a Cena Ristorante
Incredible Food, A little too noisyThis was our first time to A Cena, the food was amazing, the service was impeccable, everybody was super friendly. Our only issue as it was an anniversary dinner for us was that the restaurant was incredibly noisy and we had to lean across the table to talk to each other until the rush died down a bit.
I would certainly recommend trying to get a table on the sidewalk or making your reservation for before or after prime dining hours if you're hoping for a quieter evening.
We will certainly be going back soon though, great great food.6/8/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent FoodThis was our second time dining at a Cena. It is a wonderful restaurant with excellent food, an attentive waitstaff and easy to reach location. I would highly recommend it to friends and family, but would tell them the noise level can be a bit high at peak dining hours, making conversations a challenge.6/8/2013 12:00:00 AMEnjoyable experienceThe pasta dish my friend and I ordered was fabulous, and the service was excellent -- friendly and smooth. It was a beautiful day, so we chose to eat outdoors. The only problem was that SE 13th Avenue is a very busy street -- buses, trucks, etc., that sometimes made conversation difficult. Otherwise, we really enjoyed lunch.6/5/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent foodWe take out-of-town guests here because the food and service are always good. This night was no exception. Our guests regularly order halibut, and they said this was the best they had eaten! Good flavor and perfectly cooked.5/30/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent Food & ServiceI booked this restaurant for my girlfriend's birthday. They gave us a great table that was secluded from the main group of patrons and the food and service were excellent. The staff went out of their way to make it a special evening for us. This was one of the best dining experiences that I've ever had.5/30/2013 12:00:00 AMA good restaurant to tryThe food was great, the service was great and the owner was very friendly. We made reservations but we had to wait 15 minutes but that is to be expected when you have a busy place like this and the restaurant apologized for the wait. I didn't give it 5 stars only because our table was in the first dining room and the front door was opened and I was cold at the beginning of the dinner.... after a few glass of wine and food it wasn't so bad.5/26/2013 12:00:00 AMUnderrated, great everything!Underrated, great everything! Cant wait to go back!5/24/2013 12:00:00 AMPerfect night out!Excellent experience; staff was wonderful and attentive. Great food! Definitely would recommend.5/23/2013 12:00:00 AMBravo, A Cena, Bravo!A Cena is a neighborhood gem worth seeking out in Portland. The primi and secundi flavors are artistically harmonized to play symphonies to your taste buds. The angolotti has become my favorite primi and is a must try. The other house made pastas are also noteworthy. As for the secundi, all are equally fantastically delicious choices. I travel extensively and A Cena is one of my all time favorite Italian restaurants in the US and Italy. Bravissimo!5/23/2013 12:00:00 AMThe food was oustanding. OurThe food was oustanding. Our group of 4 ordered 3 appetizers and 4 different entrees and they were all delicious. The service was attentive and friendly and our watier did a great job recommending dishes to suit our tastes. I will definitely be returning next time I am in Portland.5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat foodMe and my wife ate their before our marathon. The pasta tasted fresh and the server was nice. The owner greated us at the door and was also nice. Will go there again when in Portland.5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMThe staff was great and theThe staff was great and the restaurant is simply appointed and casually comfortable.
Generally pleased with our food but the bruschetta was a little bit disappointing because I could taste the grill. The homemade pasta was good but the tagliatelle did need more lemon and salt (both personal preference and easily "fixed").
A nice find in this neighborhood!5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMMemorable Meal on All FrontsWe had been to the restaurant several times before and always liked it. Tonight was special. The anti pasta was well rounded and delicious. The Osso Bucco and Veal Chop options that our group had were spectacular. The pasta was simple yet fantastic.
