a Cena Ristorante
7742 SE 13th Avenue
Portland, OR 97202Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
a Cena Ristorante
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.acenapdx.com/
- Phone: 5032063291
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm Lunch: Tuesday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian
- Executive Chef: Gabriel Gabreski
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: Most of our menu items and other creative items designed between our chef and the client
- Private Party Facilities: Three rooms allow for separate or joined private dining for 20 to 70 people
- Private Party Contact: Chris Custer 5032063291
A word from a Cena Ristorante
At a Cena, we share a love for simply cooked meals enjoyed with friends and family. We value fresh ingredients, local Portland area farmers, handmade pastas and cured meats, daily prepared breads, consistency, a well-matched wine list, and a seasoned and personable staff. With these elements, we strive to offer our guests a fine-dining experience with the comfort and warmth of an Italian country kitchen. Salute!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
a Cena Ristorante - Best Restaurants in Southeast Portland ›
a Cena Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
134 reviews since June 23, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (107)fit for foodies (93)special occasion (79)romantic (55)notable wine list (44)great for outdoor dining (33)good for groups (27)hot spot (15)great for lunch (13)kid-friendly (11)great for brunch (3)late-night find (3)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
- Very Disappointing This TimebellastellaVIPDined on 10/18/2014Neither the food nor the service came close to the very positive experiences that we've had at a Cena in the past.Special Features:
- Great Food - Disappointing ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/18/2014Acena is one of our go to restaurants. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is lively but the last two times I have been really underwhelmed by the service. Upon being seated at 7:00pm, our server briskly asked us if we wanted to something to drink and quickly told us the specials. Upon serving the two beers, without serving the two cocktails, she asked if we were ready to order. This was my first red flag that our server was not there to elevate the experience but merely trying to turn the table. 20 minutes into being being seated we ordered three appetizers and more cocktails. The server appeared put off that we were not going to order our main courses at the same time. Super disappointing evening!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FoodieDined on 10/11/2014Always good. Like it a lot! An energetic and fun place.Special Features:
- DelightfulMaryDined on 10/7/2014With a menu that varies according to season and the whim of the chef, a Cena is an unpretentious restaurant that knows what it means to eat well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome Sellwood Italian gemOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 10/4/2014Limited menu done well. Great service, wanted for nothing. Main dining room can be noisy, get a side room. The lobster ravioli is exceptional.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food was good; service disappointedlove2eatanddrinkDined on 9/30/2014The atmosphere is cute but the noise level was so bad, my family of three spent most of the meal saying "what?" We were celebrating a birthday, which should have been obvious because 1) we noted it in our reservation and 2) we opened gifts and cards at the table. But, the waitress was oblivious. She interrupted our gift opening and tried to take our order, which made things feel rushed. We ordered dessert, which came sans candle, and no acknowledgement in any way that we were celebrating. I felt the food was overpriced, particularly the $24 spaghetti and meatballs. If the service was at the same level, it might have felt worth it and special, but I felt disappointed overall.
- Wonderful experiencemuibuiDined on 9/30/2014Several friends were coming from out of town and on a whim I chose A Cena, just hoping for the best. Well, it turned out to be wonderful. The restaurant is very cute and well decorated. The ambiance was delightful. Service was great. But the food was by far the most spectacular of all. There was 6 of us and we decided to try almost half the menu. We all loved Agnolotti...yummy. We will be back for sure.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and serviceGaryDined on 9/28/2014We wanted to try A Cena for over a year and just never made it, our LOSS, this is the best dinner that i can remember since my wedding night 15 years ago. My wife must have said "that was really good" about 5 times on the ride home. They make all of their pasta fresh everyday and you can tell. Everything from the bread that they serve before dinner to the dinner its self is just fantastic. I enjoyed it so much that i felt taking the time to write this was something that I could do, I never do reviews.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Terrific ambience2PM2Dined on 9/27/2014from the owner to the servers, this place strikes just the right chord between casual,and formal. Terrific food, beer, pizza, everything!Special Features:
- Perfect DateBigEdDined on 9/23/2014I recently had dinner here, and reserved prior on Opentable. Staff was awesome, they called me on my special requests, and not only that made sure we had a table where we could sit an talk with little interruptions. This didn't effect the service, they made sure that are needs were meet. The food was out of this world, we started with a caprese salad which was not overpowering at all, but a perfect taste. Both my date and I were blown away with the food, and even the portion size. The Rabbit dish I had was cooked perfectly, and had just the right amount of spice. They did have a great Italian wine selection, however I brought my own bottle for the meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- eandbDined on 9/23/2014Outstanding Italian food in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Great service. Our new favorite in Portland.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent as alwaysOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 9/20/2014Another excellent dinner at a Cena. Tagliatelle and pappardelle were both outstanding. Love this place!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Another fine mealnycXerGreekDinerboyDined on 9/20/2014We had a party of 6 with an infant, the restaurant set us in a perfect spot for the group (near the bar). The hostess and staff were exceptionally friendly and attentive. The meal, as expected was excellent! As usual I tried my best to sample as many things as I could (we folks in mediterranean families share dishes often). To that end, the appetizers were delectable (tried the octopus, Roman artichokes, and friitto misto), the fresh pastas- delicious (braised rabbit pappardelle, garganelli alla norcia & spaghetti), my entree (lamb chops)- superb! To top it off, at the request of our group- they put together a cookie plate for us as a dessert to dessert, delivered by the Chef. Thanks again from a NYC transplant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OCHottieDined on 9/19/2014Always courteous and friendly staff. Never disappointed on the food and to how delicious it is. Wine choice available, drinks were a specialty and delightful suggestion upon server recommendation. A smaller, more intimate restaurant to be suggested to friends and family. Look forward to many return visits.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Charming Neighborhood SpotNB61Dined on 9/17/2014First the pros: Very good, personable service. Many service people; everyone seems to pitch in. Brought our wine quickly; owner very friendly and personable. Very good salad; large enough to share. The cons: While the menu looked intriguing--"tagliatelle with brussels sprouts"--sounded great, but the brussels sprouts were not cooked it was like biting into marbles. Also the fresh pasta, while tasty, clumped together and did not really stand up to the brussels sprouts etc. We also had the papparadelli with rabbit. My husband was somewhat put off by a large piece of rabbit skin in the sauce and he thought there was not much flavor. In general our impression of the food was that there were some good ideas but execution needed more attention.Special Features:
- a Cena delivers, againPinotJimDined on 9/15/2014Some new pasta dishes that were outstanding. The corn-marscapone ravolii with lobster was outstanding, just right on the portion control. Each of us had a different dish and each reported "outstanding". The wait staff was engaging without being intrusive.Special Features:
- Good foodabbykakeDined on 9/13/2014Had a wonderful dinner. Food was good. Service was excellent. Loved my lamb chops.Special Features:
- Mildly DisappointedbellastellaVIPDined on 9/11/2014We took visiting company to dinner at a Cena this weekend night based on consistently excellent food. While the lamb chop special was truly outstanding and our guest was impressed with the spaghetti and meatballs, the rabbit pappardelle was nothing like what we've enjoyed in Tuscany. The noodles themselves were delicious but overwhelmed the watery, under-seasoned broth that accompanied the rabbit. It was reminiscent of chicken noodle soup. I've always wanted to try a Cena's version but won't be ordering it again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently Amazing!KenTomDined on 9/6/2014We have been going to A Cena since it opened, and we always have a great time and a delicious meal. Chris, the owner makes you feel like you are coming to his home for a great Italian meal. One of our favorite places in town.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Find!barrelracerfoodieDined on 8/29/2014What a delightful find, a true gem! The owner was more than gracious, the food was outstanding, the neighborhood this restaurant is located in is very charming. This will be a restaurant we will revisit when we are in Portland again. Amazing experience!Special Features:
- Great Dinner --Amazing Service!foodielovesItalyDined on 8/28/2014We love a Cena for dinner and for special lunch while hitting the antique stores in Sellwood. Call ahead and make sure they are open though. The menu is very authentic Italian - not your Olive Garden that is for sure!! The service is awesome. They take great care of you for sure.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place nearby.OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/27/2014The service by Julia was excellent, she knew the menu and her suggestions were very helpful. The food was simple, but very well prepared and delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious, authentic ItalianSouthernfoodieDined on 8/23/2014I love this restaurant, but my husband REALLY loves this restaurant. He is Italian and just moved here to Portland from Northern Italy a few years ago. It is always a challenge to find Italian restaurants that meet his approval, and honestly we usually just cook at home when we want it. But we have been to A Cena a few times now, and my husband has been very impressed. They have wonderful housemade foccacia, and the Lobster Agnolotti is his favorite thing. The service is also very welcoming, generous, and prompt.Special Features:
- I found A Cena on line throughOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/22/2014Yelp so I wasn't really too sure what was going to await us when we arrived. We were both very impressed with all aspects of this restaurant and wouldn't have a problem recommending it to friends and family.Special Features:
- Best Italian in PortlandWineanddineyaDined on 8/22/2014This place definitely takes pride in their quality of food and service. Wine list is not extensive, but all very good. Food is great value (dinner for two with appetizers and 2 glasses of wine each plus dessert for $110) Best thing about this place...portions are incredible. I couldnt believe the amount of Duck I had on my plate, and it was cooked to perfection. Presentaion was awesome. We left completely satisfied and yes, I've eaten many times in Italy. Been to several other Fine Italian cuisine restaurants, and none adds up to what A Cena provides. Only negative...it can be loud in there.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- absolute favorite restaurant!JulieDined on 8/22/2014a Cena consistently pleases. The food is exceptionally delicious and the staff is warm, welcoming and professional. It is my very favorite restaurant in Portland and I'm so lucky to be within walking distance! It's happily becoming a Friday night occasion.Special Features:
- Great find in a cool neighborhood.jbirdDined on 8/15/2014Yummy food in all categories!! Fun outside seating. Owner and staff were fantastic! Great wine. Short cab ride back to downtown! You will love, nice, relaxing fun evenjngSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dining experienceJJWBDined on 8/14/2014The house Chianti is as good a anything on the wine list. The agnolotti is to die for. This was our second visit and we will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Glad we re-discovered a Cena!revalaniDined on 8/13/2014We went here a few times in the year or two after it first opened, liked it, but for some reason -- even tho it's close to home -- never got in the habit. Despite the fact that we go past it several times a week, it just fell off our radar. We didn't feel like cooking the other night and, I don't know why, a Cena came to mind. We went and had a very positive experience. The service was friendly and highly competent, the wine advice was sound, and the food -- especially my lobster and corn agnolotti, omg -- was awesome. For some reason a Cena doesn't attract critical attention like every new place up on Division. It's a bit pricey, definitely a special occasion place for us, but it's on our radar now.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/12/2014Always love the food here, but Grilled peaches were out of this world. Scallops and lamb were great as usual.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, service but noisyOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/10/2014This is a great neighborhood restaurant with excellent food, friendly service and a good wine list. We really like it a lot. The only downside is the tables are close together so when it's full, it's noisy. This doesn't prevent us from going there however.Special Features:
- A Cena - AmazingMimiKDined on 8/9/2014I am lucky to have this authentic slow food dazzler in my neighborhood. A Cena is a perfect European small restaurant made for conversation over marvelous fresh, locally sourced dishes prepared in the Northern Italian tradition. The Slow Food movement originated in Italy, and A Cena is exactly what the movement is all about: taking the time to delight in the food. Their serving portions are the perfect amount of generous. Every time I have taken friends, they have been amazed at this local gem. I always go in the autumn for my birthday, when I splurge on their amazing duck and the speechlessly divine "Budino," which translates as "butterscotch pudding" but that's like calling risotto "rice." What you want dinner with friends to be.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, but not a go to if hot!BcuzimhappyDined on 8/9/2014The food is always amazing! But they didn't have a/c and I was sweating! The thermostat said 81 degrees. Also, we ordered another appetizer and they forgot to bring it. :( a cena is still one of my favorite restaurants in Portland.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of Portland's BEST!joyfuleatingDined on 8/8/2014My husband and I had an outstanding dinner at La Cena Friday night. We agreed that it is better than any of Portland's standards (like Higgins) or the new places (like The Woodsman, etc.) sprouting throughout town. The service is terrific unlike some of the new places where it feels like the server thinks they are doing you a big favor just bringing you a menu….We need to come here more often!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great foodKenAidianDined on 8/6/2014After visiting Italy last year, it was nice to find a place which embodied the culture of serving fresh, authentic and great-tasting food without spending a fortune. We had the lamb cavelletti (sp?), margherita pizza, and afogato - all excellent. Even the bread sticks and focaccia were great. Would definitely go back, if only I lived here!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The service was fantasticCdubDined on 8/6/2014The staff worked as a team and our service could not have been more attentive. Food was delivered quickly and was delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A little piece of Italyout4tastyDined on 8/5/2014A Cena is a wonderful all around experience. With unique and tasty options for each course it can be hard to pick. Luckily the offer half portions of their pastas so you can try multiple or so you have space left over for one of their entrees. The corn and lobster pasta is our favorite. The nutella cake with hazelnuts and gelato was also amazing alongside their homemade lemoncello! All of this with great service!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Standard ItalianCalgaryFoodieVIPDined on 8/5/2014Good quality food, generous portions, but in a hot corner where it was too dark to read the menu and with service that was somewhat indifferent. The owner (my guess) came by at one point and he was extremely friendly and helpful, but our server seemed bored or tired or something.
- Love2eatDined on 8/5/2014All of the wait staff was very friendly and attentive. Portions were just right, and we were able to share several dishes. I always order bolognese and it was as good as any I've had. The duck breast was superb served with grilled peaches over a warm spinach salad. Priced for special occasion but will definitely go again and have been recommending it to others.Special Features:
- Service was excellent!!TravelbumDined on 7/30/2014A Cena is a great restaurant for wonderful Italian food. We had the lamb chops and they were excellent and paired well with the wine recommendation from the waiter. Service was excellent and friendly. Will definitely return for another dinner out!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.