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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
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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

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

92% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (53)
Good for a Date (49)
Good for Anniversaries (47)
See All
Notable Wine List (44)
Romantic (39)
Fit for Foodies (39)
Business Meals (31)
Creative Cuisine (28)
Authentic (27)
Neighborhood Gem (25)
Good for Birthdays (23)
Pre/post Theatre (22)
Quiet Conversation (21)
Cozy (19)
Worth the Drive (19)
Good for Groups (16)
Great for Outdoor Dining (12)
Bar Seating (11)
Handcrafted Cocktails (11)
Hot Spot (11)
Seasonal (11)
Tasting Menu (11)
Local Ingredients (10)
Comfort Food (9)
Fun (8)
Disabled Access (4)
Casual (3)
Late-night Find (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Healthy (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tapas (1)
Great Beer (1)
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2188 reviews
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vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 2 days ago

Disappointed. Server seemed tired. Some of the food came out lukewarm to cold. Their great bread came out cold. Not much goat cheese on salad. Venison had great flavor as did the scallops

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food3
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined 3 days ago

Food was overall very delicious. Gnocchi is a must! Bolognese was good but not impressive but the scallop entree was amazing.

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 3 days ago

Best Italian in Cincinnati. Great wine list too.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 3 days ago

The food just wasn’t as good as I remember. The polenta soufflé was more of a flan. The gnocchi were delicious. The farfalle was nice but a bit too smoky. The let down was the mains the short rib was like a pot roast, the pickled veg were lovely though. The cod on lentils was just boring.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 3 days ago

Unfortunately, with the number of Christmas gatherings, it was very noisy. The table Tony left had a woman with no “inside voice.“ when two people sitting across from each other cannot hear because of another person sitting at another table, they are too loud.

Tags: Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 4 days ago

Great food service and experience. Highly recommend!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 4 days ago

This is one of my fave restaurants in Cincinnati and I’ve always enjoyed the food. I am so disappointed to say that the service we received tonight was not the greatest. We recently had a baby and getting out now is a special occasion. Our server forgot our appetizer, didn’t refill our cocktail, or even ask if we wanted another. The food as always was amazing. The ambiance, the food, and the service were always my favorite reasons to visit Nicola’s.

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food5
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 6 days ago

Nicola's food is very good; only negative thing is they charge $1.33 per person for Bread. Not sure why it's not just complimentary but not the end of the world.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined 7 days ago

Food was great, ambiance comfortable, service outstanding.

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Cozy
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined 7 days ago

Superb meal and Jeremy provided outstanding service.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Simply outstanding. Brought out of town guests that loved it.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Wasn’t happy with our table. But other than that it was terrific

Tags: Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation, Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Business Meals
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 28, 2017

Service great Bolognese Monday great value however pasta dish was flat lacked flavor beet salad should be called quinoa with couple small diced beets dessert pretty and tasty eclair bread basket best part of whole meal my second time here and not as I remembered I was so disappointed with the pasta but I would go back not for pasta try something new

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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 27, 2017

Always excellent food. We have been many times. Everything is wonderful

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fun, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 26, 2017

The meal was... disappointing. We've been coming to Nicola's for years, and this is one of the worse experiences we've ever had there, which isn't to say it was BAD by any means. It was still quite good, but not up to the standard I'd been expecting of the place. The food was served barely warm enough, the portions were small on the main courses considering how much they charge, and we had to send a couple of the dinner courses back due to being so over peppered you couldn't taste the venison. Also our waitress was not as attentive as I would have expected - we had to ask for drink refills a number of times and she wasn't as knowledgeable about the menu as I would have expected. Again, the meal was still very good and everything was good... but it wasn't great, and makes me question the value of the place for how much they charge. It's a real shame, too, as between this and the last time I was at Nicola's I don't know how excited I'll be to go back in the future. Hopefully they improve back to the excellent position they used to occupy, because if they're just going to be very good, they're overpriced.

Tags: Late-night Find, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Another fantastic night at Nicola's. I highly recommend the pear Manhattan if it's available. The grilled octopus was perfectly tender and perfectly paired with the sweety-drop peppers. Great service and food!

Tags: Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Tremendous food and attentive staff. Pricey but worth it for a special occasion.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 19, 2017

20th anniversary

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 18, 2017

This was a dinner for my wife’s birthday and the restaurant did a fantastic job. The food and service were both outstanding.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 18, 2017

We sat in the room with the windows and it was very bright and quiet so the ambiance wasn’t as good

Tags: Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Good for a Date
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Wonderful food and the service was excellent

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 15, 2017

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
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 15, 2017

Outstanding service and the food was wonderful!
The restaurant provides what every guest would want. They are cordial and attentive without being pushy. The bread, salad and the main course were well prepared and delicious. The dessert was a beautiful ending touch to a wonderful meal.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Authentic
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 14, 2017

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
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 11, 2017

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
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on November 11, 2017

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
1 person found this review helpful.
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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
1 person found this review helpful.
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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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

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