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1064 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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What 1064 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 · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GH
GeorgeH
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The NE has become one of our favorite places to dine locally.

SK
SusanK
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food excellent. Prime rib was delicious as was the salmon and duck breast.
Consistently good service

A
Allison
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We checked out National Exemplar for the first time during restaurant week and were super impressed by the food and service!

B
viplindaB
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely dinner on the patio. We both had seafood dishes that were delicious. Our wait person was very attentive but not too much! It was just what we needed in this difficult time.

KN
KristineN
Cincinnati
13 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Mushroom pasta was fantastic! Service was slow however(corona world). Bar tender made me a custom mocktails that was great!

BK
vipByKaren
Cincinnati
23 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sat outdoors and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and warm temps while dining on one exquisite dish after the other. Started with the Reuben Sliders then on to dinner. I had the Branzino (outstanding), my daughter had the Grilled Caesar salad with the Blackened Scallop dinner (wonderful, spicy dish), my husband had the Prime Rib Au Jus. Dinner was followed by hearty slices of warm carrot cake, chocolate cake (sprinkled with sea salt) and an out-of-this world strawberry shortcake. Back to dinner out was spectacular!

National Exemplar
Responded on June 26, 2020

ByKaren, thank you for dining with us and for your kind words! We're so glad to hear of your positive experience with us — we absolutely loved serving you!

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AM
AbbyMG
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My family has gone to the National Exemplar for every special occasion for the last few years and every time it’s amazing. The food, the service, everything. We always have an amazing time and can’t wait to go back.

National Exemplar
Responded on June 26, 2020

AbbyMG, thank you so much for your continued support and feedback! We are honored to take part in your special occasions and we love helping you celebrate. With your permission, we would love to share your review on our social media channels and website. Please let us know if you are interested or have any questions. Thank you!

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DS
vipDSVS
Cincinnati
41 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Food was really very good. Beef Liver was excellent. Good job in distancing and overall very enjoyable. We will be back.

C
vipCelebration
Cincinnati
18 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We enjoyed a wonderful anniversary dinner at National Exemplar. The staff was AMAZING. We requested an outside table but because the evening was so beautiful guests were staying longer than usual and we had to wait to be seated. The staff was so kind and apologetic that we didn't mind at all. Our server was excellent - very attentive, made great recommendations, etc. Due to Covid 19 we had difficulty finding a restaurant that was open and willing to take reservations. We're so thankful National Exemplar allowed us to reserve a table and provide a wonderful location for our celebration. We'll definitely be returning!!!

National Exemplar
Responded on June 19, 2020

We are so happy you chose to dine with us! It was truly a pleasure serving you and we are honored to have been a part of your special celebration. Thank you for your kind words and we can't wait for your return!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I think the mussels carbonara are my new favorite!

N
Nick
Cincinnati
16 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time back since the shutdown. Was outstanding as usual, and they have really gone to great lengths in regards to safety, social distancing etc. Staff was very friendly, I think they were all so glad to be back working, and it showed.

Full menu, food was great. Was nice to be back to a great restaurant!!

K
vipKieno
Cincinnati
23 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience3

We sat outside which was nice, the food was so bad that all 4 of us only ate a tiny portion of our entrees just to be polite ( We left Hungry). The presentation was nice, the quality of food simply put was terrible. I had the chicken with risotto which was soupy over cooked rice, my husband had the Short Rib Pappardelle the pasta was over cooked & tough the short rib was scarce and bland. Appetizers not even note worthy just un-edible.

National Exemplar
Responded on June 10, 2020

Kieno, thank you for your feedback. We strive to provide only the freshest ingredients and highest quality of food, and we are incredibly disappointed to hear that your experience fell short of the high standards we set for ourselves. We'd love to learn more about your experience. Please give us a call at (513) 271-2103. Thank you.

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BB
BobB
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience4

The server was not very attentive. The prime rib was not it usual tenderness and I am not sure it was served as ordered which was med rare. I tipped the server very well considering the pandemic situation. Without the pandemic situation he would have received the usual twenty percent.

National Exemplar
Responded on June 10, 2020

BobB, thank you for dining with us and providing your feedback. We appreciate your generosity and support, and we are disappointed to hear of your negative experience. Our team is working hard to ensure an exemplary meal and service for your next visit.

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M
Mike
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very unexpected. The drink was great, the dinner and wine were excellent. The after dinner 20 year port and strawberry shortcake was a surprise happy ending. Definitely will go again.

National Exemplar
Responded on June 19, 2020

Mike, thank you for dining with us! It truly was a joy meeting and serving you and we look forward to your next visit with us!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our anniversary and they really took great care of us. We will be back

National Exemplar
Responded on June 8, 2020

Happy Anniversary! Thank you for dining with us and including us in your special day! We can't wait to serve you again.

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JH
JosephH
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great. Brandon was great. Atmosphere was,great. Appreciate all the precautions taken for Covid 19.

National Exemplar
Responded on June 5, 2020

Thank you, JosephH! The safety of our guests is our number one priority. It was a pleasure serving you.

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DC
DavidC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Although current settings are spartan, the service was great and the food was outstanding, flavorful and perfectly cooked.

E
Eric
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent. My wife and I shared the mussels appetizer, which was amazing. I could drink the sauce. I ordered the scallops and she ordered the filet which were both perfectly cooked. Service was great and we will definitely be back.

