Salazar

4.7
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107 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American

Salazar is the chef-driven restaurant from head chef Jose Salazar. This little eatery is cemented in Cincinnati's up-and-coming Over The Rhine neighborhood just steps away from Historic Music Hall. The menu changes with the seasons as Chef Salazar is constantly creating new fun and creative dishes. This is an ideal place to stop in for a quick drink or come for a full dinner in the evening.

Salazar's menu changes frequently, but there are some dishes that are so popular that the keep popping up again and again. Some of the starters that have appeared on the menu include duck leg rillette, heirloom corn polenta and chicken liver mousse. As for main dishes, some of the signature plates are the ora king salmon with "everything" crust, cream cheese dumplings, pickled Fresno chili, caperberries and dill sauce as well as the burger with aged cheddar, bacon and heirloom tomato.

What 107 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great in every way.

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was fresh, delicious and creative. We enjoyed everything we ordered and look forward to coming back.

OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely worth the price for the excellent food and service.

OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We arrived at 1:40 for brunch on Sunday 10/13/19. I am handicapped and use a scooter which causes me some worry when going to new places. I shouldn’t have worried. Joel the manager had everything ready for me. The handicapped accessible ramp door was open and I parked my scooter on the side of the dining room.
Gabby our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and helped some of our party(5) to choose drinks and food that they would enjoy. In spite of the fact that she had a large party(10 people at least) to take care of and was running around, she didn’t miss a beat taking care of us.
The food was excellent with the following quibbles: fries were very over salted, home fries were sublime but too spicy for us and the chilaquiles were spicy. That said, spicy or not we ate every crumb. It was that good!
My eggs Benedict were sublime. As was that other food for our table: fried Brussels sprouts with aioli were so good we ordered another bowl, hamburger was delicious, juicy and cooked to perfection, steak and eggs also excellent as were the chilaquiles and the falafel .
The drinks were also good. An excellent rosé from Aragon Spain, two other cocktails whose names I forget and mimosas also good.
So I can recommend this place unequivocally with the proviso that one should ask about the spiciness of each item because this isn’t indicated on the menu.
The meal was a bit pricey mainly because we ordered a lot of food and drinks. A bit of care in choosing from the menu should help your budget.
We had a great meal and a very pleasant experience in this Cincinnati “bistro” extraordinaire. We’ll be back regularly.

OT
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went for my son's birthday and had a fabulous time. Wait staff was attentive and helpful. Food was amazing and we had a great time enjoying ourselves and not feeling rushed. Would definitely go back there again.

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Girlfriends Birthday Dinner

Salazar’s kitchen and staff did not disappoint
Everything was wonderful

LS
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambiance, plate presentations, quality of food, service - all exceptional!

JM
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great! Third return.

C
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, novel presentation, outstanding service, good value. Good place!

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our food was amazing and the waitress was really good. It honestly was the best restaurant experience I’ve had in a long time.

NF
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Salazar remains a good pick for an evening of fine dining. Overall the food was excellent, priced a little on the high side, but satisfying and often inventive. When the place is full (as it often is), it's difficult to hear, a problem I find increasingly annoying in restaurants as I get older. The server was attentive and well-informed. We went because it was Restaurant Week, but their offering didn't impress us, so we ordered from the regular menu--which was just fine.

SL
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Poor value, vegetarian only menu offering for restaurant week with a bland entree with a portion size more like an appetizer. We won't be back.

t
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebrations were had - delicious bites were served by the most wonderful and accommodating personalities. Thankful we picked Salazar for such a special night - be sure to have the summer spaghetti...unique, refreshing and soul satisfying.

AH
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a beautiful evening and we sat at the counter outside while looking into the bustling restaurant and bar. Michael the maître d’ couldn’t be more genuine and helpful. Corey was an excellent waiter. Friendly patient and knowledgeable. I ordered a drink that was too sweet for my liking and he took it back to the bartender who made me the most delicious cocktail I have had in years. The food was as always fresh farm to table and creatively prepared. I am from New York and wish I could take this restaurant back with me to the town I live in.

JB
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rarely do I feel the need to punctuate every word I utter, but...Oh. My. God. I had some food and drinks Wednesday night at Salazar that were absolutely brilliant: part familiar comfort, part innovative gastronomy, and 100% decadent deliciousness. Drink-wise, I ordered the Bruce Banner--with vodka--for my first round. Key takeaway: slow down and enjoy it, because the multi-essence ice cube, infused with watermelon, lime and ginger, will flavor the drink increasingly as it melts, leading to a kind of craft cocktail epiphany--stop and smell the roses. Or taste the tinctures, as the case may be. It was like a sophisticated agua fresca. With booze...and a hint of shiso. Wow. I was blown away...but that was just the cocktail. O.M.G.

It's Restaurant Week, so I had two different menus to choose from. The special-to-RW menu sounded intriguing, but didn’t have any proteins, so I ordered the duck breast entrée from the regular menu. We were between hot spells, so why not, right? It's hard to imagine being any more satisfied with my choice. Here's another OMG moment: That duck was browned, with a crisped-up fat cap, but tender--perfectly pink inside, by the way--and the smoked red cabbage accompaniment made the dish reminiscent of an upscale backyard grill-out, with “barbecue and slaw,” but then Chef Jose threw out a Latin-flavored curveball: chipotle marinade, mole verde, pupusas (filled with green spring veggies), paper-thin slivers of radish and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro...all expertly balanced in a composition of smoky, spicy, rich, sweet, bright and verdant goodness. At the suggestion of my server, I (normally a white wine-kinda gal) ordered a Pinot Noir with my dinner, which turned out to be perfectly light and fruity, and pleasantly acidic, when paired with the duck.

