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  • La Cena Ristorante

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La Cena Ristorante
La Cena Ristorante

La Cena Ristorante Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Phone: (904) 633-9255
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am
    Private Luncheon and Dinner Parties Seven Days a Week.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Wine Bar
  • Executive Chef: Jerry Moran
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Seven days a week, Lunch or Dinner by contract.
  • Entertainment: Soft classical piano.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between Adams and Monroe
  • Public Transit: People Mover at Hemming Plaza
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Abundant free on-street parking available after 6 PM. If you have trouble parking, call us and we will assist. If you are concerned about downtown safety, the chef will personally escort you from and to your vehicle. Just telephone after you have parked.
A word from La Cena Ristorante
La Cena is a small, chef-owned Italian-Continental restaurant located on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville. We cater to a select clientele of experienced diners who enjoy quiet adult dining. With a 30+ year history of operation, we take great personal pride in what we do for our guests. If you choose to make a reservation at La Cena, you can expect unhurried dining, top quality food ingredients, generous portions, and unusual Italian wines. We are especially known for our laminated Fresh Egg Pastas, and home-made Cappelletti, which are similar to tortellini. Custom pastas are available on request. Our family-style service parties are popular with large groups. When you need to make a concert or show, just let us know beforehand, and we will get you there with time to spare. If you are concerned about downtown safety, the chef will personally escort you from and to your vehicle. Just telephone after you have parked. Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "Great! across board. My Mom hugged one of the staff on the way out. Amazing dinner experience."
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "The young waitress made it seem like we were bothering her. Was not very nice. Seemed like we wre getting in her way of talking to her friends at the other table. Good was great."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "Fresh breadsticks, hot baked bread, delicious mussels and then the crowd rolled in. Don't recommend dining on a show night unless you are among those attending. The balance of the meal was just 'nice'. Maybe next time..."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "La Cena moved from Orlando and several years ago and we miss Jerry and his homemade pasta and fantastic veal chop, great and the service was fantastic. We had the mussels in white sauce that were so tender and delicious. The fresh mozzarella and tomatoes awesome. The pasta with mushrooms had great flavors and the veal chop was massive and cooked to perfection with mushroom sauce."
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "We always love dining at La Cena, the food is excellent and the staff really wants you to enjoy your experience. Unfortunately we are rarely in that part of town and it's quite a trek for us coming from the beach. Nonetheless it never disappoints!! Given the late hour, we had two appetizers a piece which was more than enough. Everything was well prepared and seasoned. I dislike it when the food looks good, but tastes bland. That's never a problem at La Cena-the food looks good, tastes great and is satisfying. Some people may find it pricey, but you get what you pay for. I found the price quite reasonable-two glasses of wine, essentially four appetizers and bread for under $100.00. Satisfaction: Priceless!!"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "The best pasta in jacksonville! The place is very special with great service and wonderful entrees. Dryer "
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "While the food was good, it was not worth $100+ for a part of two. I would have been much more satisfied with my meal had it been $18 versus $30. The appetizer we ordered (clams) was very good though. At 7:30 on a Friday we were literally the only table in the restaurant, which was very strange. Overall, will not be coming back, unless perhaps for lunch. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Chef-owner Jerry Moran has provided the very best of northern Italian cuisine to Jacksonville diners for many years. Our recent dining experience came after many years of absence. What a very pleasant surprise to find all of our very favorite flavors haven't changed a bit! Highly recommend La Cena for a special dining experience."
