Cena

4.8
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661 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Cena is a modern, fresh and simple Italian food served in a contemporary and stylish setting. Located in the Grand Central building at the heart of the vibrant Channel District of Tampa, Florida – Cena is dining from the roots – great ingredients, traditional dishes, and attentive service. Join us.

Cena – “dinner” or “supper” in Italian.
What 661 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just perfection.

K
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The truffle risotto was delicious! Would go back for it again!

DT
Naples
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful menu, delicious food! Loved the ambiance and the waiter was very knowledgeable.

AF
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, imaginative dinner menu, great value. One of the top restaurants in the Tampa area.

CL
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Cena is one of our longtime fave restaurants. Love the food, love the service. We always go across the the Courtyard to the Pour House first and then follow with dinner and wine at Cena. A great evening,

DC
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Overall I was very happy with this restaurant. It is small however and very noisy the night I was there. I’m not much of a pasta lover and there were very few non-pasta entries. But I ordered the veal shank, which was very good. The service was excellent.

BG
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding evening! Gracious, timely, personable service all around! Nice selection and very good quality food on the menu. Definitely a "Keeper" on our list.

J
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. Really enjoyed the crispy eggplant and risotto.

OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Every we ordered was delicious!

t
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious and our server provided outstanding service! She was extremely knowledgeable and was able to make excellent recommendations for wine pairing!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely spectacular!

JC
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the place was great but the service from Ashley was the best part of the evening. I will not only recommend Cena to everyone but even more so to be asked to be seated in Ashley’s area.

A
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cena is Fabulous!! The food is extraordinary, the service is remarkable and it is a lovely ambiance. It is our “go-to” restaurant and became our favorite after the very first visit. Ashley and Ciara are so knowledgeable about the menu, specials and more. Chef Michael is a master for sure. We just can’t say enough! Put This restaurant in your to do list!

P
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is phenomenal. They change the menu often and keep things fresh. The service is probably one of the best in Tampa. The staff really knows their stuff and they give excellent recommendations.

JE
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was excellent, if not a tad too salty, which I have come to expect and forgive for the otherwise perfect dishes. My old fashioned was not the best I've had by a long shot, but I think it was literally the bar tender's first day. This is a place where we actually eat the comp bread, order apps AND dessert, and don't sweat the bill - one of the few spots in Tampa that is actually 'worth it.' Also love the atmosphere: welcoming, but I would know better than to bring my kid. Mom's ideal dinner retreat :) Well done!

CR
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was delicious.... try the Fried Artichokes and Branzino. Service was excellent.

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Good food, good service. Very solid Italian wine list. The space is a little basic, but that's because of the building, not anything they did. Can be a little noisy when packed. I only mention these things in case someone is searching for a quiet dinner for two in posh surroundings. Honestly, this is one of the best restaurants in town. Just go.

MA
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional food, great service, easy location. Gonna be our neighborhood food and beverage go to!

MA
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We had been wanting to go for some time and finally set the date. We were pleasantly surprised that wines are offered at significant discount on Sundays. Overall the service (Sierra) was top notch. Our party of 3 went Italian style sharing everything. A couple of excellent apps, a beet salad, fantastic white truffle rissotto, nice seafood pasta, then 2 secondi plates - Branzini and Veal Chop. Branzini was cooked perfect but excessively salty. The Veal was to die for. All in all very enjoyable. We will definitely return.

BM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Spaghetti and meatballs were terrific! Salads were very good and my wife really enjoyed the branzinni excellent service. We will be back!

OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

6 of us dined at Cena for our first time as I hadn’t heard about it but were going to an event in the area so gave it a try. Our highlights were the Casio e pepe as it’s the best I’ve had outside of my kitchen and Rome. The salads were incredible as were the meatballs. We tried a variety of desserts which for the most part were great with the exception of the lemon olive oil cake which they missed the mark on. Service was efficient but our server had no personality nor could she speak to the menu items. Overall it’s definitely a place you need to give a try. We’ll be back for sure.
PS. Beautiful decor makes it a comfortable dining environment.

NZ
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

We went on a date night before a play at the Straz and went when they first opened. We were the first people there so there was no need for a reservation. The food was great. The only thing that was an issue was my boyfriend wanted whiskey and there wasn’t a lot of choices. Everything other than that was great.

I
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Chill Atmosphere..
Waiter did an excellent Job
Food was good
We got the top of the line Cheese Board that I would recommend
Overall ... nothing went wrong.. So it was an enjoyable dining experience..

OT
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time at Cena despite many recommendations. Why did we wait? It was amazing and we’ll be back ASAP.

DO
Tampa
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful evening with great friends and excellent food and service!

Cena
Responded on December 19, 2019

Dianne, Thank you so much! Come back soon!

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b
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It's a really good restaurant. Nice find. Not that close to Channelside, but it is walkable.

Cena
Responded on December 19, 2019

Barryb, Thank you so much for joining us!

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SP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I hosted a business event/Christmas party for our Florida employees (all 5) and their spouses/GF/BF.
The table was all set when my wife and I arrived about 30 minutes early. Cena was prepared! We brought our own wine so cannot speak to Cena wine collection (what I brought was great LOL). Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, desserts, and the spaces to move around and talk to on another. It is a small venue, but just having enough space to move around and chat with people around the whole table was nice. The decor at Cena is moderno and fine by me. The service (Flor was our server) was great. She was attentive, not pushy, did not "go missing" at all. The staff at the front desk is very professional and nice. I really think my entire group enjoyed. And as far as the authentic nature of the food...my wife confirmed it was definitely authentic and Italian how it should be...she lived in Italy for 12 years so I take her opinion on this as valid.

Nice place and will return.
Already recommended to others....

Cena
Responded on December 19, 2019

Sanjay! Thank you for choosing us for your special celebration. We hope you come back soon!

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HT
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved Cena restaurant--started by sharing amazing eggplant appetizer, then house salad with just-right creamy gorgonzola dressing followed by perfectly prepared Cacio e Pepe pasta dish that wife and I shared, ending up with delicious entrees of really fresh branzino and a large veal chop. A very special place.

Cena
Responded on December 19, 2019

We were so happy you came! Thank you so much!

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MK
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service and great atmosphere. Super accommodating for picky eaters and delicious food for foodies.

S
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great dinner. Would go again and would recommend to others.

S
Tampa
26 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Veal chop was delicious!

T
Atlantic City
53 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went with a party of 4. The food was terrific and a very good value. Nice wine list as well with many good, reasonably priced options.

M
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and outstanding service. The ambiance is very charming and romantic. This was our first time here and we will definitely return. The menu is simple, but elegant. The carpaccio was a great value. The bread and cheese was delicious and the chef recommended a wonderful wine. We had Risotto for dinner and the flavor was amazing. We finished with some traditional Sambuca and they did it right with 3 coffee beans!

t
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was fabulous! Thanks for a great evening out for out of town guests.

EC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always spectacular. Food never disappoints.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The fried eggplant, ox tail gnocchi and lemon olive oil cake were on another plane.

FB
Tampa
45 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We absolutely love Cena. Really fun evening. Great food and attentive service

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible good food in an enjoyable ambiance

CB
Tampa
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal, excellent service. Will definitely return!

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Awesome food. Impeccable service.

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