a Cena and FESTA welcome you to explore our Private Dining option that is perfect for any occasion. Food can be served as individually plated, family-style or buffet.View Private Dining Details
Rushed service, gone down hill, much better in past
We enjoy going back to a Cena and need to go more often. Our friends went with us for their first time and will be going back soon. Food and wine are expertly prepared and served by experienced staff who have been there for many years. The owner is often present and involved and observant. Great food and friendly service.
Went to Portland from Seattle for the annual melanoma walk. We & our friends who went with us go to a different Italian restaurant monthly in Seattle so I looked for one on line in Portland & a Cena sounded like a good one & it was excellent. The only complaint I have is the meatballs were way to salty. We will go back again when we’re in Portland.
Loved the new annex, waitperson very friendly and we were never rushed or pressured. Like the choice of having large portion of entree or smaller one. The Casa salad is outstanding a must for all who love a refreshing, tasty salad.
Excellent food. Exceptional service. Wonderful atmosphere. Salted caramel gelato.
We've been going to A Cena with some regularity since it opened.
As in all restaurants, the noise level of A Cena varies depending on what room you're in, how many other diners there are, and of course whether there is the Particularly Loud Table. Most recently we three were in the bar area with several other tables, and it was very quiet and civilized. At other times, you have to order by pointing to items on the menu. (That said, recently, management made a serious effort at acoustic engineering, which has helped a huge bunch.)
The food is reliably good, with a good number of particularly outstanding preparations. And only a few disappointments (I've basically given up on their risotto). The menu changes rather slowly, but most recently there were a bunch of interesting new offerings.
The service from both bar and kitchen is uniformly excellent (and staff turnover is very slow), the bar is well-stocked, and the wine-list is comprehensive. Dining at A Cena is something we always look forward to. (To be honest, though, I've never found their lunchtime offerings, while still quite good, and the ambience pleasant, to be as interesting or successful as the dinner menu.)
Speaking of menus, I've never seen a mistake in the Italian terms on one, which is an unusual accomplishment.
This is our favorite Portland restaurant. We recently invited out-of-town friends to experience the wonderful food and service a Cena has to offer. One of our guests is handicapped, and the staff went out of their way to accommodate us. Thanks, Loris (our server), for the amazing care and service! Love you guys!
The power went out all over town, and so we were not able to be served any food. But the hostess was incredibly kind and collected, and the manager/owner came to every table and apologized for the inconvenience. They tried to serve food for as long as they could, but a chef can only cook in the dark for so long. It seemed like a great restaurant set in a wonderfully quiet and scenic part of town. Would love to try out their restaurant when the power is back on!
Really great service! The parmigiana was the best I’ve ever had, and I sampled everyone else’s pasta which was an amazing house made pasta.
This was a very special occasion, so we didn’t faint when we received the bill, but be prepared to spend a good amount.
Thank you for making Mother's Day perfect for us! The entire dinner and attention to detail was exceptional! We were all thrilled. See you soon.
Another great meal at A Cena we are never disappointed.
Every time I visit Portland, this restaurant is a must visit on my list. Local, small restaurant with excellent food. Great presentation, variety, and taste. Everything was delicious. The Haddock, the Filet, the pasta, the bread, the salad and the desserts-cannoli's especially authentic and the ice cream with berries tasted like iced cheesecake. And their risotto is the best - even better than Italy. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that the server didn't seem to want us there. He was very efficient but not very engaging.
Excellent food! Lovely restaurant! I made this reservation for Mother's Day Eve 3 days ahead of time. Luckily was able to get in at 8:00 pm, perfect time for us. As well, it wasn't prix fixe, which is common on holidays but usually too much food for us. Husband, son and I had a table in a private nook, quiet but with view of outside. I had not planned on Italian food, but this turned to be a great choice for Mother's Day. Nice cocktails, super side of meatballs in marinara sauce, the other two loved the octopus (not my thing), incredible house made pasta (which I normally avoid) with rich cream sauce, mushrooms and sausage--plate-licking good. Exquisite lamb special done to perfection with nice sides. Service was very professional indeed. Terrific experience.
Best restaurant in PDX.
I had the eggplant parmigiana and my wife had the ravioli. Both were big hits! Food quality is second to none and the ambiance is excellent. This has become our Sellwood Staple fo Italian food.
Amazing food and service! Our server was Mark and he was fabulous! Great to see the owner working tables and taking care of customers! Have already recommended to several friends! Thanks for an amazing date night experience
The service was excellent, the food was creative and prepared with high quality ingredients.
