A Cena Ristorante

4.7
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2310 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
At a Cena, we share a love for elegantly cooked meals enjoyed with friends and family. We value fresh ingredients, local Pacific Northwest farmers, consistency, and seasoned and personable staff. We proudly serve handmade pasta and cured meats, daily prepared focaccia bread, a well-matched wine list. Our aim is 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 2310 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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k
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and staff were wonderful. Enjoyed our evening.

p
Portland
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A Cena is always a joy. The service is top notch and the wine recommendation was superb. We had two bottles it was so good. Always get the agnolotti and try one other dish.

k
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service5ambience4

This may have been a "one off" because I have eaten often at A Cena for many years and count it among my favorite restaurants. However, this visit was disappointing. I took a friend to celebrate his birthday. He ordered salmon that was so undercooked that no one would have eaten it. Our waiter took one look and whisked it away without prompting. We ordered the lobster ravioli to share as an appetizer, and the lobster was oddly rubbery, something I have not encountered in the past. I noticed the owner was not on premises during this visit, and perhaps that may help explain things.

JD
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

They were slammed, and we didn't get seated for our 7.30 reservation until 8.10. Turns out the drinks we were offered at 8 pm when I asked when we'd be seated were not all comped, which was interesting, and which we didn't notice until we got home and thought about the bill. One of the main reasons we chose A Cena for dinner that night was because it was a restaurant we could get reservations for and not have to wait 40 minutes after signing in. Is this the new normal?

F
Portland
16 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love going to A Cena. The food is fresh and delicious and the service is always top notch.

B
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Way overpriced for the food and experience. The hostess acknowledged that we were celebrating our anniversary but that's the last we heard of it. For a "special occasion" restaurant this isn't what I expected. We were then seated next to the front window in a little room where we were the only ones seated and this felt kind of weird. The wait staff was all very friendly. The food was mediocre and bland. When we walked in, the menu outside the door had gnocchi on it, but inside we were told that menu was incorrect so we couldn't really order what we wanted. We had the pasta special (bland) and the cioppino. The cioppino was very small for the price, and contained no pasta - it was just seafood in a bowl with a bitter tomato broth and 1 slice of bread. There was a bit of sand in the shellfish and the little calamari slices were SO overdone they were like leather. We spent a lot of money and unfortunately this experience did not feel special...

OT
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was phenomenal the food was mind blowing. A but spendy but I’ll be back for sure.

D
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Definitely in the upper tier of restaurants in Portland.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience5

One of our favorite restaurants for dinner! First time for lunch and didn’t find the experience as positive.

KH
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Agnolotti is superb. I want it again right now.

KD
Austin
7 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

First time here, and food was very very good...on par eith the best we’ve had in Portland. Will definitely be back!!

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience3

Upon arriving we were told it would be a few minutes before our table would be ready. No problem, it was busy as expected on New Years Eve. We saddled up to the bar and ordered some cocktails. When our table was ready we were informed our table would be in their Festa room, two doors down. Wait. What? I booked a table at A Cena based on previous visits, therefore I had no idea what the atmosphere or ambiance would be on our "no holes barred night out" . Our options were...continue to wait (no thanks I have a reservation and a schedule), or roll the dice on the Festa room. We opted for the Festa room which required us to exit the restaurant. The problem was 1) it was raining, 2) we had already removed our coats, 3)we had drinks, coats, purses and umbrellas in our hands. As soon as we stood up from the bar someone sat down. So here were are, arms full, and if you're familiar with this restaurant you know there's very little extra space, so there's nowhere to set things down to put coats back on. Out into the rain we go. When the number one priority getting to the restaurant is keeping your wifes hair dry this was less than an ideal situation. Granted it was a short walk, but that's not the point. We get to the Festa room, which was nice, but our table wasn't rrady yet and it was in the darkest part of the room so it was nearly impossible to read the menu, so we break out the cell phones for some additional light. To her credit our server was prompt, friendly and professional. The food was what we've come to expect and the rest of the evening went pretty well. It would have been nice if the hostess would have mentioned the Festa room upon our arrival so we could have expressed our concerns at that time, giving her the option to ask other patrons seated just before us if they would mind being seated in the Festa room. As it was we were caught off guard without much of an option.

BC
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

New Year’s eve date night. Annual tradition. Love this place so much!

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi BC62 Thank you for your five stars. It is especially exhilarating to the staff and I to see familiar guests celebrating tradition at a Cena. Your love is appreciated and returned. 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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EH
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dinner! Our waiter, Mark, was incredible - so helpful with his recommendations. The salads, lobster ravioli, pasta bolognese, eggplant Parmesan and octopus were all delicious!

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi EmilieH Thank you for your five stars. We will make sure your server sees your review. You did cover our favorites. 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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a
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The eggplant parmesan was incredible. I really look forward to going back - what a treat

J
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Nice Christmas Eve dinner. Lovely restaurant. Not all menu items were available but they were very accommodating.

T
Portland
22 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were so thrilled to see A Cena was open for Christmas Eve dinner. It is one of our favorite restaurants and it didn’t disappoint! Meal and dessert was delicious. The service was good and the ambiance magical. We love coming here for some of the best food in Portland.

