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  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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  3. Distance: 0.18mi
  4. Distance: 0.30mi
  1. Distance: 0.15mi
  2. Distance: 0.16mi
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  4. Distance: 0.30mi

About Nicola's Ristorante

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 18 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.

1420 Sycamore Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
Liberty Street

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(513) 721-6200

Website:
http://www.nicolasotr.com/

Catering:
Nicola's Ristorante offers catering to diners' homes; 5-8 courses with wine parings, minimum 10 people, no Saturdays or Sundays, starting at $90.00 a person.

Parking Details:
Street parking and valet parking Monday through Saturday.

Executive Chef:
Joel Molloy

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Our award-winning food, wine, unique private & semi-private dining spaces, and professional service combine to create truly memorable experiences for business meetings, social celebrations, weddings, and rehearsal dinners. We can tailor the event to your individual needs.

Nicola's Ristorante Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (56)
Good for Anniversaries (51)
Fit for Foodies (45)
See All
Good for a Date (43)
Romantic (41)
Notable Wine List (41)
Neighborhood Gem (31)
Creative Cuisine (29)
Good for Birthdays (28)
Cozy (25)
Quiet Conversation (23)
Good for Groups (22)
Worth the Drive (21)
Authentic (20)
Business Meals (19)
Pre/post Theatre (17)
Comfort Food (9)
Fun (9)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Hot Spot (8)
Local Ingredients (7)
Seasonal (6)
Tasting Menu (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Disabled Access (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Casual (3)
People Watching (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Great Beer (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Tapas (1)
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2238 reviews
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 (Cincinnati)·Dined 4 days ago

Best Italian I've had in a very long time. We have been to Nicola's once before, but it's been a few years, so I was very excited to go back. I just loved it! I was happy to be able to get two tasting sizes of different items to try- the Risotto and the potato gnocchi were just heavenly. I also had the goat cheese salad with pistachios- just stellar. One of my favorite parts was the bottle of wine we shared though- a Super Tuscan that came highly recommended from the restaurant owner himself. I haven't been that smitten with a bottle of wine in the longest time, so I truly appreciate having found it and indulging with my exquisite meal.
Service was fantastic- I am sorry I already forgot our waiter's name, but he did tell us he was new and originally from Los Angeles. He was just wonderful! He did an outstanding job for being new.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful food and service. Always excellent

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 4 days ago

We were there before a play, the experience couldn't have been better!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 4 days ago

I have been to Nicolas several times over the past 4 years. The ambiance and menu are great, however the quality of food is not what it once was, and for that reason I would not recommend it to a friend.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 5 days ago

Most scrumptious Italian in Cincinnati. Rissoto special is without peer, with shaved squash. Gnocchi is heavenly pillows - we had the seasonal with mushrooms. Definitely worth adding a small portion of it to whatever other courses you get. The braised short rib is succulent, and we were able to share that for 2 after the pasta courses.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 5 days ago

My wife and I go each year for our anniversary, and this year for her birthday. I can honestly say it’s probably the best food and service we’ve ever had. It is a tad pricey but not for the experience you’ll get. Definitely try it if you’re in the Cincinnati area.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Columbus)·Dined 6 days ago

Food lacking for price

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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 6 days ago

Great time.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 6 days ago

First time visiting Nicola's after all these years. It was worth it! We went for the special Valentine's Day prix fixe menu. Everything was artfully arranged with a healthy mix of both contemporary items and old Italian classics.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on February 12, 2018

We come in frequently on Mondays for the Bolognese special and it's one of the best deals in Cincinnati. The service is always great and it's a nice way to start the week off with a treat. Highly recommend, but particularly on Mondays.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Good for a Date, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 12, 2018

Everything was amazing Brain was awesome

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on February 10, 2018

A great meal and a great date locale.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 9, 2018

The service is great, the food is great. Great place for a romantic dinner.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 9, 2018

The Food was Really Good, the staff was very kind and was overall a really good experience!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Our server (Dan) totally made the evening. He was aboslutely fantastic and did a wonderful job at answering our questions. Will definitely go back and specifically request him!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Our party of 8 thoroughly enjoyed the dining experience.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Our server was fantastic. The food was tremendous. One of favorite places in the city!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 25, 2018

REMAINS MY FAVORITE PLACE TO FIND A GREAT ITALIAN WINE WITH AWESOME FOOD. ATMOSPHERE IS PERFECT TO ENJOY THE EVENING IN A RELAXED MANNER. ALL FOOD IS GREAT, GNOCCHI IS A MUST WITH THE BREAD BOWL.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 22, 2018

Nicola’s is our absolute favorite restaurant in Cincinnati! Thank you for yet another wonderful experience!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 22, 2018

Always an excellent dining experience. Their Monday night pasta and salad special is a great deal too!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 22, 2018

The Monday pasta boulanaise and salad for $15 is a steal. Best boulanaise I ever had. A little tight between tables.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Best restaurant in Cincinnati. You can always count on this restaurant to provide a great experience .

