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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 38 times today

Nicola's Ristorante

4.6
2337 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(513) 721-6200
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Aaron Owen
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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.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Liberty Street
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Parking details
Street parking and valet parking Monday through Saturday.
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.

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What 2337 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 6 days ago

While the service was great, the chef was a little heavy handed with the salt on some of our dishes

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Good date night restaurant. Don’t come too hungry as the portions are a little small. Priced very well, great wine and liquor selection. However our server was the highlight. They all coordinate so well, and are so attentive to your every need. Would highly recommend Nicolas for any occassion, and for date nights , sit outside and enjoy the awesome private patio.

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5.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Great gourmet Italian. This chef knows his stuff, waiter was friendly and helpful. We'll be back.

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

The meal was fantastic, however we were put in an auxiliary room for some reason. I reserved our table more than a month out but we were still not put in the main dining room. This was disappointing and took away from the restaurant experience somewhat.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Discovered this gem by accident as our old favorite Sotto was booked! I think we have a new favorite place to dine! Service was amazing. Staff knowledge of menu was excellent. We brought our own wine - they decanted it during cocktails to breath - nice touch!

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

It was my friend ‘s first time at Nicola’s and she thought it was the best Italian restaurant she had ever experienced. We really enjoyed both the food and the ambiance.

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4.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Service and ambiance were great! Food was good, but limited selection. Descriptions of dishes had us expecting something different than what we got. All was tasty but not exceptional. For the price, we’ll try somewhere new next time.

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3.0Dined on June 7, 2018

We have been coming to Nicola's for years. This occasion was a bit disappointing. There are usually dinner specials and this time there were not. The bread baskets are terrific, but now they charge a small fee for it. The waiter was not very friendly and did not have any real suggestions about the menu. We are wondering if all the new restaurants in OTR and the banks are pulling customers away. I hope not. This place is a real gem. Hope this night was just and off night.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

All of our food was amazing, our server Hope was fantastic, and the ambience was wonderful.

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2.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Don't think we will be going back. The atmosphere and ambience is nice, quiet and dimly lit (it's almost to dim, had a little trouble reading the menu). Wine list is extensive but seemed to be served mostly by the bottle vs by the glass (bottle isn't the way you want to go when you each want something different). Our server went over the menu and made recommendations, which we tried, but we were both let down. Our appetizer was so small we couldn't even tell there was anything served on the plate. Entrée's: the lamb shank was more like a pot roast and the risotto was unappealing and lacking as well. However, the menu does change every 3 months so maybe we just went during the wrong menu..

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Had the Calamari appetizer, Gnocchi pasta dish and the Lamb Shank entree. All were excellent. The Gnocchi were light as a feather, which is the way they should be (and the way my grandmother always made them).

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2.0Dined on May 26, 2018

The Waitress didn’t know the wine menu, she bumped into us as she moved around spilling our water refills, we had a guest bite into a bone on the “boneless chicken”, and we were given the most awful drinks almost in a sarcastic way for the inconvenience. Definitely has gone down hill the last year or so.

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Exceptional!

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4.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Lovely evening - all perfect till the end of the meal. The waiter obviously not happy with his tip - asked him twice if there was a problem but nothing. Didn’t say goodbye and left a sour taste after what was a fabulous dinner.

A real pity as spoilt a celebration dinner with friends from abroad. An expensive dinner and unacceptable behavior

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3.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Hate to say it but portions were tiny. Seemed like the apps and pasta split two ways were just microscopic.

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5.0Dined on May 22, 2018

Fabulous food and service and Nick sang Happy Birthday when I arrived. Can’t wait to return

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2018

Nicola's is situated in a mid-nineteenth century "Bus-barn," on the edge of the hip and growing "Over the Rhine" district of numerous restaurants and boutiques. Nicola's food is delicious, the staff are friendly and helpful and the ambiance is outstanding. My wife and I always enjoy it! You will, too.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2018

Nicola's has become one of our favorite haunts. Summer is a great time to go after 7pm and sit outside.

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4.0Dined on May 21, 2018

We went for the Monday night Bolognese special.
What a deal!
Our server was Dan and he did a great job .There were 8 of us.
Bread basket is to die for----salads, entree and desserts-- all very good and well done.
Cocktails and wines excellent too !

Thank you Nick for a great Restaurant!

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3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

For the price, everything should be impeccable. Dessert was underwhelming, as were the drenched salads.

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Graduation celebration

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Wonderful place

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5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Amazing that they are at this level after all of these years. This is a TOP restaurant in any city.

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3.0Dined on May 15, 2018

The meal and service were good. My only complaint was we were celebrating our first wedding anniversary. This was acknowledged by the hostess but our server seemed to be completely unaware. In the past, we were greeted with 2 glasses of sparkling wine. Not sure why this visit would be different.

