Sartre OTR

4.4
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599 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary French / American
Sartre is a contemporary brasserie open at 1910 Elm Street on the first floor. It's a large, beautiful space which will seat nearly 200 with room for private dining up to 14 people.

In the tradition of the brasserie, Sartre serves an expansive menu from soil and pasture and sea, and many fine drinks. Much of what we serve is made possible by those early enterprising days in France; but we were brought into Being by minds in OTR, and like our neighborhood, we admire the past but pin our ambitions and culinary style to the future.

We hope as a restaurant to be a conduit for thought, to be a place where people can join together and invite life in. Whether over a beer or a feast, we hope Sartre will be a place where you can take a vacation from the outside world, return to what's important, and give life the full attention it deserves.

Specials

Half Priced Wine Wednesdays

Every Wednesday night the entire wine by the bottle list is offered at half off.

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: November 2, 2018

Ends: November 3, 2117

Availability: Wed 5:00PM-9:00PM

What 599 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BA
Cincinnati
11 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Good food- the special sweet potato beignets were a perfect starter. They were out of the grouper by 8 on a Saturday evening without another fish option. Ok, but with a concise menu, surprising.
Server accommodated my friend she didn’t like her drink.
Restaurant was cold and wasn’t very busy. Would go again.

OT
Cincinnati
76 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The service was very slow. The first martini had vermouth in it which is not how any other places serve them. The Allez bread was burned and pretty obviously burned since it looked like charcoal. I doubt other places would have served it. Our entrees were average. None of them really wonderful. The Clafloitis was just like a big chocolate pancake.
We had high expectations and were very disappointed

R
Cincinnati
19 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friend & I were celebrating our birthdays. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and wished a happy birthday. We were thrilled by this gesture. The food & service were outstanding. The restaurant was beautiful inside. I will definitely be back.

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Very nice and enjoyable Birthday Dinner. Attentive staff and efficient service.

TB
Cincinnati
18 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Had a nice dinner with my, wife, sister and my brother in law. Service was great, then kind of fell off.

Food is great, but a somewhat limited menu.

Would I repeat? Yes.

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s expensive, but every single dish we got was amazing. This place is the real deal if you’re looking for an amazing food experience and not concerned about spending some cash.

M
Cincinnati
27 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

This was my second visit to Sarte and probably my last. The first time everything was spot on, food and service. Last night though was a different story, we sat for almost 20 minutes without any waitstaff passing by and even saying, "I will be with you in a moment". I had to get up and ask a waitress to please get the person who was responsible for waiting on our table, and still it took a while for that to happen. The entire evening either the waiter was no where to be seen or if he did come to the table he made a passing comment that he regretted that he had been missing in action. One time with that explanation is one thing but it was a constant "line" from our waiter. The food is good but the portions are very small. The oysters were a joke they were smaller than a dime and very pricey. After all the terrible service, I expected some portion of our bill to be comped, but it was not. The best we got was 4 free pieces of bread. If this bad service continues, read previous reviews, Sarte will be no more. Hope this serves as a wake up call.

G
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very attentive and knowledgeable wait staff. Delicious food and just right portions.

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience5

Food and atmosphere were great. Service was very slow, which I understand happens occasionally. But instead of at least updating us or apologizing our server avoided our table except for when bringing our food or drinks.

MR
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Service was great the people who on us were very attentive! Loved my vegan dish the chef created for me.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Children visiting.
Waiter tried a little too hard to be “hip” / nice enough / lacked on timely service.
Menu was a bit pretentious.
‘Cheese and Crackers’ were WAY overpriced.
Over all cost was a bit high for a return visit based on the quality of food.

R
Miami
20 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food. Service was only ok this time but is normally excellent. I recommend Sartre.

l
Washington DC
52 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a birthday dinner there. It was a Wednesday night, half-price wine night! The food and service were excellent. We all enjoyed our meals and the wine. It was not very crowded, so noise levels were low. That was good for our conversation, but probably not great for their business. We’ll be back. The food is interesting and delicious.

t
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Over priced and underwhelmed

OT
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Service was poor. The restaurant was NKY crowded but it took 20 minutes for our waiter to get our drink order. The waiter was inattentive throughout - we had empty water carafes multiple times throughout the night. The food was just ok. The grouper was undercooked and had to be sent back.

Overall, compared to when we were there over 1 year ago, it was a completely different restaurant and atmospheres.

LG
Cincinnati
39 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The appetizers were disappointing. Basic things and expensive for the price. Portions of main were also very small but better than the appetizers. We used to here frequently. Not going back

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was great. Our first time.

KT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

First off, no one was there. The food was mediocre. There was one drink we ordered that was not drinkable, it was terrible. We sent it back right away, ordered something different and they charged us for the bad drink as well as the new order. We had 5 people all eating and drinking so our bill was high enough to have comped the terrible drink! Very disappointed

F
Cincinnati
17 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sartre never disappoints! Brothers enjoyed it as well. Thank you to everyone on your staff.
Awesome
Dave

S
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Great decor and atmosphere. Menu is limited and eclectic. Service was cold, unfriendly and inattentive. Prices were steep - not a good value. Restaurant wasn’t very busy but the noise was disturbing.