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi Tigermama96 Thank you for your five stars. It is a magical time of year and thank you for sharing your holiday with a Cena.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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J
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Temp was too cold in the restaurant
Food portions to big
Flavor was good
Service excellent

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible pastas. Amazing daily salmon special. This is one special place.

VM
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing! Eating family style was perfect and let us sample a variety of dishes- the ravioli with lobster was incredibly delicious

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi VickiM Thank you for your five stars. Family style does a lot to getting to taste more than one entree. 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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J
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Wanted to wow guests but unfortunately they found the pasta overcooked and two dishes swimming in oil so unable to finish. They are kinda picky but.....

RS
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I went to dinner at A Cena with another couple. One of us was vegetarian and another was vegan. They had amazingly yummy meals and plenty of options. We got there 5 minutes late for our reservation, and it was crowded. We had to wait another 5-10 minutes, but it went by fast and we had a wonderful night. I loved the Eggplant parm! :-)

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi RonS Thank you for your five stars. We can and will accommodate your dietary needs. The eggplant is one of my FAVS. 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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HC
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Really wanted to love it. Ended up just being OK with lots of misqueues. I feel like a Cena was amazing when it was the unknown romantic restaurant. After the expansion, the kitchen doesn't seem to keep up. Quality of food is worse than before.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible meal. Wonderful service.

KT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I enjoyed having a Saturday lunch at A Cena. It was quiet, and comfortable. Wish I knew what kind of black olives were in the fritto misto!

BS
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite restaurants. The owner always comes by and checks in. Very knowledgeable staff, very inviting, quick service, cozy and delish!

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi BeckyS Thank you for your five stars. We pride our self on being helpful and caring. Thank you for your loyalty. 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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DG
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really good service, nice selection of specials, nice wine list, and the food was delicious

b
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect dining experience. Wonderful service, ambiance and absolutely incredible food. May be our new favorite restaurant!

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi bararar Thank you for your five stars. We are thrilled by your kind words. 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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EL
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first time to this delightful neighborhood Italian spot. We will return!

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi ELISAW 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. We hope you will return soon.

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p
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Whether it's for lunch or for dinner a Cena is our favorite restaurant. The food is always outstanding with some interesting and creative dishes added to the menu to complement whatever is available seasonally. The service staff is excellent, friendly and always helpful with menu selections and wine choices. The ambiance is relaxed but elegant. We will be back...

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi phramazoid Thank you for your five stars. We are thrilled that a Cena is your favorite restaurant. You have hit upon those things that we try to achieve; food (with seasonal produce), staff and ambiance. 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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JD
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

wonderful atmoshpehere, amazing food, and very nice staff. was a great place to spend our anniversary in a very nice neighborhood setting. prices were decent for the quality and experience. only complaint really was being seated by a window that needed to rechaulked. was a bit drafty.

M
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service and food were amazing! Always a reliably great experience.

SB
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

I've been to A Cena several times, but for some reason on Sunday they were off their game. The service was attentive until more diners arrived, and the food was just ordinary. Not up to A Cena usual standards.

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Tasty variety of appetizers and pastas and good wine selection. Will be back!

JV
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Food is good albeit a bit pricey. This is the second time we went and each time we ate in the annex, which is somewhat sterile but calmer and quieter than the main restaurant. Our waiter seemed easily offended yet often got our orders wrong. Not sure what was going on there.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

My only complaint was a parsnip purée my fish was served on. It lacked genuine parsnip flavor and was paste-like. One itty bitty disappointment did not spoil a thing. It was a beautiful meal which everyone enjoyed with fabulously attentive staff and a delicious Paper Plane cocktail. Every meal and starter was shared and relished. Beautiful evening!

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything is always spot on. Service, food, ambiance, they nail it every time!! When I know a dinner has to be special, we go to A Cena!!

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi there Thank you for your five stars. Thank you for viewing us as the place to go with your "spot on" and "nail it" description. 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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JT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My friend used to work at A Cena and she has always gon on and on and on about the people and how great Chef Gabe is... So my son is back from WSU for Thanksgiving and I ate there. It was sublime!!!!

The Octopus was tender and paired with capers and roasted peppers and olives on top of a bed of squash puree... The challenge was to get them all on the fork at once for the perfect bite. ;)

The Lobster Angliotti were great, but TBH there wasn't enough lobster pieces to go with each 'ravioli' but the bites that were complete, were incredible! The bolognese pasta was a tad underwhelming, but I do make an award winning bolognese, soooooo... The kids said the same thing!

My Scallops were great, my youngest got the trout and I am not even close to exaggerating when I say he ate the entire meal in 2-3 minutes and he was constantly making noises and telling us how great the dish was. My oldest son had the short ribs and gnocci... it was one of the best beef dishes i have ever tasted, hands down, it was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had.

Guess what? The people and service were even better! Thanks Brittany!!!!! Great recommendation. Thank you!

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

hi JadeTrain72 Thank you for your five stars. We have to give a yell out to our dear Brittany who is a Five Star former employee and friend. Your detailed review will be shared by our entire, especially Chef Gabe. 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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OT
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I have been here many times over many years it is always exceptional. Every guest we have brought raves. Go here.

A Cena Ristorante
Responded on January 5, 2020

Thank you for your five stars. We especially appreciate your recommendation to others to come to a Cena. 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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t
Portland
36 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The atmosphere is perfect for a wonderful dinner out or a date night. Delicious!

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