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 20, 2018

We had a great dinner, the grilled Octopus was great, the scallops were fantastic. You definitely have to order the bread!! I Can't wait to get back here again!!

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Food and wine were great! Double date- ambiance was warm and cozy
Our server kept us on track to get us to the theater

Tags: Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on January 13, 2018

The food was absolutely incredible. Definitely spring for the bread. It is well worth it!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Server was excellent! Very attentive, not over bearing and great recommendations

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Another fantastic dinner at Nicolas - the dinner menu is escellent — we had the short rib and the venison. The venison tenderloin slices were amazing!

Excellent service by Meghan (again) and Nicola helped with the perfect wine selection. It is great to see the level of owner involvement and the results speak for themselves, we appreciated the great evening and will keep coming back.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 5, 2018

A return trip to Nicola's and it was well worth the trip, once again. Met with long time friends and they were pleased. As we were celebrating a couple of major events in our lives, we brought our own special wines. We were allowed to bring two bottles. The server was very accommodating and aware of one of our wines.
The server paid the right amount of service, checking with us at appropriate times and was eager to let us enjoy the evening.

I would recommend this restaurant and look to take the 70 mile drive to go there again.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We dined at Nicola's on New Year's Eve to start the new year on a high note and as usual Nicola's lived up to our expectation. It is amongst the top 4 of our favorite restaurants in Cincinnati. Meghan serve us and she did an outstanding job!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Always enjoy the experience of dining here. Great staff, very friendly and accommodating and best gnocchi in the city

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We were very excited to try Nicola’s for the first time. The food was good, but they will not do any changes or substitutions. I asked for olive oil to go with the bread, and the waitress made us feel like that was a huge inconvenience. Also, there was a valet attendant that did not greet or open the door. The hostess seemed very annoyed that we didn’t want to be seated early and preferred to have a drink at the bar before (we arrived 20 minutes early to do so). The salads were dropped off, and we were not asked if we needed salt, pepper, parm. It was hard to track down service. If you are seated in the main room, the experience would be much better. We were seated upstairs and it was quiet and cold. I’m really not sure what the rave is all about. The food is good, but for the price I feel that the service and facilities need to match the experience and it does not.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 28, 2017

The entire experience was wonderful. The food was good (wasn’t thrilled with what I ordered but everything else was incredible), the service was great, and the environment was welcoming. We will definitely be coming back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 27, 2017

It was terrible. It's been at least a year since we had been there, just wasn't very good. Food tasted old like it has been sitting around. It upset all of our stomachs. Wasn't a good experience. We will never go back and definitely wouldn't recommend it for good Italian.

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Have had many Christmas Eve and other special occasion meals here. Bread basket is a real star, but food is always wonderful!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Very nice ambiance. Great food and cozy atmosphere. Had the gnocchi and cod/seafood. Delicious.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 23, 2017

I left Cincinnati 12 years ago, so it had been many years since I last went to Nicola's. My memories of this place were so good, I feared disappointment because memory can be better than reality. I was not disappointed. Everything looks as fresh and new as it did before, and the food...

I tend not to go to Italian restaurants because, for the most part, they are ubiquitous and each ia fairly similar to the others. Not so with Nicola's. On the menu was one of the best octopus dishes I have had. The flavors were delicate and complimented the very tender and nicely grilled octopus. The Caesar salad was perfect--not overdressed (as most places tend to do) and didn't cover up the actual taste of the romaine. My dinner mates and I split Farfalle with crab and the Gnudi. We had a hard time deciding which was better because both were so fresh and the sauces so perfect. Next up were venison, short rib, and duck. Again, we couldn't decide which of the mains was best. The preparation of the meats, serving temps, and plate accompaniments were perfect.

You will notice, the word I used most and purposefully was "perfect." Nicola's has never disappointed am so glad my memories matched reality. A bonus was the service: Exceptionally speedy, delightful, and knowledgeable with just the right amount of professionalism.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Business Meals, Seasonal, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 22, 2017

My husband and I love this place and we celebrate our special days here.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Family holidays

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 20, 2017

My family and I go to dinner before the Nutcracker ballet every year. I was pleasantly surprised with the prices. 4 of us had dinner and 2 adult beverages for $125. Nice to have gluten free options. The pasta was a little too al dente, though. The server was attentive until couples started coming in. He knew that we needed to get to the show. I had to ask for the check, then had to wait for it. I actually thought that the restaurant would be more upscale.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Cozy, Bar Seating, Good for Groups
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food3
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 18, 2017

We were there on a Mon. for their special and had fantastic cocktails, great wine and a most delightful meal with plenty to take home. Just a fabulous dinning experience.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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