AB
Cincinnati
14 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoyed our ladies night at SARTRE. They have a half-price bottle of wine deal on Wednesdays (which I was unaware of) and it was a great deal. We split a bunch of plates, had two bottles of wine (between 4 of us) and it was just perfect!

SM
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had an amazing time celebrating our anniversary at Sartre. We arrived a few minutes late and they were able to accommodate us quickly, and they brought out complimentary wine for our anniversary, and a salad because our food took a while to get to the table. Our server was very knowledgeable and checked in on us the perfect amount. It was a great way to spend our evening!

DB
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time celebrating our anniversary. Sartre is a great place to dine. The wait staff was outstanding.

c
Cincinnati
322 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Inventive food and great cocktails made for a delicious dinner.

v
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

The food a Sartre, while we executed, is uninspired and the flavors are monotonous. The service is lukewarm and the ambiance is bland. Great idea, but a near miss.

w
Cincinnati
17 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful, intimate dinner with friends who are particularly interested in architecture. We spent quite a bit of time looking at the extraordinary ceiling and its lighting. And we were delighted to read in the Cincinnati Enquirer the next morning about the local architectural team, The Drawing Department, that renovated this amazing building, which is unremarkable from the outside. The food was excellent; our server was professional and attentive and we loved meeting the chef over our clafoutis desserts. A wonderful evening.

LH
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding!!!!!

We've been twice now and each time it was amazing.

Larry Hoffman

L
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

This was a disappointment overall. The food was mediocre at best for the price. Fortunately the service was decent but nothing over the top. Id mentioned that we were celebrating

JS
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

So I had mixed reviews from colleagues and friends about Sartre. There was good food and food that was severely understated. In our group someone order the market cut steak and frites. The flank was cooked correctly but had zero flavor. The frites were really sad. If you can avoid those, they looked like frozen fries. I ordered the chicken and it was great with the corn pudding and tomatoes. All the appetizers we ordered were great as well. The other negative of the restaurant was service. It was 745 on a Friday and the restaurant was half empty but it felt like one server was working the whole floor with a food runner and hostess. Have to wonder if someone called in sick or they are struggling business wise to have more servers working. I get why I was getting mixed reviews. Be careful what you order and hope for good service. This place could really be a gem.

CB
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I really love the decor at Sartre as well as the food and service. The people are exceptionally warm and friendly and their menu always seems to offer a bit of a different twist on things. It's location is a bit out of the way but there was good parking and transportation options so overall it is a great spot dinner.

TH
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

From the walk in to the bar and all the way through the meal and to our exit, this was a first-class experience. The three P’s - people, preparation, and price - made this place a truly special memory. Well worth a trip... and a return! We’ll be coming back for sure.

m
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The bartender was a very knowledgable guide through their beverage options, and was articulate in explaining the menu and verbalizing specials. The staff in general was very attentive, and effortlessly made us feel well cared for. Everything was delicious, we’ll definitely be back to try our way around the menu!

BK
Cincinnati
19 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We hadn't been to Sartre for a while and were somewhat disappointed with the menu. Ended up ordering chicken (women) and steak frites (men). Only seafood was trout which didn't appeal to most of us. Starters were even a little strange. Food was good but not what I was hoping for. Always love the ambiance and service was very good. Please do something to enhance the menu so we can keep coming to this lovely restaurant.

ES
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience4

I might recommend the bar to a friend, but service was so poor, I wouldn't come back for dinner.

R
Miami
20 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Food was awesome! Really creative, unique, and magnificent. We get there around 6:30 PM on a Friday and are surprised how employ it is. Food is amazing!

OB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Loved the restaurant the first time we visited a year ago but was disappointed with the food this time. The meal was definitely not memorable but also not so bad that it could be sent back. Service was excellent and that was the one bright spot of the evening. There are some really nice restaurants in the OTR area now and Sartre needs to amp its game.

C
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Service was fantasist! Steak Wonderful. Lamb was over cooked would not recommend that dish. Everything else was wonderful. Strawberry short cake was among best we have ever had.

k
Cincinnati
7 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Birthday. Liked the energy of the noise but it was a little too much making it hard to converse at the table of 4. We loved the old building and atmosphere of the space.

Food was good, unique but just a bit too pricey. The server took too long to get our drinks the second time around.

NC
Cincinnati
11 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great OTR find that everybody who enjoys seeing Cincinnati's growth and emergence as a great eating city must try! Ours was an early Saturday dinner following a CSC matinee a few blocks down Elm Street. After a walk around Findlay Market, we strolled the short block to Sartre and began to enjoy the cool, clean and uncluttered feel of the restaurant. Our waiter was great - and more than willing to share his thoughts on the menu and wine list. We settled on a very nice and reasonably priced Bourdeaux that was a perfect compliment to both our cheese plate starter and the chef's Bolognese as an entree. The Bolognese was a very pleasant surprise - brilliantly light with seasonal mustard greens replacing the dandelion greens we had been heard tales of. Our meals hit the spot for two picky patrons on a hot July day - and would have hit that same sweet spot on a cooler autumn or winter Cincinnati evening.