The main room we dined in had an active ambiance, which made for difficulty in hearing what those at my table were saying. This is definitely a function of getting older, and we were celebrating a 68th Birthday on a Friday night. Still, this did not dampen our celebration at all and I would recommend a Cena for those looking for a fine dining experience in the Sellwood area.
Casual atmosphere with great service and very tasty dishes.
Both our pasta and pizza were served cold when the restaurant was almost empty which means that the servers neglected to bring the food from the kitchen to the table when it was ready or the chef did not properly heat the food. Their signature pasta agnolotti with lobster was was disappointment especially when it was served the second time; all the lobster had disappeared. The servers seemed to want to be somewhere else and we felt neglected by the bad service. For the high price and lack of attention by the chef and the staff, we cannot recommend this restaurant.
If you haven't been-go. Superb food, outstanding wait staff. Looks like they have opened up an event space and a pizzeria is coming soon-i cannot wait.
Our second time here and it didn't disappoint. Food was amazing. Waitress was just as great but seemed overwhelmed, she was in a hurry, waiting tables and bartending at the same time will do that. They seemed short staffed but everything was great. We'll be back. And I've already recommended it to friends and family.
Great food, great service. If you want romance, ask for table 54. Small table with view of the outside street.
Great part of town, fun neighborhood and the overall ambiance of the restaurant was great. The manager was super friendly. My dinner itself (eggplant parmigiana) was excellent but our appetizer (fried calamari, shrimp and artichoke) was way too salty. Drinks, appetizers, bread, dinner and dessert only took 52 minutes which I think was way too fast for celebrating a special occasion and in fact just to experience everything. Our dinner was served what felt like 5 minutes after we ordered. Not exactly sure how but I wish it would have been longer. I would not plan to go hear again unless someome else really wanted to.
Our food was exquisite- so much flavor and decent quantity. A bit spendy but for fresh handmade- that’s the price you pay.
Very impressed! So many things made from scratch...pasta to lemoncello & sorbet. Every course delicious and lovely service.
Amazing service, delicious food, the outdoor patio was pretty nice too.
This was our fifth or sixth visit over the last several years, so we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. I had the halibut, which was delicious as well as nicely presented. My wife and our friends all loved their meals, and we enjoyed the wine recommended by our waiter, who was attentive but not overly so. We didn’t need dessert, but of course we ordered it anyway. My Mascarpone and Huckleberries was lovely. A Cena is upscale Italian, so be prepared for higher prices (but they are within reason for the quality of food and service.). We will keep going back.
This is the second time our family, coming from 3 different areas of the city, has met there and they do not disappoint! My brother LOVES the octopus salad and everyone raves about the pasta. The wait staff was great and we all had a memorable time. Repeat customers for sure..!
We had an excellent meal at a good price on a night that we were both to tired to cook after working in the yard all day. The octopus appetizer was especially yummy and the pasta was filling and delicious. Couldn't have asked for anything better!
Some of the best Italian food in the Portland area. I keep coming back and it is always great.
Outstanding in every way! The food was fantastic and very well priced. Service was outstanding as well.
Once again we were completely satisfied with our meal and dining experience. The staff was great and the food top notch. Missed out on the Tagliatelle but will be back to get it next time :-) Well worth it on all levels!
All of the pasta is great. The polipo is grilled to perfection. Great place!
A Cena is one of our favorite restaurants in Portland. The lobster agnolloti is to die for -- one of the best things you will ever put in your mouth. The pizzas are also great. We also had the lamb dish but I would give that a less than perfect review. One of the pieces of lamb was tough and hard to cut. The wine and drinks were great too, and the service excellent. We come here often for special occasions and always enjoy it.
Exceptional and creative food. Professional, attentive servers. Best food in Portland!
Our server was so nice and competent and then blew it at the end with a spill of water that got on our birthday celebrant's cards and gifts (including a book). She managed to wipe it all off, but with some chagrin. We were very pleased up to that point, and he apologized, and placed a new table mat, but the damage was done.
I really liked the food here, the pastas had a slight sweet note to them, which for me felt a little off, but would go back again any day for the lobster angoloti
I eat there with a variety of friends and occasionally a date. Tables pretty close for conversation but better in the little corners. Food always prepared well, as listed and always willing to accommodate food allergies or issues. Never been disappointed!
Great flavors: classic country Italian cuisine. We enjoyed every minute
I have been here a few times of the years and was a little disappointed in the experience. I wanted to take my boyfriends parents to a nice place that I remembered had good service years ago but was a little disappointed in the service overall. The food was delicious and kind of expensive which I knew going into dinner but was kind of annoyed that we had to really flag down our waiter and wished he was more into us having a good time but it just felt off and I wasn’t a fan of the tiramisu. Overall good was delicious but not sure I would choose this place to celebrate a special occasion next time.