Nicola's Ristorante

4.8
2849 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Located just north of Downtown in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati’s hip and historic neighborhood, Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano has long been a fine dining staple of the city during its 20+ years of operation. Owners Nicola and Maureen Pietoso pride their restaurant not only for its highly acclaimed contemporary Italian menu, extensive wine list and variety of unique dining spaces, but most especially for their restaurant’s long-standing reputation for being warmly hospitable and accommodating.
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What 2849 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating our anniversary and chose Nicola's. Couldn't have been a better choice!
Our waiters, Daniel and Jonathan, were extremely knowledgeable and equally attentive. The food was great, also! I highly recommend this restaurant if you are in Cincinnati.

OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Custom designed 8 course vegetarian dinner beautifully prepared and plated with a wine pairing. The staff pulled out all the stops and delivered on every level. My favorite restaurant in Cincinnati with a very creative and talented kitchen and service staff that absolutely know what they are about. 10 Stars

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fantastic food and excellent service!

GL
Cincinnati
16 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent and our server was wonderful. Nicolas never disappoints.

OT
Cincinnati
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were celebrating our anniversary and were brought two glasses of champagne to kick off the evening. Our server (Jerry I think??) was very knowledgeable and passionate about the menu - made great suggestions and offered perfect amount of service. Left us some to talk appropriately. Dinner for two was $191 before tip so definitely a splurge!

NC
Cincinnati
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We chose to sit at the bar and enjoy our Bolognese and a great Super Tuscan recommended by the bar tender. Both were great. I started with the caprese salad - exceptional. My wife tried the rhubarb salad - a little different as one might expect and a hard pairing with our wine. The Bolognese never disappoints at Nicola's! A great and interesting cheese plate ended our meal and led to some nice conversation with new friends made at the bar. The house was busy and lively for a Monday evening - lots of regulars and many locals taking advantage of Nicola's special 3-course summer menu! Next time.

JE
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always! Consistent, excellent food, service and ambiance.
My very favorite restaurant!

JF
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Tried Nicola's as a recommendation from their sister restaurant, Forno. A must-try is their Truffle Gnocchi. By far one of the best I've ever had. I will go to this restaurant just for their gnocchi! Other items we tried: Oxtail cabbage rolls, Tagliatelle a la bolognese, and Agnolotti. All items were good but not worthy of a second visit. While I would be willing to come back, I would probably skip Nicola's and go to Forno's instead as their food is far superior! However, Nicola's wine list is fantastic and our waiter Perry was outstanding!

OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful evening. Our dinner, amazing, services was outstanding! We always enjoy ourselves when we come for dinner!

LT
Cincinnati
136 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening all-round. Restaurant Week menu not only delicious but was also an outstanding value. Service was superb. Returning in three days.

AH
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant wasn’t just restaurant it was an experience. The wait staff was very professional and the food was scrumptious.

F
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant week

B
Cincinnati
25 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed Nicola's. It was out first time to dine at Nicola's and we went during Restaurant Week. The food and service (Shawn) were fantastic. We were impressed with the quality of the food. We will visit again.

GK
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best dinners I have had in Cincinnati. Highly recommended.

RB
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Seated right on time on the patio - a lovely vine covered and secluded area that was perfect except for very loud street noise from Liberty Way. Excellent wine list with many old world wines reasonably priced. Our meals were very good (not quite excellent). Service excellent. I would recommend Nicolas.

NS
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 4

Over priced. The Bolognese was one of the worse I have had. Very disappointing. And to charge $1.95 per person for a bread basket at the table (which every other restaurant I have ever been to is free) is quite bold. I will never return and can not recommend this place to anyone.

MS
Cincinnati
58 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Probably our favorite place in Cincinnati. Food and service is always top notch and the Restaurant Week special was a very good deal.

r
Cincinnati
53 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had Nicola's Downtown Restaurant Week special menu, which included salad, a great pasta dish and pork or fish, all lovingly prepared. The service was also exceptionally good without being intrusive or pompous. And the noise level left lots of room for easy conversation.

TW
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Server really knew the menu. Her feedback was invaluable.

KO
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Very Nice Selection for Restaurant Week! We loved the Tuna Crudo - such a beautiful flavor bomb. Thank you - Nicola, Chef, Alex, Jonathan & crew.

MR
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a special occasion for us -Carly and All the staff made us feel like royalty - Nicola’s is my favorite restaurant to celebrate life’s blessings! The Gnocchi is the best I’ve ever had - the menu always has something new to try - so innovative- no wonder they gave been in business so long - hope they continue!

J
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brad was an excellent server and he kept the table moving without that hurry up vibe you get at busy places. The food was so flavorful and beautifully presented. Great birthdays and anniversary treat.

GW
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding as always. Food is amazing.

F
Cincinnati
17 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

ダウンタウンレストランウィークで行きました。完璧なサーバーのサービス、料理、お店の雰囲気すべて最高でした。

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P
Cincinnati
16 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our 25th wedding anniversary. They gave us complimentary champagne to toast. The waiter was excellent and so personable! The food was amazing and the ambiance was wonderful!! They sent us off with a complimentary orangecello that they make in house- it was delicious! We had a wonderful evening!

CS
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had five in our group, and we each enjoyed something different from the menu. Everyone loved their dinners. Lots of "yums" and no disappointments.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always had a wonderful experience on the back patio!

LF
Cincinnati
8 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent all the way around - food, wine, service and ambiance!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never had a bad food experience here and honestly it is one of those rare restaurants that every time it goes the food is better than the time before!!

SN
Cincinnati
44 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorites!

KF
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great deal on Monday!! Delicious food and everyone was very nice and accommodating. Bread is amazing!

OT
Cincinnati
31 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

My husband and I planned a date night and finally opted to sit outside. It was a great vibe and actually quieter than we anticipated. Usually we always sit inside but the weather was awesome, so we figured why not. The menu was updated for August and while we ordered some of the classics we also got a few new dishes as well. We each had four courses and they were able to split every dish which helped. Highly suggest going to Nicola’s if you haven’t been in awhile.

JW
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to Nicola's in many years, and it definitely won't be our last. The food was phenomenal, as was the service. My daughter and I ordered from the 3-course prix fix menu, while my wife ordered a la carte off the menu, and we all were very happy with our selections. Our favorites: the veal appetizer, the gnocchi, and the pork loin. We were pleasantly surprised to get a free dessert for my wife's birthday; she chose the chocolate dish, and we practically licked the plate clean. A truly wonderful meal. One word of warning: we luckily noticed the menu stated a $2 price per person for a basket of bread before the server asked if we wanted it. We otherwise would have assumed it was free. Also, the wine pouring was pretty skimpy for a glass. Next time we'll either skip the wine or get a bottle.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the fresh homemade pasta with bolognese sauce and it was incredible! Delicious, Thank you.

GG
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If a special occasion then definite must! This was our first time and have eaten at many locations in town, but this one truly amazed me. Food quality was like a bit of heaven in every bite. The staff missed no details. Perfect romantic place and we will be going back for every special occasion we can think of. We spent about $50 a person plus drinks and got everything.

C
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It has been a little while since I ate at Nicola’s, and I have to say it was as good as I remember. The waitress that helped us select the wine, Cheyenne, was wonderful and made a perfect recommendation. The food was excellent, and they kindly split plates for me and my husband. We will be back.

g
Cincinnati
16 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A go-to restaurant for Cincinnati, great food great service....

SD
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

S
Cincinnati
20 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely the best restaurant in Cincinnati.

F
London
5 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious Italian food in a lovely atmosphere. The goat cheese salad was wonderful as was the artic char. We plan on returning soon.

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