The service and welcoming environment made us feel at home. The chef's visit to the table with some special treats pushed the dinner over the top ! The restaurant is a gem.5/17/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat place! The atmosphereGreat place! The atmosphere was warm, welcoming and calm. The employees treated us all very well and made sure that we were happy. We went on Mother's Day and they made sure to make my mom feel special. The food was also fantastic. Their scallops are fantastic.5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMA Cena is a delightI will always come here with out of town guests. It is a most accommodating restaurant. The staff and service are excellent. The energy is wonderful. Mostly the food is beyond delicious.5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMConsistently Perfect!!!!!This is my favorite because it is always perfect!! Perfection is hard to find in any age!5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMWe had a lovely Mother's dayWe had a lovely Mother's day lunch here. Excellent, friendly, personable (and knowledgeable) service; delectable food; elegant, welcoming atmosphere. And even though we were a few minutes late for our reservation, we were seated promptly at an ideal table by the window.5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMFabulous! We arrived at 7:15Fabulous! We arrived at 7:15 on a Saturday night with a group of 6 people - some of which very picky eaters which makes it a struggle to pick a restaurant all will be happy at. This hit the mark! It was the prime dinner rush, every table was taken but you wouldn't have known it by the service. Our server was quick to greet us, share specials, answer questions, bring our drinks, etc. The owner/manager (??) was at our table within a minute of requesting his assistance for a wine suggestion - which was delish. All in our party loved it and were each sampling one another's dishes. Staff were friendly, fun, quick to get us anything we asked for and clear empty plates. The night couldn't have been better - we will definitely be back. :)5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMAmazing with a capital A!Everything about this restaurant was an A+! From the greeting at the door to the server (who was super personable and extremely knowledgeable) to the food, WOW is an understatement. Appetizers? Excellent. Wine and cocktails. Perfection. Entrees? Delicious. And dessert? Heaven. We couldn't have made a better choice for our 25th anniversary dinner. We will definitely be back. Thank you, a Cena!5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat Italian Food in SellwoodGood service, nice tables outside (but lots of traffic noise), relaxed atmostphere. Perfect for a casual dining experience, but with exceptional food.5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMJust what I wanted - table for 2I wanted a special dinner for my Mom, who while I was away on business, took care of my 2 kids and my husband who recently had surgery + completed a mirage of house projects! And it was Mother's Day weekend. She wanted Italian and I was flying into PDX, so I looked up recommendations on the East side of Portland. a Cena had great reviews and wasn't the most expensive! We sat at the bar and ordered a glass of wine while they made our "perfect table for 2" outside. We had a quiet spot away from most of the other tables and enjoyed our wine and conversation. We split the smoked mozzarella antipasta, tagliatelle half order and halibut. It was perfect! There were lots of diners inside with kids - for when I want to bring back my family!5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat food!The food at A Cena is incredible. It is as though it is straight out of Tuscany. I am partial to their wild boar bolognese and lamb ragu but have never walked away unhappy with the food choice or service. I will mention that I had a reservation for 2 at 8:15 but didn't get seated until 8:45. This is not totally unusual for Portland restaurants though and we were in no rush so it wasn't a big deal for us.5/4/2013 12:00:00 AMInsightfulBeing in the business you come to expect more when dining out. What set a Cena apart was that they took the little information I included when making my reservation and gave me exactly what I wanted without even having to ask. I had mentioned that I was bringing my Mother and Aunt in for a visit and we were given probably one of the best tables for conversation. That's insight! The food was amazing as well. Loved the red sauce used for the pizza and pasts. It was an all-around great experience. Thank you!5/3/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent food and service.Excellent food and service. We had a party of 10 and each person at the table was able to hear all of the others. That's a rare find in a restaurant of this high quality, where noise is the norm.5/2/2013 12:00:00 AMthe best lobster agnolottithe best lobster agnolotti in the world. Thanks again for a spectacular dish! One i rave about to all my friends.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMThis was an awesome meal !This was an awesome meal ! It was much like eating in Italy4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMLooking for a place to celebrateLooking for a place to celebrate both my wife and son's birthdays, we decided on a Cena Ristorante in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. It was the right choice. We were greeted with a "Happy Birthday" and that was quickly repeated by our waitress. Everyone there is polite and friendly and quite attentive. Our water glasses were never even half empty. we had halibut, which was excellently done. A delicious complimentary tiramisu dessert, with two candles on top, followed our main course. I get the opinion that this restaurant has a regular following, and we certainly plan to join them for more wonderful meals.4/26/2013 12:00:00 AMExceptional ExperienceWhat a great experience this was. Could not have started off better with Chris (the owner) being so gracious and entertaining. Our waiter (Andrew) was fantastic and made some awesome recommendations (which we needed - this being our first time).
