Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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Nearby points of interest

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

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

90% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (55)
Good for Anniversaries (51)
Good for a Date (51)
See All
Notable Wine List (46)
Romantic (42)
Fit for Foodies (40)
Authentic (34)
Creative Cuisine (33)
Business Meals (29)
Neighborhood Gem (28)
Good for Birthdays (28)
Quiet Conversation (22)
Cozy (21)
Pre/post Theatre (21)
Worth the Drive (17)
Good for Groups (16)
Great for Outdoor Dining (16)
Tasting Menu (13)
Bar Seating (12)
Fun (12)
Handcrafted Cocktails (11)
Local Ingredients (10)
Seasonal (10)
Hot Spot (10)
Comfort Food (7)
Casual (4)
Late-night Find (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Great Beer (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Healthy (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Vegan (1)
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2167 reviews
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 (Cincinnati)·Dined 13 hours ago

Wonderful food and the service was excellent

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 3 days ago

Always a treat - love that they have added three size options to their pasta dishes. This makes decision easier . . . order two!

Tags: Cozy, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 4 days ago

We have always enjoyed coming here with our young adult daughters. The food is very good and they always have some unusual choices. The bread basket is very good but at the prices it seems a little cheap to charge extra for it. While our server was very nice we were seated upstairs and we had long waits in-between her checking in with us. All in all it was enjoyable evening.

Tags: Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 7 days ago

The food was amazing. Had some what of a hard time hearing what my waitier was saying. The noise level wasnt helping but he just didnt speak loud enough. But food was amazingggggg and over all services was good. Ill be back.

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 7 days ago

Food was delicious, service was great and they were great on timing since we had a show later.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Nicola's was wonderful. There was a slight misunderstanding between the staff as to who our server would be so it was a longer than normal initial wait time. But once they got it ironed out, it was smooth sailing. Our server was very knowledgeable of the menu, his recommendation and description were spot on. Out food was exquisitely prepared and I couldn't recommend it more highly.

The ambience was quiet and conducive to conversation. The wine list was impressive. The bread basket tasty.

I give it my highest recommendation.

Tags: Cozy, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Stephen was excellent looking after us. He had specific recommendations that were spot on. Will return and will ask for Stephen. Again he was superb.

Tags: Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 8, 2017

My (our) second visit. Same as the first--EXCELLENT!!!
We will be back sooner than later!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Went on a Tuesday evening. Sat at 6:15pm, early by our standards but of our choice. The restaurant filled quickly thereafter. The food was well prepared and exactly as described in the menu. Their scallops are some of the best available; fresh, seasoned perfectly and cooked to perfection. The gnocchi is also a steady item at Nicola's. The service was friendly and efficient. Our server was knowledgeable and engaging, and provided insights and suggestions. The atmosphere is perfect for a table of two or ten.

A great night.

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Amazing dinner, perfect for a quiet date.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Excellent as always one of the best in Cincinnati, my favorite

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Gnocchi was mediocre. Beet salad was very light on beets and very heavy on quinoa. The octopus was not all that flavorful. The main entree was cod. The cod itself was good as was the langoustine, but he mussels tasted spoiled.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 23, 2017

One of the top 5 restaurants in the city. Consistently great food, service and wine list.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

The best dining experience I've had in the Midwest! Venison, white bean soup, and broken down tiramisu were the best I've had! This meal will always be remembered!

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Great Beer, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Healthy, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Great evening, the service and staff were amazing! Food was outstanding! Thanks Nicloli for a great evening!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Always great food - with a nice wine list. You wont go wrong with an evening out at Nicola's

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 20, 2017

I used to love this place but the food this time was unremarkable. I hope they find a new chef and get back to excellence.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 18, 2017

This was our first time eating at Nicloa's. Overall it was an enjoyable experience. The food is very good, especially the pastas. We also had a nice octopus appetizer. Of particular note, the bread is excellent and is a must. The wine list is extensive and a little pricey. Service is very good. The only issue we had was that the short rib entrée, although quite tasty, was a little tough. The ambiance is very nice. This is a comfortable, quiet restaurant that allows diners actually to have a conversation without shouting at each other. We intend to dine here again.

Tags: Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 16, 2017

Amazing - Brian was an amazing server!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

Wonderful place to eat. Had the seasonal gnocchi which tasted absolutely wonderful. Staff was friendly and gave great advice and answered all questions. Very professional environment.

Tags: Business Meals, Late-night Find, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 14, 2017

I tried the most famous Italian restaurant in town being an Italian.
The food was good, but I may have expected some more variety in the menu and respect of the tradition.
I had spaghetti all’amatriciana, I would have preferred to find bucatini, but I have to say that spaghetti were homemade , and I see the point. The sauce probably a bit too liquid. I’d say 8/10.
My date had risotto ai porcini, a traditional dish in autumn in Italy. I tasted it , I would say 7.5/10, as I found Nicola’s variation of recipe too elaborated. For instance I was surprised to see cheddar cheese, and the density of the risotto not truly ok.
That said a lovely place with nice ambience and people, I’ll definitely give it more chances.
Ps ... Italians are truly demanding when it comes to food.

Giovanni

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 13, 2017

Had to check out Nicola's new fall menu, and was NOT disappointed. My wife and I had abstained during the day so we could try three courses and each was outstanding. The new pasta options are really something special while the duck and venison entrees were also excellent.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Seasonal, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 12, 2017

A great place period!
Knowledgeable staff, food is always soooo good, this trip my wife and I dined at the bar, Ronnie was fantastic, great conversation with him and the other individuals at the bar, made for an awesome experience..

