a Cena Ristorante

4.6
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2223 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
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!
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Private Dining

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What 2223 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
Portland
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were great. The wait staff was friendly and helpful. I was disappointed with the ambiance, though, because The food was so good I felt I should be in Italy ! !

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

I was surprised by the poor quality of the cooking we had. The seafood (shrimp in fritto misto and lobster in a pasta dish) was overcooked and rubbery. The artichoke appetizer was tough, and a ravioli dish with corn filling was saccharine in its sweetness. I hope this was an off night in the kitchen but we won’t be back for a while, there are too many good restaurants out there. Everything else about the dinner was fine but the food has to taste good.

OT
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was phenomenal and service was attentive and gracious! We will definitely be back!

OT
Portland
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Wonderful service. Attention by the owner.

CP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was wonderful. love the half size pasta portions, wait staff was attentive and thorough, just a lovely meal.

c
Portland
23 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

2nd time that my best friend and I have eaten there and it didn't disappoint. The octopus is off the charts. Perfectly grilled, tender and flavorful. I had the pasta special. The pasta itself was a thin with a bit of chew with a tasty pork sagu. The waitstaff was attentive, but not over-bearing. Our waitress gave a great recommendation for a glass of red wine. All around another great experience.

D
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Onion rings to die for. Tuscan Mule is phenomenal. The eggplant parm is perfect crunchy and dressed like pizza. Scallops expensive for only two, but very flavorful. Butterscotch Budino. That’s all you need to know.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food + great service

s
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had the Frio Mistook and the Romano salads to share.They are both excellent. For the main dishes we have the lobster and raviollini,the crab pasta and the parmigiana (all dinner size). While the lobster and crab dishes are expensive but there were lots of lobster and crab meat. We also ordered a number of cocktails and drinks. It was a great dinner which every one enjoyed.

PA
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic, rustic and refined thoughtful, delicious food. (Also, great to have gluten free options)

Romantic and inviting ambience + Excellent service. We love this neighborhood spot!

J
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The servers were friendly and attentive. The food was excellent. I had mezza Luna pasta with braised short rib stuffing and a meat reduction sauce. My wife’s eggplant parmigiana was perfect. Dessert was affogato with homemade gelato. I had budino, an intense butterscotch pudding. The owner came by as we were leaving to check on our dining experience.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

We sat outside which was nice. The service was excellent. The octopus appetizer was amazing as was the caprese. Our entrees were nothing special and really lacked the depth of flavor we expected. It was a slow Tuesday so maybe there was a different chef than on busier nights.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal and outstanding service

CB
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service

S
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Really nice neighborhood spot! We ate outside since it was a lovely evening, so I can't really evaluate the noise level. The hostess was very accommodating and the waiter was attentive.

RH
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We get the same menu items/wine every time. It is always great, but even better this time! Not sure how that is even possible!!

FH
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 4

I do not write many reviews good or bad, but if I have an exceptional or a lack luster experience I will take the time to share. I mean everyone has a bad day. But from the moment we interacted with our server the experience went down hill. It seems that our bartender was trying to make a transition or add server to their resume. He suggested a spectacular wine and made my wife a Tuscan Mule that was off the charts. But from our first interaction, I felt dismissed and like I was being treated like a child. When they walked up I asked for some time to settle in, and they promptly corrected me and told me can I give you the specials first and then broke down the menu in a way that felt like we had never eaten in an Italian restaurant or any restaurant for that matter. We decided on the artichoke app special, very creative, unique and it was quite tasty. My daughter loves Artichoke and she did enjoy it.
We ordered the Caprese salad, Chicken Piccata, and meatballs. The Chicken was overcooked but we enjoyed the flavor and the green beans and potatoes were cooked perfectly. The meatballs were inedible. They tasted like refrigerator and were so dense that even the marinara couldn't save them. We each had a bite and left the remaining uneaten. I then noticed that we had not ordered any pasta, which was the reason I wanted Italian, plus my daughter was still hungry after not being able to swallow the meatballs. I ordered buttered noodles with parmesan. I ordered them to a rushing server that seemed to be in the weeds. I asked him to make it with light butter (not light in calories) but in volume. They returned with a dry clump of angel haired pasta. With Kraft powdered parmesan on the side. That put me over the top. Upon giving the server my credit card for payment, he returned with a problem about the card not being accepted, and was just down right rude. I was irritated to the point of cursing in front of my daughter.

TG
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Been here many times. Great place but service really struggled this visit. Had to ask for our food when it hadn’t arrived after 40 minutes of waiting.

R
Detroit
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite Portland Restaurant. Went there for our anniversary and enjoyed great food for a decent price. Service was wonderful. Great assortment of wine. Wait time for food was perfect.

AG
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious, delicious food. It's pricey, but the half servings are generous- more than enough food. All the pastas are homemade, and the ingredients are fresh and beautifully cooked. Staff are friendly and attentive, but not overpowering. Ambiance is pleasant- a little old world and funky. It's where I go for celebrations!

K
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We asked if we could be seated in the overflow dining room. It was wonderful and not too crowded. The service was fast, the food delicious and beautifully presented. A wonderful evening. We'll be back.