Started off w/ the strip steak, arugala & Gorgonzola crostini - simply perfect. Second - our shaved fennel and sliced apple salad was light, crisp and refreshing. The two pasta main courses were nothing short of perfection. The Cavatelli (Ricotta and nettle gnocchi,
lamb ragu, parmesan) and the supremely decadent Agnolotti (Corn & Mascarpone Raviolini,Butter-Poached Maine Lobster)were one of a kind.4/26/2013 12:00:00 AMWe were celebrating our 46thWe were celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary and pick the perfect place. It was wonderful and the food was amazing. The waitstaff did a great job...even pick a special place for us! We will certainly return!4/20/2013 12:00:00 AMLoved my lunch at A Cena!Loved my lunch at A Cena! The staff was amazing and fun and made the meal special. Can't wait to go back!4/16/2013 12:00:00 AMOutstanding overall; physicalOutstanding overall; physical environment has lots of hard surfaces so it's a little noisy.4/8/2013 12:00:00 AMThe bar makes a great Manhattan.The bar makes a great Manhattan. We enjoyed the grilled Romano Salad. It was beautifully prepared and presented. I particularly appreciate that many of the pasta dishes come in two sizes--so that they can be shared as small plates or as a more reasonable size portion. Our pasta was very good--nothing quite like hand made pasta. The wine list is very reasonable and the Barbera that we chose was good. Our server ws friendly and knowledgeable. We spent a couple of hours and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.4/8/2013 12:00:00 AMconsistently excellent italian foodA Cena is one of our favorite PDX restaurants and we eat out a great deal. Because the food, service and atmosphere are always superb, we often take friends there for dinner to introduce them to one of our fav places. Friday night was another excellent meal and our friends, from LO, who'd never been there, it the best pasta they'd experienced in pdx...
kudos to a cena...we look forward to returning soon.
mhj4/5/2013 12:00:00 AMWe always enjoy A Cena. OftenWe always enjoy A Cena. Often eat there with friends and it is always delicious.4/4/2013 12:00:00 AMOur friends who have returnedOur friends who have returned to Portland after being gone for 30 years noted that the restaurant looked like restaurants in Portland used to look like - comfortably warm in contrast to the popular industrial look. Every dish was delicious.4/2/2013 12:00:00 AMAmong the best everI am not an expert on Italian food, though I have eaten a lot of really good Italian food (some of it in Italy). This was on par with any of the best places I have been. We had a couple of the signature filled pastas, one filled pasta special, a short rib with potato gnocchi, and a couple of pork chops (six dishes in all). The pastas and gnocchi dishes were quite filling and rich, with great flavor. Everyone at the table shared and everyone liked everything they ate. The pizza antipasti wasn't outstanding, but still good. The desserts were delicious. The waiter was among the best also, with seemingly expert knowledge, yet casual and friendly. The rest of the staff was great as well. Definitely will go back when we can.3/31/2013 12:00:00 AMWorth drive out of downtownDo worth the 5 mile drive out of downtown Portland to Sellwood neighborhood. What a fun, cute neighborhood! Our server was one of the best ever. So friendly & helpful with diet needs and teens. The lobster agnolotti was amazing. The mascarpone filled agnolotti w the butter sauce and chunks of lobster meat made my mouth tingle!3/30/2013 12:00:00 AMThis is the second time IThis is the second time I have been here. I loved it so much the first time, I just had to bring family when they came to visit. I ended up ordering the same thing, a Lobster pasta dish, because my mouth waters everytime I think about it. The food is so fresh, and as I recall, everything is local and organic. The Limoncelotin is dynamite, and my brother just raved about his Negroni. They use the best ingredients in everything. Our server, I wish I could remember his name, was fabulous. He was very personable, knowledgeable and he was also the maker of our fabulous drinks. I loved everything about our experience, and certainly plan on coming back.3/30/2013 12:00:00 AMHave eaten here 7 of the lastHave eaten here 7 of the last times we have "Gone Out" always great service and fantastic food. We always reserve with Open Table which is one of the reasons we like eating here. Sadly, this was the first time we made a reservation