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Nicola's Ristorante Restaurant Review: Nicola's contemporary honey and ochre interior and white linen-covered tables belie its history as a nineteenth-century car barn for Cincinnati's incline trolleys. The restaurant's food has its own historic beginnings, too, rooted in chef-owner Nicola Pietoso's native Tuscany. It's a romantic, special occasion spot, where even the bread basket has high visual appeal and the wine list is respectable. The kitchen concentrates on the basics, turning out dishes from gnocchi to risotto. The weeknight menu includes a moderate five-course tasting for $60. Weekends are more extravagant, with a range of handmade pastas, such as crispy potato gnocchi with four-cheese fondue and truffle shavings; tagliolini with blue crab, tomatoes and navy beans; or macaroni with duck ragoût. Entrées include Maine lobster as well as seared cod with Mediterranean couscous and Sicilian sea salt capers. Save room for dessert, perhaps the seasonal passion fruit strudel adorned with pineapple, banana and coconut.