O.M.G. I can’t wait to come back another night to try the crispy-skin red fish. Thank you for the amazing dinner, Salazar!

NC
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been a frequent visitor to Cincinnati for 5 years, but, for some reason, this was my first visit to Salazar. Why has it taken me so long? The service, food, ambiance were all fantastic making it a most pleasurable experience for my son and me. Can't wait to invent another reason to go to Cincinnati and Salazar!

L
Cincinnati
15 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner after the playhouse

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for celebrating my husband’s birthday.

AH
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Will be a frequent diner here after this first visit in September 2019. Delicious food and excellent wait staff.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great from start to finish. Will highly recommend.

JJ
Cincinnati
37 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful relaxed dinner. Creative and well prepared food in a relaxed environment

OT
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. A little loud. Good drinks. Cool location.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was good, lots of great ingredient layers and despite 1 page menu there were lots of choices that looked great. Portions are smaller which I generally appreciate but they came with a high price which means success falls to the experience. The restaurant was however very loud, even on a Monday, and we had a very difficult time having a conversation. When we left we both commented that it felt like we just left a concert, with ears ringing. There wasn’t a huge loud table, it was just a loud room. There is a happy medium where there is energy but you can still communicate. There were some acoustic panels in the ceiling but they didn’t seem to do the trick. Better sound management would go a long way here to making this a return worthy location.

DA
Little Rock
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just amazing. Such a creative menu, and great service.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints! We had family in from out of town and had the best dinner!

B
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always love the oyster On a bun( best snack in the city)
and the seasonal spaghetti with corn is delicious.

MM
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The redfish meal was beautifully presented and delicious.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Did not care for the duck. Was tough and the vegetable (actually not sure what it was) was very sour and inedible.

PP
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

My date and I were celebrating a very special occasion and were so looking forward to this dinner – we’ve had several fantastic dinners here over the last few months. However, the partial meal we had tonight was simply inexcusable. We ordered the Fried Oyster sandwiches to start followed by the Tomato/Cucumber/Melon Salad. She had the tequila cocktail and I had the (wonderful, as always) Danger Zone. The Fried Oyster sandwich was fine - albeit a bit colder than usual. The salad, however, was unacceptable. We have had this salad every time we’ve come to the restaurant over the last couple months. Tonight it had three (3) halved tomatoes. It was 95% melons and cucumbers with NO dressing. The tomato is the main ingredient. Simultaneously, our cocktails were on their last sips. We attempted multiple times to get our server, Lauren J, but she didn’t even acknowledge our presence. And that’s not hyperbole – we clocked it. 12 minutes before she *finally* came over. Drinks were empty. Salad was barely eaten. We told her the issue and said we’d rather just leave given the completely negative experience and she took it extremely personally. She said she’d get our check. No apology whatsoever, nor any inquiry as to what could’ve been done different. She dropped the check off without comment. She picked the check up without comment. And she delivered our cards/checks without comment. That was our evening. On our way to Sartre to properly have dinner, we discussed how truly sad this was. We had been looking forward to this dinner for two (2) weeks. The duck and the spaghetti are our absolute favorites. We never even had the chance to order them this evening. What a shame. I’m not sure we’ll ever return.

C
Louisville
25 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely everything we ate was top notch. We often complain that we’ve hit s food ceiling, but every now and then some place exceeds expectations. Salazar did!

OT
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just perfect. Food is amazing, service was lovely. Seriously one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.

OT
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My sister and I meet once a month for dinner. She lives in Loveland. I live in Anderson Township. I’ve been following you on Instagram and have wanted to dine at your restaurant. Brittany was our server. She patiently answered our questions as well as made suggestions. Hands down the Shrimp & Grits were the best I’ve eaten anywhere. I’ve tried this dish in Charleston, SC when my daughter was living there at several restaurants(Husk, 3 Sisters) looking for the Holy Grail of Shrimp & Grits. No comparison. We shared everything. The Redfish with Green Curry, again, superb. Flavors explosion. Two weeks ago, I had dinner at The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. Are you familiar with this restaurant? The sister restaurant is Per Se in NYC. It was a gift from my other daughter for belated Mother’s Day & Birthday. The menu is
prix fixe. $365.00 per person. Truthfully, I am not exaggerating, the dinner I shared with my sister at Salazar was EVERY bit as good! We’ll be back September with our daughter & son-in-law. Bravo to the chef and wait staff.

k
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous venue and food. We were all so happy with our choices!

DH
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently great food and service. Everything on the menu sounds delicious and which makes deciding a challenge. The good news is that you can’t really make a bad choice.

T
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great, imaginative food. A little cramped and noisy.

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Disappointed the brussel sprout salad was not on the menu for our first time dining at Salazar. Other than that everything was excellent especially the service.

b
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was outstanding. Every item we ordered was exceptional!

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Ordered salmon well
Cooked but it came out medium rare... They fixed it but it took a long time and the waitress threw us some shade....:(

OT
Salt Lake City
4 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite places. Delicious, unusual food, and I love the always changing menu - I have a few special food issues and they are always very accommodating, right from the start.

J
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was excellent. The oyster sandwiches and pimento cheese fritters were perfection. But a strange thing happened. Our server left us in the middle of our meal. We watched her walk out the door. Another server took over for her. We were given no explanation, which we felt was highly unprofessional.

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