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4.0Dined on May 12, 2018

We found the Resturant to be quite nice. The food and service was excellent. The interior was interesting.

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5.0Dined on May 11, 2018

Great place to celebrate. Food was delicious, esp bolognese pasta. Great service too!

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3.0Dined on May 7, 2018

The last time my wife and I were at Nicola's was in the late nineties (1997-98?). The restaurant was still new and, as fate would have it, we showed up on a week-night during a blizzard. We were two of six people having dinner. Talk about hands on service! That was one of our best dining experiences. The food and service were impeccable. Glad to see you're doing so well! When it comes to restaurants, we love privately owned establishments and always wish them the best.

That being said, our experience was just OK once we were moved from the table directly next to the service bar to an upstairs table. Some of the food was excellent, some not. The Hunter's Chicken was fantastic. The tortelloni appetizer portion was incredibly small for $18. I asked the server to describe it for me and he couldn't. If he could I wouldn't have ordered it. Our salads were OK.

Overall, I'd give our experience a B-. We'll try you again, sooner than twenty years from now. Congratulations on your success.

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5.0Dined on May 7, 2018

we have frequently eaten at Nicola's on Monday evenings because of the bolognese special.
As always it was as delicious as ever; perfectly complemented by Nicola's Caesar Salad.

Thank you always

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5.0Dined on May 7, 2018

Was looking forward to enjoying another Nicola's "Bolo Monday" but the evening was even better than anticipated. Weather cooperated so were able to sit outside and Nicola's is the best for dining in the open air. The grilled pear salad was fantastic. Then we received a complimentary serving of classic foie gras which was tremendous. The bolognese as per the usual rocked. Michelle's service was exactly what you want when dining. Attentive without being intrusive. Just a great time all around

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Parents in town. Great dinner and service

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

This was a special treat! We wish we were locals so we could go here all the time. Food was great. Menu was small which made our choices easy. If you are looking for Olive Garden this is not it.

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3.0Dined on May 5, 2018

We had dinner here with an out of town guest. We had the homemade pasta dishes and thought the food was good but not exceptional. Also, the service was good but not great.

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5.0Dined on May 4, 2018

Phenomenal experience. Great service. Don’t overlook how full you can get on the amazing bread basket! The cheese gnocchi was unbelievable.

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5.0Dined on May 1, 2018

We recently had dinner at Nicola's to celebrate our anniversary and everything about the evening was wonderful. We chose to sit in their outdoor courtyard and found it to be cozy and charming on a nice weather evening. Our meal started with complimentary sparkling wine - a nice surprise. Their wine list is extensive with many nice choices. My husband and I each had a salad and both were delicious and creative. He had the risotto and I had the scallops for our main courses. Both were expertly prepared. For dessert we shared a chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut creation that was a great way to top off the meal. Their pastry chef does an amazing job! Finally, the waiter was helpful and pleasant. The timing was perfect, allowing for a leisurely dinner with just the right amount of time between courses. We will definitely go back!

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4.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Beet salad was delicious! Bread basket is a must--I wish we could eat all of it. Excellent value. Pappardelle with mushroom ragu was very good but potato gnocchi is even better! Portions for medium size pasta are generous. Wine was delicious but I wish there was more of a range of prices for wine. It's hard to find one under $50 in all categories.

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3.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Felt stuffy, staff was well trained but did not seem happy. Food portions were way too small. My wife and I ordered calamari and it was literally one bite and gone. No hurry to go back.

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2.0Dined on April 27, 2018

I came with several girlfriends to celebrate a birthday. We had reservation at 6:15. After ordering a full meal with drinks, dessert and coffee, it was 8:30 and the hostess came to our table and informed us that they needed our table now for a group with a reservation that was waiting. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?

The only other time this has happened to me was at Via Vite, the sister restaurant to Nicolas. We were flabbergasted then too! We left feeling like cattle in a processing line. We did not feel like dinner guests in a nice restaurant. This incident left a dark cloud over the rest of the evening. Be sure to plan your time wisely at Nicolas so you won't be asked to leave before you are finished enjoying your evening.

The food was lovely and the bread is good. However, when you are treated poorly in a restaurant like this, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2018

All good! Food and Service excellent! First visit ! We will be back! Arrived 20 mins before they opened!! They opened early and let us sit at the bar and bait a drink!! Very classy!

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5.0Dined on April 22, 2018

great place for a dinner date, the scallops were amazing! quite enough for a pleasant conversation, waiter was attentive friendly knowledgeable. Will be a repeat customer.

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

excellent service and food. rare to be able to talk and be heard at our table and not by our neighbors. will definitely consider returning. ---------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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