National Exemplar
Responded on June 2, 2020

Eric, thank you for dining with us and for your kind review. We're so happy to hear you enjoyed your meal — it truly was a pleasure serving you. See you soon!

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AO
vipAstuteObserver
Naples
50 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

A nice friendly place with a nice staff - I'd use it much more other but...Menu remains stale-with some of the same old things and little that's new. No fries and no simple burger are things hard to understand esp when multiple Mariemont restaurants offer fries. Soup du jour during the day but only Hungarian Mushroom at night-why? Why not have a second soup option at night. Sadly having made these points before they seem to fall on deaf ears.

National Exemplar
Responded on June 5, 2020

AstuteObserver, thank you for your feedback and continued support. As we have mentioned in the past, we work hard to only use the freshest ingredients possible, which is why we do not utilize a deep fryer in our cooking — and are unable to offer french fries. Our ground beef is sourced from local, reputable farmers and we encourage you to order your hamburger any way that you would like. We continue to listen and look forward to serving you in the future.

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AM
jAMES
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We were seated in the booth table and was close to the ceiling air vent which was a little chilly that night. :(

BC
BethC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great dinner at this wonderful neighborhood gem. Several of us had the Gerber Farms chicken breast. Yum! Can't wait to go back!

RB
vipRichardB
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Best liver and onions I have ever eaten! Worth driving there just for that.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time. It was great and want to come back

L
vipLeftydog
Charleston
60 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I has linguine with clams which was excellent. I had the small portion which was plenty

My wife had a the small portion of scallops which only had two scallops.
We thought that was skimpy.
Her side was broccolini and it wasn't hot enough.
Overall though a good dining experience

BM
BarbaraM
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a delightful family dinner this past week, with the restaurant graciously donating part of their profits to Cancer Support Care. The food was excellent as was the service. We will be back!

MD
MichaelD
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We met friends there for a fundraiser benefiting Cancer Support Community. The meal and service was very good.

j
jeff
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always. Our favorite restaurant . See you soon

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DS
DianaS
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Having recently experienced a wonderful dinner at the National Exemplar I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable experiences we’ve had in our almost 50 years of marriage. The ambiance was peaceful and lovely. We had a marvelous location in the restaurant. When we came in the hostess asked if we were celebrating something. Just that morning I had gotten news that cancer had not returned as we might have suspected. After we were seated she brought us a lovely glass of bubbly to help us celebrate. The food was beautifully served and deliciously enjoyed. The only regret I have is that I hadn’t asked our server to take our picture so that we could have it as a remembrance. But we do have the memory. Thanks to all who made our visit so special!!!

National Exemplar
Responded on March 13, 2020

DianaS, thank you so much for your kind words and congratulations on the outstanding news! We're so glad we were able to celebrate with you. It truly was a pleasure serving you both and we will be sure to snap a photo of you next time!

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LT
vipLaTraviata
Cincinnati
160 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

What can be said the I haven't said already in previous posts. One of the best all-round comfort food places to eat in town. Great oysters on Monday night specials, but also an outstanding Bison burger, mussels, linguini with clams and many others. Service was great, helped by Lisa's ever present checking that all is well.
The National Exemplar is and will continue to be at the top of our list for everyday dining.

National Exemplar
Responded on March 9, 2020

Thank you for your wonderful feedback, LaTraviata! Your continuous support means the world to us and we look forward to serving you next time!

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Indiana
6 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time at National Exemplar- wonderful experience. Excellent food and service. Nice atmosphere. Cozy. Not too loud. Lots of good choices for adults and kids. Best meal in a while. Recommend this restaurant to anyone.

KK
vipKatherineK
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our waiter was very kind and attentive. The food is always excellent!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious meal. The service was exceptional. Professional and courteous throughout the evening. The woman managing the dining room was genuinely attentive and kind.

A
vipAlzero
Charleston
12 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Almost always on point with very good food and terrific service. A favorite place with an outstanding “old world” atmosphere. Attentive management shows!

L
Lovey
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience5

The establishment was unique and quaint. Our server, Cole was polite and prompt. The bread was delicious. The wine was overpriced for the pour. My husband got the ribeye and a baked potato and said both were good, not incredible, but good nonetheless. I got the prime rib. It was cooked to satisfaction, except the edges were tough and hard, could not chew it. The middle was extremely chewy which made eating it a chore. The whipped potatoes were runny and flavorless. The broccoli was the best thing about my main course.

H
vipHolly
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is outstanding. Mushroom soup is a must. Short rib pasta amazing. I tried the salmon this time and it did not disappoint. The carrot cake with the warm cream cheese icing is also amazing. The only thing we found is the drinks to be a bit pricey.

b
vipbeth
Cincinnati
15 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our entree’s were delicious. Our server was very friendly

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful time celebrating my husband’s birthday! Would love to see more vegetarian options, even just a black bean burger. The side dishes were fantastic and the chef was kind enough to make us a phenomenal cheese and fruit “charcuterie” appetizer! Love this place.

LL
vipLuLu
Cincinnati
32 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

If you have Taco Night, go ALL in!! I was expecting chips not bread & butter that I can get any night!! Margarita’s w/cucumber, while interesting, should be accompanied by usual margaritas....even if only on the rocks...just say’in your F&B $$$ will be enhanced!!

BS
BarbaraS
Louisville
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our meal was delicious, the service attentive and the crackling fire on a cold Tuesday night was perfect.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Our server had way too many tables. Super nice person but response time was impacted and table was not cleared.

Food was good and enjoyed the experience.

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