Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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!
Portland, OR 97202
Hours of Operation:
SE Lambert St.
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Most of our menu items and other creative items designed between our chef and the client
Ample street parking
Several on 13th Street
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
a Cena Ristorante Ratings and Reviews
It was good but not as exciting as we had hoped. It was a little heavy and rich and our stomachs felt a little funny all night after. We also felt that even though the staff was great, our server was really trying to turn the table. Everything came out too fast.
The place itself is very nice, warm and welcoming. The prices are very high and unnecessarily so. $12 to $15 for salads. $30 for a bolognese and $40 for spaghetti frutti di mare. My husband’s dish, garganelli alla norcia, was very good, according to him, but mine, caramelle, was not. The ends of the “knots “ were chewy, hard and thick. I would suggest making the caramelle smaller to avoid cooking the center but not the ends. The wine was great and the prices for a glass were reasonable. Not a fun, satisfying dinner experience for me, unfortunately. My husband and I commented that we wouldn’t go back, especially because of the prices, compared to other similar Italian restaurants in Portland.
My wife and I shared the lobster agnolotti which was amazing -- one of the best things I've ever eaten. We also shared the scallops, also wonderful. Wine list is great, and cocktails too. This is one of our favorite Portland restaurants -- the food is always great. It can be noisy on a busy night, so not ideal for a quiet conversation. The staff work hard to keep up on busy nights but the service is good, and never too long a wait to be served.
This was a quiet birthday with close friends on a quiet Sunday night; nice wine, quick service and most of the food was very good. Wonderful breadsticks and focaccia with olive oil,fresh lovely salad with pears, halibut special with firm flaky fish, creamy mashed potatoes, lovely spinach and chanterelles. Lamb tagliatelle must have been great as our friend who ordered it refused to share and ate it all. House made salted Carmel gelato and dark chocolate Sorbetto were attractively served and delicious. But tonight's tiramisu was a puny bite of cake; served in a bowl mounded with whipped cream and sprinkled with cocoa powder. Despite including birthday candles for the guys, it was a disappointing dessert for the couple who shared it.
A Cena has been one of my favorite Italian places, hope it can continue to be in the future.
The chef Gabe is wonderfully creative; the food is delicious; the flavors are wedded and delightful to both eye and taste. If you have been to Veneto you will recognize the tastes as authentic. Favorites remain on the menu for returning diners, plus there are always new items to be savored.
Don't leave without a sip of Nocino, made in house walnut flavored spirit. The owner Chris, greets each diner with a smile and perhaps a suggestion for beverage or dish.
We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary there. Service was superb, friendly, and informative. The food was interesting and tasty. If I had to choose any one blemish, I'd say my lobster Agnolotti was a tiny bit on the sweet side. However, I have nothing to compare it to, since I've not had it anywhere else! So, overall a great neighborhood Italian spot. I look forward to visiting many more times in the future!
You almost don't have to go beyond "home-made pasta!" The pasta was amazing--from the texture to the taste, everything was perfect about it. We also had the seafood risotto, and there was plenty of seafood in it! The food was excellent, the service great, and the atmosphere was perfect for our romantic date. I definitely recommend a Cena!
Portions were VERY small for the price. Service was slow, took forever to get our order and the place was not busy. Food was fine not exceptional and again high price small portions. If i am going to spend 100.00 for dinner I better be stuffed and take home leftovers. I would recommend the Italian restaurant in Troutdale first.
We were celebrating a special event with a dear friend and had a wonderful evening. It was pouring down rain and the restaurant was not as busy, so we were able to really relax and enjoy each course to the fullest. The food was amazing! The cocktails superb. The service perfect. Thank you for a fabulous experience.
This was my third visit to A Cena. I come for the food, which is fantastic - although I love their Agnolotti so much (Raviolini filled with corn and mascarpone, and topped with lobster) that it's hard to convince myself to try other offerings. However, bites from the plates of my companions, as well as my varied antipasti and desert selections have been equally tasty.
The service is excellent (one problem with bus staff removing our plates too quickly was easily resolved), and the wait staff are quite knowledgeable about the wine list and dishes. The atmosphere is perfect for small groups of friends - not fancy or romantic, but comfortable and welcoming. I highly recommend A Cena.
Having lived in Europe for many years, quite a few of those within easy reach of the Italian border, I took advantage of the opportunity to eat true Italian cuisine many times. A Cena is as authentic as any I have had since returning to the US, and as good or better as quite a few places I ate in Italy. We had a wonderful meal at A Cena and overindulged ourselves. It was not inexpensive but it was worth every dime. We will return, with friends.
Based off reviews, I was expecting a cozy romantic Italian restaurant experience. Instead, it felt more like a neighborhood cafe. The music that was being played sounded like Italian pop music with some fast paced electronic music thrown in. It didn't fit the vibe of the restaurant at all and set the tone of our whole experience. The service was friendly and very fast, too fast actually. Our whole dining experience lasted no longer than 35 minutes, which I guess I can't fault them for, but I was expecting a slower pace and more hands on server attention. Fortunately, our food was very delicious and was indeed the highlight of the evening. However, a Cena seems to charge fine dining prices but delivers an ambience and experience that falls more in line with a casual neighborhood cafe.
Ultimately, my experience at a Cena was a victim of my own expectations rather than anything the restaurant did wrong. If you live in Sellwood and want delicious Italian food, you can't go wrong here. But don't make my mistake and book this place for a special occasion or date.
we’ve been here several times and it never disappoints. the food is fresh and fabulous, the servers are attentive and knowledgeable. i recommend that someone at your table order the Agnolotti (corn & marscapone ravioli with butter poached lobster in a sweet, creamy sauce) get the entree size since others at your table will be eating from your plate :-).
Normally, this is best in food, service and ambiance. It was a busy Friday night and the restaurant was packed, full of noise and understaffed. Our wait person was exceptional to us, but run ragged. Our home made ice cream was not good and very icy, just not expected in this restaurant. It still a favorite, but will stick to week day dining.
We have been to A Cena many times. The food is consistently very good as well as the service. It does get quite noisy as the evening progresses. We usually come early as it is quieter then. Great for special occasions or a very nice dinner out as the prices are fairly high. We have always been pleased. Good drinks also!
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