Tags: Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Romantic, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 11, 2017

Celebrated our anniversary at this special spot downtown. All the food was delicious. The pasta we ordered was a family recipe (tagliatelle with bolognese)...it did not disappoint! Home made noodles with a bolognese that tasted like your grandmother cooked it all day...sunday supper style. The scallops were some of the best i have ever had. Even though the bread bowl is extra do NOT deny yourself the luxury of this indulgence. The salads were alright...a little on the rich side but it was still tasty. Capped the night off with a cappuccino and the eclair! The service was great. If you're looking for a great date night Nicolas needs to be on your list of places to dine!

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Bar Seating, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 9, 2017

The experience was wonderful as always! My boyfriend and I celebrated our 4year anniversary and everything was perfect. Nicolas is by far my favorite place to go to for both a special occasion or just a nice meal.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tulsa)·Dined on October 9, 2017

You can always rely on great food and impeccable service at Nicola’s. Outstanding wine list and be sure to order the bread assortment.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

Loved everything about the experience we had. We showed up at 7 for our 8pm reservation and had as much fun with the bar tenders as we did during the meal. The cocktail menu was tasty at first glance, but after chatting with the bartender and realizing how much prep went into the ingredients, this was an event in itself. If it's still on the menu by the time you read this, please order the peach shrub.

Our meal was certainly memorable. The waiter had so much information to share, and did a great job of selling the menu. We moved through each course and enjoyed every plate. The two of us shared the misto plate. One goat cheese salad, one prosciutto. One crab farfalle, one potato gnocchi, and for entrees, one pot roast and one duck plate. I can't be critical of any dish because they were all so flavorful. The loudest flavor came from the crab farfalle and I would order it again.

The menu is reasonably priced, and you don't have to order every course like we did. The larger pasta portion could be split between two people.

Come early and stay late. Ask questions of the bartenders and wait staff, they were happy to share.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Unbelievable food and great service..second to none..

Tags: Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 7, 2017

I've dined here >150 times - regularly since it opened many years ago/ It has changed/adapted from an authentic Italian to a broader offering with Italian inspirations. We visited just as the fall menu was introduced and the kitchen learning the new dishes. A couple of standards remain and those were reliably great. The new dishes were good to okay. The octopus wasn't cooked properly, but has some great potential taste. The seasonal gnocchi (don't worry - the standard gnocchi is still there) has the great gnocchi with what was billed as a wild mushroom sauce - itty bitty pieces of mushrooms with mild taste.
Great wine list, friendly service, nice location for downtown activities make this a place high on the list of best in Cincinnati.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Our server was very knowledgeable of the menu and her recommendations and service was excellent!

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 6, 2017

All of the food was delicious! We will definitely be back again for more special occasions and date nights.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 5, 2017

The food was incredible, and the service was first class. We were celebrating our anniversary, and everything made the evening perfect!

Tags: Seasonal, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 2, 2017

Amazing service, and the Monday night deal is one of the best deals in the city. Everything from the presentation to the value was incredible, the food was delicious and we had a lovely time.

Tags: Good for a Date, Cozy, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Dinner was outstanding. Service was great.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on September 26, 2017

Fabulous! We've been here twice for celebrations, and both times have been met with great pairings of wine and food. Service was spot on. One of our Favorites for romantic evening out!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fun, Cozy, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 17, 2017

Strip loin was incredibly tough and difficult to chew. Two in our party ordered this entree, one was cooked to order perfectly , the other was ordered medium rare and came very rare. Watermelon salad was perfectly balanced with the sweetest melon. Waited forever for desert, only table seated upstairs so not sure what was going on.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on September 15, 2017

Great food and service We especially enjoyed the pasta options. My husband loved your wine choices and the beet salad.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 15, 2017

This was a first experience of fine dining for my husband and I. The service was excellent and the ambiance good!! However since we are vegan we only had two options to choose from. It was good but nothing outstanding. We noticed that other tables were getting a bread basket but we couldn't eat any because it wasn't vegan. We don't mind paying a higher price if it was worth it, but we were still hungry when we left the restaurant as the portions were so small. $12 for a salad that could have been eaten in 3-4 bites was a bit too much for us. We ended up ordering a pizza later on that evening because we were starving.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
·Dined on September 11, 2017

My friends and I have gone for the Monday night special twice now. That would be a half price bowl of spaghetti bolognese that comes with a salad. It's an incredibly satisfying meal that leaves us the flexibility to splurge on a bottle of wine we maybe wouldn't have otherwise. Monday doesn't have to be terrible, that's why we keep coming back to Nicola's.

Tags: Fun, Hot Spot, Comfort Food, Romantic, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 11, 2017

Nicolas is one of Cincinnati's premier restaurants. They had a special available which was half price for pasta Bologna . Our server never told us this. When we realize that after we had ordered our dinner, we really didn't care. When we asked our server he said well we don't really mention it to people and its mostly for young people. When I made the reservation I mentioned it was for my wife's birthday. It was her 75th birthday. Nothing was said or done except when we paid our bill, the server said thanks for celebrating your birthday here. More importantly my wife's beef was OK but not wonderful and my turbot was a little too salty. I think the restaurant was not very wonderful when we were there and we won't go back for a long time.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

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