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "I love La Cena - the food is always fresh and tatsty and the service is fun and friendly. I can always count on La Cena to prepare a consistently wonderful meal."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Dined here before the 7:30 theatre start and by arriving at 5:30 we had more than enough time to enjoy an exceptional Italian dinner. I had the chicken francese and my spouse had a seafood dish that was absolutely loaded with sweet mussels, clams, fish of the day- all over the chef's homemade pasta. Although the portions were large and we couldn't finish everything (due in part to the hot crusty bread), we did save room for a profiterole for dessert- a decadent cream puff filled with HagenDaz ice cream and topped with hot chocolate sauce."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "No staff greatest us until we walked thru bar to restaurant, located on lower, windowless level. Wait staff took some time before taking our order. House salad was plain but tasty. Main course, Chicken Francese, featured 2 large cutlets. The sauce was subtly seasoned, the meat slightly underdone. We'll give this place another try."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "La Cena is perhaps the best Italian restaurant in Jacksonville. Perfect for dining before the theater, plays, forums or symphony when downtown. Plan on a true European dining experience ... leave lots of time to be served and enjoy your meals."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "The pasta was the best I've ever had. Very good service, don't be in a hurry but that's a good thing. They will not rush you out of yor table like other places sometimes tend to."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "We had a reservation for 6 before a show at the Fl Theatre and things went very smooth. This small and quaint establishment takes much pride in not only their food/operations but also the treatment of their customers. We arrived a few minutes late(calling prior to let them know) and something had happened with the table set up(not a big deal since we were a bit late anyway). They promptly put together a nice big table by the front window and sat us with ease. They knew that we were on a schedule and quickly got drinks and bread to the table as well as answering all questions on the menu. We ordered and everything was just fantastic when it came out as well as homeade pasta which is rare anymore. Kudos to chef and staff we will be back."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "First time here but will return pasta salad bread all very very good. Great spot for before show meal but food worth a return trip show or not!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The wait staff were courteous and prompt, and did not bother us every five minutes about the food, or the wine, or anything else. Took my girlfriend here for Valentines Day and had Chicken Florentine that was the most amazing I have ever tasted. I do not work there, nor do I have any affiliation to this restaurant. If you want fast food, go to Applebees. If you want delicious food served in a quiet, unobtrusive atmosphere look no further."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Lovely restaurant. But overall not worth the high price (nor the 22% gratuity). Taglitelle was very good, but could have used a touch more garlic. They dumbed it down. Veal Florentine was overloaded with lemon, that was all you could taste. The breading (or whatever they use) could use some seasoning. The tile fish Florentine, on the other hand was very bland. Tile fish is a bland fish to begin with, but it provides a platform for creative seasoning, which LaCena's chef failed to do. Good wine list. The Gruner Vietliner (from Austria's Alps, not the Alto Adige as the menu says) was excellent as a partner for both the Tile fish and the veal, although the high amount of lemon fought with the Gruner. La Cena not up to hype."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Our food was delicious and service was attentive. The decor is DIY Italian Villa and I would expect something a little nicer for those prices. The house salad was one of the best I have ever eaten. The Spaghettini All' Amatriciana was great, even though overpriced at $25. My husband's veal was tender and flavorful."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "Jacksonville Florida authentic Italian cuisine. Likely the most notable Italian cuisine in the downtown Jacksonville area. In all probability, the only thought of any Italian food you will enjoy in Jacksonville Florida. You should go there."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "We arrived on a Friday night at 6 PM and were seated promptly. The waitress was answered with our questions. I told her we needed to leave by 7 PM. We promptly ordered. I guess the waitress did not hear my request to leave by 7 PM as our main dishes arrived at 7 PM. We started with Polenta with gorgonzola cheese and tomato which we both agreed was very good. Then I had the Genobloise (veal with capers and lemon). The taste and portion were fine but the veal, while very thin, was difficult to cut and chew. My date had the Spaghettini Carbonara. After eating a small portion she stopped eating it because the pasta had an off favor. I tried it and agreed. It tasted as if it was burnt. We had not ordered dessert or coffee."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I can always count on La Cena for a delightful meal experience. The good is always fresh and delicious and service is friendly and prompt. The pastas are fabulous as are the salads and apps. Are there some quirks? Yes, and that makes it a unique experience."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I echo many of the reviewers here. We were seated right away. Waited a long time for everything. Give a good two hours for dinner, we were going to a concert at Veterans Memorial so felt we needed faster servous. This was the best food I have eaten since moving to Jacksonville. The menu did have some rules that we got a luck out of."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "We both had a chicken dish and they were absolutely delicious. (But I've had their pasta many times and have never been disappointed.) The atmosphere is elegant but warm. Service was a little slow to get started, but they had asked when we were seated whether we were there for a downtown event (we were, as were several other tables) and they made sure we were served in plenty of time to get to the concert early, so no worries. Lovely wine list too."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "Decided to give La Cena a try since we were looking for a nice Italian restaurant that we haven't been to before. My take away based on our experience and reading other reviews on here and Yelp are as follows: - Expect a long wait, even to place your initial drink order. We waited forever before anyone acknowledged this after we were seated. - The menu is appealing, but there are a lot of rules and the chef's eccentricities begin to unfold as you read the various rules. - For the price, especially in Jacksonville, I expected a better flavored main course dish than what I was served. My wife was very pleased with her's and the escargot appetizer was very good. Very doubtful we would come here again."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We made a reservation for 5:30 because we were going to an 8:00 show. We told the hostess our plans when we arrived at the restaurant. We didn't get to eat because our main meal came at 7:40. By then we had to go. We requested that they wrap the meals to go but the waitress told us she couldn't do that until all of the meals had been served to our party. We had others in our party that were not going to the ballet. We ended up leaving without the meals and our friends paid the check and brought the meals to us after the ballet. When you are in the essential "theater district" and you open at 5:30, you should be prepared to turn tables around in 2 hours or warn customers that there is no guarantee that they will make their show."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We have enjoyed this lovely restaurant for years. It is truly the best Italian restaurant you will find. It reminds me of the lovely little places you find in Europe or New York or Boston. Small but delicious and the wine list is excellent and not over priced. ENJOY!!"
