Nicola's comes to Square
I think the best part of all the new restaurant activity around Fountain Square is that Nicola Pietosa, of Nicola's, has the lease for the restaurant right on the square. It seems fitting that this prime downtown spot should go to someone who has stuck it out in the city-- in Over-the-Rhine --all these years.
Nicola and his son Cristian have been serving delicious high-end Italian food on Liberty Street as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Now they've got a real showcase. It sounds like the new location--the restaurant is called Via Vite, which means Vine Street-- is going to be fabulous. It's a two-story restaurant, on the northeast corner of the Square. The first floor dining room will have three walls of glass, including one looking directly onto the fountain. Upstairs, two sides of the restaurant will be outdoor terraces: perfect for people-watching and adding some extra life to the activity on the square. They'll be open seven lunches and dinners a week. (somewhere for lunch downtown on Saturday!) Wood-fired pizza oven, a second-floor lounge and private dining rooms, an Italian brunch on Sunday. . . . I think it's very exciting.
And Nicola's is staying in Over-the-Rhine, too, so it's not even a trade-off. In fact, Cristian will be mostly there, though supervising at both. The chef at Via Vite will be Michael messmer, who worked at Nicola's before going on to culinary school and stints at The French Laundry and Dean and Deluca.
They hope to open by the end of August.