with open table and had to wait over a half hour past our reservation time for our table. A minor complait, we were accommodated at the bar but, I would expect my table within at least 15 minutes of my reservation. Just saying.3/30/2013 12:00:00 AMNice Italian spot. Beautiful day!My husband and I enjoyed a great meal at a cena on the loveliest of spring days. We were able to dine outside, taking advantage of a beautiful Portland afternoon. The waitstaff were outstanding. My water glass never reached half empty and the waitress was knowledgable as well as direct about different menu items. We had the cauliflower and the arancini to start. Both delicious, but the cauliflower was incredible. We decided to order a full veal chop entree and a a smaller agnolotti for our mains. It was a good choice as the serving sizes are generous. The agnolotti is like little pillows of heavenly deliciousness. The sauce was a bit too rich and buttery for my taste and lobster was a tad tough. The veal was very good. I'll be back!3/29/2013 12:00:00 AMOne word - fantastic! FromOne word - fantastic! From the antipasti to the Dolci, every item delivered with absolute perfect preparation and service. Wine list is good, but the specialty list is great.
Best Italian food this side of Atlantic that I have found.3/26/2013 12:00:00 AMWonderful service (sorry,Wonderful service (sorry, I did not get her name) - she was pleasant and helpful. Started with the tasty cauliflower (I am not usually a fan but this was the BEST cauliflower I have ever had. The grilled romaine salad with pancetta was delicious. Definately split the lobster ravioli - it's great but pretty darn rich. Overall a great dinner and we'll be back.3/26/2013 12:00:00 AMOur favorite Local ItalianThis restaurant is what italian dining is all about. We were treated like family at every level of the service. Our food was outstanding. Authentic, creative and fresh with a local flare! A Cena is proud of what they do a you can tell. The newsletter provides you with what is fresh and in season along with recipes you can try at home.3/24/2013 12:00:00 AMWe LOVE a Cena! Chef GabeWe LOVE a Cena! Chef Gabe is so talented! Food is amazing - everyone is very friendly. Truly one of our favorite spots in Portland!3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMA great find!We were only in Portland for 1 night and chose A Cena for dinner. It was great! Our food was wonderful. Portions were just right. We split an appetizer and a small portion of pasta and and it was plenty. Drinks were strong and tasty. It was a great find!3/16/2013 12:00:00 AMI've been here about fourI've been here about four times in the past couple of years. It's our favorite special occasion spot. Food, service, ambience, etc. are consistently fantastic. I feel it's priced at a great value for a truly special evening. Very understated.3/12/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat foodTwo of us had the special pasta which was braised short ribs ravioli. It was outstanding. The mixed greens with pears was a winner, and so was the grilled romaine salad (my favorite). The place is warm and friendly with knowledgeable, attentive waitstaff. The food is well-balanced and interesting without trying too hard. It truly is a neighborhood gem.3/11/2013 12:00:00 AMWe had a pizza as an appetizer,We had a pizza as an appetizer, of all things, and it was delicious. My wife had a good salad whicle had one of the best cod dinners I have had. We come here on occasion. I certaily recommend it.2/20/2013 12:00:00 AMWe went the day after Valentine'sWe went the day after Valentine's Day on a Friday night and had a very special time. Our server was excellent;always around when something was needed, but not obtrusive. The food was exceptional all the way around-from salads to entrees. I had the lasagne made with the short rib and I have never had better. We love this spot and keep coming back!2/15/2013 12:00:00 AMI loved everything about myI loved everything about my visit here -- the (upscale) homey feel to the place, the excellent service, the FANTASTIC food, and the neighborhood all make me want to come back several times. I got the agnolotti, and I almost think that a cena should stop offering this dish, because I'm fairly certain that with a signature dish this amazing, they're never going to sell anything else. Seriously, I have never had such an extravagantly delicious meal so perfectly paired in taste and character. A Cena is definitely worthy of returning to.1/4/2013 12:00:00 AM