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“Should have been Excellent”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Carlo & Johnny

Carlo & Johnny
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Ranked #23 of 1,953 Restaurants in Cincinnati
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Following the Jeff Ruby tradition of fine dining in unique settings is Carlo & Johnny. This beautiful mansion has a storied history as a casino and Mafia hangout, adorned with antiques and unique appointments. As for the menu, it's in keeping with the Jeff Ruby tradition; delicious, innovative, and out-of-this-world. And with 15 steaks, it's Ruby's most comprehensive menu ever. The old Hollywood glamour and delicious cuisine promise a meal and experience to remember.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
93 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Should have been Excellent”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

Second experience and this time they fell short. My steak was undercooked and for the price and quality it should have been perfect. I expect MORE from any JR establishment. Service is outstanding and what I always experience. Spoiled the dinner as I was waiting for my steak to come back. Not sure if we hit a bad night -for the price of dinner here this should be EXCELLENT!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank carol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
California
Level Contributor
125 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“One of Cincinnati's Finest”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

For years, once a year on a trip to Cincinnati, we would go to the Waterfront for a special meal. When the Waterfront floated away, we discovered that Jeff Ruby had this restaurant as well and after looking at the menu were thrilled to find that it was the same as the Waterfront. This is without a doubt one of the top restaurants in Cincinnati - in terms of atmosphere, service, quality of food it is a 5-star restaurant for Cincinnati (a city where an ice cream parlors and BBQ rank high). This restaurant is in an historic building -a mansion that was once a stagecoach stopover, a casino and a gangster hideout - warm and cozy although it is a large mansion - the rooms are all cozy and have that 1930's flare. The service is impeccable. The steaks are superb. The raw bar is the best I've found in Cincinnati - which giant prawns that are fresh and plump...never dry. The sauces are excellent (you generally choose which you would like). And the Freddie Salad - what can I say - you definitely think you are eating a BLT - is fabulous. ALL of us order the salad and the shrimp cocktail followed by steak and one or two sides. There is not a great deal of variety in the sides, but one doesn't need much more than a shrimp cocktail, a salad, a steak, and a nice wine. Yes it is expensive to have a fine dining experience but I would say that it is worth every penny. And you definitely need reservations!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank pvfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Special Night Out @ Carlo & Johnny!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

My significant other and I decided to take a quick trip to Cincinnati to celebrate the July 4th Weekend. I was able to make a reservation at Carlo & Johnny from my iPhone during the car trip. I logged onto Open Table and was able to secure a 7:45pm reservation at 1:00pm on that Saturday/day of the reservation… Needless to say I was shocked but pleased to be able to take my girlfriend to the spot I had been raving about in the car for over an hour! :)

First Impression/Bar: The restaurant is setback off of Montgomery Rd and has a lovely driveway that winds you back towards the place. The restaurant itself is a more of a mansion than a place you would consider a fancy restaurant. We opted not valet park (offered for $3.00 + tip), as the main parking lot was fairly empty and not that far of a walk from the front door. We both knew we would be having large steaks so we planned to “walk some of it off” by not valet parking haha. We should up at 7:30pm for the 7:45pm reservation and the hostess was immediately able to seat us, but we opted to head to the bar area where live music was playing. The hostess was not pushy and acted as if the timing on our reservation did not matter, saying: “simply come back up when you wish to have dinner.” The bar area provided live music (6pm - 8pm and then again at 9pm - 1am) and full menu for both diners and those cocktailing. The bar was crowded but not overly so, and was a nice mix of those on “date night”, business men/women, large groups, etc. I highly recommend having a drink in the bar area and catching some music either before or after your meal!

Service: We sat in ‘Dons’ and he was extremely attentive but not overly so. He was there when we needed him to be and never more. He was able to make recommendations from the menu and was extremely well versed on the daily specials (he even knew all the oysters for sale that day). The service was as expected: AMAZING. Everything from offering my girlfriend a dark napkin to avoid white lint on her clothing, to the manager made it a point to come by the table not once, but twice which was nice. He cracked a few jokes and made some small talk to ensure we were having a lovely evening. We notice him approaching all the tables at one point or another in the evening which was a nice touch to see.

Food: We started the meal by ordering a bottle of champagne; after all it was a holiday! $99.00 for a bottle of Moët & Chandon is going-rate at any bar, so we splurged. We started the meal by ordered a dozen mixed (East & West) oysters which we served with fresh horseradish, lemon slices, cocktail sauce, and a balsamic sauce. The oysters we fantastic! I ended up ordering the Barrel Cut 12oz Filet and my girlfriend had the Anthony Muñoz. We both split the large baked potato which was MASSIVE and could be shared 4 ways. Don was more than happy to grill our asparagus order (not much a fan of steamed asparagus). Both steaks we cooked Medium Rare and came out perfect! We have both order steaks at some amazing places (Jags – Cincinnati, St. Elmo’s – Indianapolis, Maestros Ocean Club – Vegas) and these were right up there with the best! The potato was melt in your mouth and the asparagus was great. We skipped dessert, only so we could have Graeters on the way home!

Atmosphere: The décor is dated. From the tufted leather booth seating to the green velvet walls (at least this was in the dining room we sat in). I personally think the old-school décor ads to the character of the place and give it an extremely warm feeling. We were sat in a GIANT booth for just the two of us that was slightly lifted off the dining room floor allowing us to “people watch” during our meal (one of our favorite things to do!)

Overall Impression: 10/10. Carlo & Johnny’s now have two new customers for life and provided me an amazing evening with my girlfriend that we will not forget anytime soon!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank KevinEdwardNoschang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
252 reviews
193 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Now That's a Steak!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

I grew up in Cincinnati, spent alot of my hard earned dollars at the Waterfront, Precinct and hadn't eaten here since 2010. That was a business meal with a $6800.00 bill, reward for setting a national record, ouch and I had forgotten had good the food is. I took my daughter for a steak and luckily was seated in Adrians section. Now he has a great support staff, but I sure enjoyed the pampering. I had the signature bone in filet, their legendary Mac and Cheese, Scalloped potatoes. My daughter Never shares her shrimp cocktail, orders four, I got two and they were excellent. The bread is great, I chose not to eat a salad, but had some of my daughters Iceberg Wedge, super good Blue Cheese dressing. The steak was huge, I ate half of it before I touched anything else. I again forgot what a properly aged, cooked steak was all about. Adrian walked another order by, I believe he called it the Tomahawk, Fred Flintstone size, bone in monster, that hang off the plate, enough for the whole family. The mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, as always, were excellent, I'll be eating the remainder for lunch. The best was my cheese cake with berries, my daughter ate the lava cake, not sharing this time.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank RoadDogCincinnati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
65 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Perfect!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

We haven't been to this restaurant in several years. So glad that we came back!! Tom was an excellent server...engaged in conversation with us besides telling us about the menu, etc. He didn't rush us and allowed us time to enjoy each segment of the meal. Even when we were enjoying our coffee after dinner we never felt rushed. Dinner is expensive, but for special occasions it is definitely worth it. We found everyone to be extremely friendly. We will be returning to Carlo and Johnny!!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lynn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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