February 11, 2022

23 of Cincinnati's Most Romantic Restaurants to Take Your Sweetheart

From a cozy basement trattoria hidden beneath the city streets to upscale restaurants boasting spectacular views of the city, award-winning steakhouses and more, the Queen City is home to dozens of elegant eateries where you can treat your special someone to an intimate evening on the town, whatever the occasion.
Scroll down to view images
Sotto
118 E. Sixth St., Downtown
Sotto is Cincinnati's clandestine basement trattoria — a below-street-level Italian eatery, nestled underneath sister restaurant Boca on Sixth Street downtown. It's a hot spot for diners celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for some excellent pasta. With multiple dining rooms, the kitchen is open to view, including the custom-made woodfire grill in front and a fresh-pasta room in the back hallway.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sotto

118 E. Sixth St., Downtown
Sotto is Cincinnati's clandestine basement trattoria — a below-street-level Italian eatery, nestled underneath sister restaurant Boca on Sixth Street downtown. It's a hot spot for diners celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for some excellent pasta. With multiple dining rooms, the kitchen is open to view, including the custom-made woodfire grill in front and a fresh-pasta room in the back hallway.
The Precinct
311 Delta Ave., Columbia Tusculum
The Precinct, housed in a historical Romanesque-style former police precinct, opened in 1981 and was the first in a long line of Jeff Ruby's steakhouses. The space is intimate and elegant, offering excellent service as well as a menu boasting prime steaks, fresh seafood and a generous wine selection.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The Precinct

311 Delta Ave., Columbia Tusculum
The Precinct, housed in a historical Romanesque-style former police precinct, opened in 1981 and was the first in a long line of Jeff Ruby's steakhouses. The space is intimate and elegant, offering excellent service as well as a menu boasting prime steaks, fresh seafood and a generous wine selection.
Nicola's
1420 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine
Italian darling Nicola's opened in a renovated car barn in Over-the-Rhine several decades ago. Patrons will be delighted by the lovely main dining room, resplendent with a beautiful interior where everything your eye rests on makes you feel indulged. Nicola's housemade pastas and secondi piatti transport diners to the heart of Italy.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Nicola's

1420 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine
Italian darling Nicola's opened in a renovated car barn in Over-the-Rhine several decades ago. Patrons will be delighted by the lovely main dining room, resplendent with a beautiful interior where everything your eye rests on makes you feel indulged. Nicola's housemade pastas and secondi piatti transport diners to the heart of Italy.
Pepp & Dolores
1501 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Pepp & Dolores is inspired by Sunday dinners at Thunderdome co-founders Joe and John Lanni's grandparents' house.The menu features housemade pastas — like spaghetti limone, a butternut and mascarpone pasta and a lobster and squid ink pasta — along with a focus on shareable dishes, salads and bread.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Pepp & Dolores

1501 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Pepp & Dolores is inspired by Sunday dinners at Thunderdome co-founders Joe and John Lanni's grandparents' house.The menu features housemade pastas — like spaghetti limone, a butternut and mascarpone pasta and a lobster and squid ink pasta — along with a focus on shareable dishes, salads and bread.
The View at Shires' Garden
509 Vine St., Downtown
The View at Shires' Garden is located on the 10th floor of the City Club Apartments with views of the riverfront and the surrounding cityscape. This rooftop spot features an indoor dining room, an outdoor patio and a private event lounge with a bar, cigar patio, baby grand piano and firelit tables.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The View at Shires' Garden

509 Vine St., Downtown
The View at Shires' Garden is located on the 10th floor of the City Club Apartments with views of the riverfront and the surrounding cityscape. This rooftop spot features an indoor dining room, an outdoor patio and a private event lounge with a bar, cigar patio, baby grand piano and firelit tables.
Carlo & Johnny
9769 Montgomery Road, Montgomery
Carlo & Johnny is another upscale steakhouse from the team behind Jeff Ruby's. Located in Montgomery, this restaurant is situated in a historic mansion that was formerly a gangster hideout, stagecoach stopover and casino. They offer U.S.D.A Prime steaks as well as a variety of fresh seafoods and impeccable service.

Carlo & Johnny

9769 Montgomery Road, Montgomery
Carlo & Johnny is another upscale steakhouse from the team behind Jeff Ruby's. Located in Montgomery, this restaurant is situated in a historic mansion that was formerly a gangster hideout, stagecoach stopover and casino. They offer U.S.D.A Prime steaks as well as a variety of fresh seafoods and impeccable service.
Primavista
810 Matson Place, East Price Hill
Along with a beautiful view of the city, this restaurant offers an upscale dining experience with menu options like sausage and mushroom ravioli, roasted lamb loin and tiramisu. Without leaving your seat, you can look out on views of Carew Tower, Great American Tower and the Cincinnati sign with a glass of wine in hand.

Primavista

810 Matson Place, East Price Hill
Along with a beautiful view of the city, this restaurant offers an upscale dining experience with menu options like sausage and mushroom ravioli, roasted lamb loin and tiramisu. Without leaving your seat, you can look out on views of Carew Tower, Great American Tower and the Cincinnati sign with a glass of wine in hand.
Mita's
501 Race St., Downtown
Chef Jose Salazar is a continent away from his mamita and the hand-cranked mill she still uses to grind corn for arepas and empanadas, but his restaurant, Mita's, is a tribute to her spirit and to Spanish and Latin American food. They also have one of the best margaritas in town.

Mita's

501 Race St., Downtown
Chef Jose Salazar is a continent away from his mamita and the hand-cranked mill she still uses to grind corn for arepas and empanadas, but his restaurant, Mita's, is a tribute to her spirit and to Spanish and Latin American food. They also have one of the best margaritas in town.
Nada
600 Walnut St., Downtown
Located across from the Aronoff Center, this prime modern Mexican spot offers small plates, large plates, shareables and tacos. The low-lit atmosphere and great cocktails make for a romantic night out.

Nada

600 Walnut St., Downtown
Located across from the Aronoff Center, this prime modern Mexican spot offers small plates, large plates, shareables and tacos. The low-lit atmosphere and great cocktails make for a romantic night out.
Ivory House
2998 Harrison Ave., Westwood
Self-described as “steak and seafood, elevated,” the menu is a fresh take on nostalgic-feeling dishes. A large wine menu and clever cocktails are a perfect accompaniment to a menu that features everything from filet mignon and grilled tuna to a Japanese A5 wagyu strip.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Ivory House

2998 Harrison Ave., Westwood
Self-described as “steak and seafood, elevated,” the menu is a fresh take on nostalgic-feeling dishes. A large wine menu and clever cocktails are a perfect accompaniment to a menu that features everything from filet mignon and grilled tuna to a Japanese A5 wagyu strip.