KL
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We were so excited to celebrate our Anniversary here but were highly disappointed in the table we were sat at. We were wedged into a corner style booth with little room to really sit and talk. It was awkward seating and uncomfortable. I would have hoped that since i had added the note we were celebrating our anniversary that we would have been given a table that we could have at least sat across from one another to enjoy each other's company better. The food was delicious. the drinks were ok { we asked for one to be re-made as it didn't taste like the first we had ordered and the second one came back still tasting not good.}

DI
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything was very delicious and the service was great. I love that you can get half orders of a lot of the dishes.
I wish I could say I'll be back, but I thought the dinner for two was priced pretty high especially since one of us did have a half order. If your prices came down I would definitely love to return.

a
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Had the pasta with lobster- several pieces of pasta not cooked and were hard and chewy and the lobster was chewy, not tender. Appetizer good and dessert good.

W
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very satisfying, delicious, food with lots of care and thought infused.

B
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a birthday dinner. The staff welcomed the birthday person. Our meal was delicious, The burratta with heirloom tomatoes was sublime. The grilled octopus was tender and delicious. Our pasta dishes were excellent and the ricotta cheesecake with huckleberries hit the spot. Service was attentive but unobtrusive. Lovely place to celebrate a birthday.

FA
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food and service. Lot's of outdoor seating for when the weather is nice.

DF
Adelaide / SA
6 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wife’s birthday. Place was packed, which made it hard on the staff, but they worked really hard to provide good service to their customers. Cudos for their efforts! Great food, as always.

BH
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a delicious meal for our 49th anniversary dinner. The service was great, the food excellent and the drinks and wine reasonably priced. Our server was very helpful and professional, with great suggestions and details. We had a chance to speak with the owner as we were leaving and learned about his attention to detail and care with respect to ingredients (flour imported from Italy for his piazza!) and his staff. Definitely worth a return visit.

BG
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner out with friends and had the perfect meals. Should have saved room for dessert.....next time!

JD
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was great, and good selections of wine by the glass. Service was mediocre. Members of our party were served at different times. Requested ground pepper several times and it never came. Requested separate checks before ordering, then got one bill at the end. Love the restaurant and the food. Service is usually good.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best scratch Italian food in town! We love coming here for a wonderful quite date night

a Cena Ristorante
Responded on August 17, 2019

Thank you for your five stars and especially your loyalty. Your review supports what we try to do at a Cena and the team appreciates your support. I will surely share this with Chef Gabe. We hope you will return soon.

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MK
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my friend to celebrate her birthday. The service was amazing. I didn't feel rushed in the least. The food was so delicious. Everything we ordered was amazing and the quality very high. The ambiance is so nice and it wasn't noisy. I can't wait to go back!

a Cena Ristorante
Responded on August 17, 2019

hi Molly Thank you for your five stars. Your review and your kind words support what we try to do at a Cena and the team appreciates your support. We do hope you will return soon.

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RP
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I would recommend a Cena but caution on certain items. Our food was okay, the halibut was very dry!
The waiter took a long time to greet us and wasn’t the friendliest. There are better Italian restaurants in Portland and not as expensive.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service was fantastic. The table we sat at was in an awkward location, though. It was sandwiched between a busy walk-thru and a bench in the bar where people waited for their table. Overall though, we had a great experience and will definitely be back.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food , from apps to dessert ! Amazing meatballs , eggplant parm , short ribs and a ricotta cheesecake , so so good !

a Cena Ristorante
Responded on August 17, 2019

Thank you for your five stars. You covered it all. Your review supports what we try to do at a Cena and the team appreciates your support. We hope you will return soon

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MB
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Went for anniversary and sat by a millennial couple on their first date. Super loud. Super obnoxious. Very loud area. Until we left it was hard to carry on a convo. Great food as usual.

BG
Portland
17 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our third or fourth time dining at a Cena and we brought friends who had never been. We just loved it, once again, and they were blown away.
I'm very annoyed with myself for not recording our server's name, as she was beyond excellent. Anticipated our needs and requests, she knew the menu and made great wine and drink suggestions, and was altogether a delight.
As usual, the food was purely wonderful. The women had lamb chops and we learned the couple who raise the lambs were two tables over from us so we got to say hello and thank you. I had a fabulous - and almost too large - piece of halibut and the other man had pasta with scallops. All of us were delighted.
Chris, the owner, comes by and chats with his customers and makes everyone feel welcome.
I wish I had even a mild knock so this review wouldn't sound like it was written by a shill, but I don't.
Do yourself a favor and go there. (Just don't go when I'm planning to go - it's a small place and I'd rather avoid competition for a reservation.)

a Cena Ristorante
Responded on August 17, 2019

hi BandonGuy Firstly, thank you for your five stars and especially your loyalty. Your review supports what we try to do at a Cena and the team appreciates your support. I will share your review with the entire serving and kitchen staff (even the men-smile). Our Lamb purveyors from SuDan Farms have been with us for many years and now you know why. Chris treats each guest like he was entertaining them at home. We hope you will return soon

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JD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our meal was outstanding. From the prosecco to the lamb chops. Very friendly owner that really cares about his customers and quality ingredients. Great sidewalk seating with good people watching.

a Cena Ristorante
Responded on August 17, 2019

hi John Thank you for your five stars. You hit on some excellent choice and I'm happy you discovered our wonderful outdoor seating. You may have noticed our colorful seating also in front of our pizzeria. Your review supports what we try to do at a Cena and the team appreciates your support. We hope you will return soon

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DY
Portland
16 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our out-of-town guest was still raving about the meal when we put him on the plane today! A Cena is THE place we love for celebrations, like this visit, and for everyday Italian food enjoyment. Thanks for doing such a great job!

a Cena Ristorante
Responded on August 17, 2019

Hi DocYJK Thank you for your five stars and especially for your loyalty. We love that we are able to contributed to fond memories for you and your guests. Your review supports what we try to do at a Cena and the team appreciates your support. We hope you will return soon

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