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "My husband and I went to La Cena on New Years Eve and it was our first time there. We had an amazing dinner! We had a delicious bottle of Italian wine...we weren't familiar with anything on the wine list so our server recommended a Cabernet and she was spot on! Our food was out of this world! Everything we ordered was so fresh and flavorful. We can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "La Cena is a great little spot. Wonderful homemade pasta, with an off-the-beaten path winelist chock-full of reasonably priced Italian wine from all the major regions. Nice selection of chops, chicken, and fish. The best food in downtown Jacksonville, and one of the better restaurants in the city (the best italian, to be sure)."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "If you like wonderful made from scratch italian food, this place has it all. A beautiful menu that's perfectly executed, A great wine list, and the service to go with it."
    Dined on 12/19/2013
  • "Caught this restaurant on a bad night. Kitchen was overwhelmed because of a special event in town- all service took far too long, but the food was exceptional as always. Staff did the best they could. I'll be back on a less congested night."
    Dined on 10/29/2013
  • "Normally the experiences here are good. This was horrible. Even ordering off of the special event menu our food took over 2 hours, was watery, had items not cooked through. Very disappointing. Appetizers were good. Place was very understaffed to handle the volume, but when we inquired they said they had their regular group working and weren't missing anyone. Staff didn't want to listen to any complaints or questions, or even respond to asking for pepper (which wasn't on the table). The woman at the very end that brought the bill, we at least were able to express our displeasure to her and she did listen. I was even more disappointed as I had been talking this place up to my guests and was embarrassed it was such a bad experience."
    Dined on 10/29/2013
  • "La Cena is simple in some ways, and extravagant in others. The ambiance is basic, the crowds are small, but that is all that is simple. The menu is incredible, with many, many choices of homemade pasta, sauces, meats, breads, etc. that will allow anyone to find a good choice. The wine list is more than sufficient, and our friendly hostess was most helpful and knowledgeable about the select and was able to make a really nice recommendation. When you go there -- do not be in a hurry, because it will take a while to custom cook each appetizer and entrée. We have been there several times before going to the theatre, and trust me when I say you need two hours to enjoy La Cena. If you like quiet -- ggod food -- nice wine -- La Cena will please!"
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "Very close to the Times Union Center. Food was tasty and there is a good wine list selection. Thought it was over priced for the type of restaurant. Unusual layout as restaurant is in the back down stairs and upfront is a bar. Appeared like it was closed until you venture well inside. Staff polite and knowledgeable."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "We selected this restaurant because it was close to the Performing Arts Center as we were attending a performance that night. As we first approached the restaurant we noticed its modest front with some trepidation but were pleasantly surprised as we were led into a very attractive dining room with nice table settings. Our waitress was attentive but not intrusive, The menu was somewhat limited but the preparation of our meals was excellent. The wine list is quite adequate. My wife who makes a "killer" lemon chicken ordered it from the menu and stated it was the best she has ever had. This restaurant is a little gem if you want quality food."
    Dined on 10/3/2013
  • "This restaurant is not cheap but when you consider the fresh quality ingredients & the time put into dish execution it is worth it. We had clams oreganata as a starter & found the clams to be generous in size & deliciously seasoned. The bread was fresh & crusty. The house salad was unexceptional but unlike a lot of restaurants it accompanied all the entrees. My spouse always orders the same entree- a seafood pasta dish containing grouper & various shellfish- he just loves it & we drive a long way to get it. The portions are very large, enough that we had dinner the next night with the leftovers. For dessert we shared the profiterole- a cream puff filled with Haagen Daz ice cream & topped with a decadent chocolate sauce- we couldn't resist"
    Dined on 9/13/2013