Cena

4.6
855 Reviews
$31 to $50
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.

Support Cena during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 855 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
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
vipRichard
Vancouver
20 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great local restaurant- neighbourhood gem.

BP
BillP
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great evening and food... Chef Michael was outstanding & Vinny our server was top notch/best

l
lovetoeat
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

An incredibly delightful evening with astonishingly creative and delicious food.

LA
LuisA
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, variety, good ambiance
It was my first time eating at this place but definitely would go back.

A
Ariktampa
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Do not go on a Saturday night. The kitchen seems to get slammed. Also, parking near the restaurant is next to impossible. Tip: Park at the Publix parking structure nearby and leave before it closes. Food is creative and delicious! Recommended are Crispy eggplant appetizer, burrata arugula salad, ‘nduja meatballs, rack of lamb and veal chop. The deconstructed Tiramisu was very different and a joy.

C
vipCappy
Tampa
16 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Good overall experience as usual. Server Eric was exceptional.

DJ
vipDanJ
Naples
68 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent service from Vinni and outstanding food from the chef. Vibrant outdoor scene to boot. Some limits on hard liquor brands but manageable and an outstanding wine list.

RF
vipRobertF
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Anniversary- food was very good. Portions were modest. Wine selection was limited but tasteful- overall a good experience

JE
vipJEEJazz
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great evening to celebrate my wife’s birthday - we had an incredible evening - thanks for the memories!

WJ
vipWilliamJ
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Top-notch place. One of the top shelf restaurants in town had two very very good meals there recently

J
Joeh
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great experience and excellent dinner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very quiet and enjoyable. Went with my girlfriend and had a great experience. Great food and personable staff

CG
ChristinaG
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great food, a little pricey for
What you get, but overall great food and wine selection.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience2

We had to eat outside and it was like a wind tunnel
Even though there is now a glass partition I would not return unless I ate inside

J
vipJtroy
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience4

I never had a bad meal at Cena until last night. I had the redfish entree and the fish was dry, the scallops were extremely firm and the shrimp were overcooked. I was very disappointed by the quality of my meal, as Cena has always been a go to for me.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was amazing! Brest meal of our trip and very Instagramable

EC
EllenC
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food presentation was very attractive, every dish was delicious and the service was excellent. An excellent dining experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Tampa
11 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as always!!!

BW
BillyW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing boutique restaurant with even more amazing food! Would highly recommend!!!

S
Steve
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love good Italian food and this hit the mark in every way with an outstanding and innovative me here and yet true to the heart and soul of Italian cooking. The food was as tasty as the menu was interesting. My only regret is that I could not try more things on the menu but that is why we will be back.

CG
vipClaireG
Miami
18 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food! Excellent service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Date night with my wife. Had a great and knowledgeable waiter who won us over with honesty. We were sat immediately when we arrived right on time. Enjoyed our first experience at this nice establishment.

AT
AlvinT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service was amazing! The oxtail was phenomenal! I will definitely be back!

MR
MarkR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The outdoor shooting is nice. The service was pretty good as well. But the food was so so at best. Pretty much one note. Seemed to be lacking quite a bit. Not just for the meal that I had but the 4 other people in our party had the same comment. Also the bartenders are very inconsistent I ordered 2 Manhattans and they were completely different.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience1

I had reservations for inside got put outside. Made my date a bore so no ambience only thing that saved it was my date’s humor and understanding. Food was okay nothing to write home about.

AS
AnitaS
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service was outstanding!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What an amazing dinner! My wife celebrated our anniversary at Cena and it was hands down one of the best meals we have had in years. The carpaccio and burrata salad were amazing. The wagyu short rib dish we split and it just kept getting better and better.. The final chapter was the tiramisu desert which was the best well crafted tiramisu I have had ever had! The chef came out to meet us after hearing it was our anniversary and we were from out of town, great guy and so talented. Can’t wait to go back

J
vipJosh
Tampa
18 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

After a pandemic year away the service and food were even better than before!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Tampa
21 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We were fortunate to have a table out on the patio. The food was delicious as always all the way through to the special blueberry cobbler and of course the tiramisu. .

DW
DavidW
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came for your 39 anniversary,the food was excellent and the staff very friendly and knowledgeable the evening was a pleasure, will definitely return

T
vipTerry
New England
7 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

One of my favorite Tampa restaurants ❤️

RM
RobinM
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2021
Overall3food1service4ambience4

Unfortunately, our food was terrible salty all the way around. :-(

JZ
JohnZ
Tampa
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It took us about 5 years to get here after I was at a table at a wine event where Chef Michael was sitting at my table. (used to own a restaurant). I remember hearing some accolades from the hosts of the event directed at his restaurant. So, I picked my birthday to finally experience Cena.
This restaurant is definitely not your traditional Italian. Every dish was an interesting combination of quality ingredients that all seemed to work in harmony. I won't get into a micro analysis, but we had the Crispy Eggplant and fried artichokes for starters. Both appetizers were unique and off the charts! We then shared the mascarpone rich shrimp and scallop risotto. Another home run! For our main courses, I chose the Rack of Lamb. The prep was unique as well, as it came with a delicious Calabrian Romesco, (pepper coulis) which actually had a bit of a Moroccan character to me. It came with fingerlings and a delicious arugula pesto laced with toasted almonds. My wife got the Duck Confit Pasta, which she really liked, but found it the most traditional of the dishes. (which when you're talking Italy, is certainly not a bad thing). That particular dish blew me away! She took about 1/3 of her portion home, which I attacked the next day, it was so good, especially if you love mushrooms! We paired our food with a delicious Tuscan blend. I don't recall the producer at this moment, but it was full bodied and flavored, and complimented our mean beautifully. For dessert, I had the Tiramisu, which in its construction alone is unique. My wife got the Banana Cake, which came out looking like a huge cream egg surrounded by chopped nuts with a Happy Birthday inscribed. Our server, Margarita, was very friendly, and paced our meal beautifully. She and I even spoke some Greek to each other! All in all, a first rate dining experience. Highly recommended!

M
vipMarinaguy
Tampa
19 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really a quality place- food drinks atmosphere too

JC
JCG719
Tampa
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great time. Food was fantastic and our server was incredible.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food, drinks, and atmosphere were great! They made accommodations for food allergies and pregnancy without any hesitation. My husband's family are true Italians and he said it was the best gnocchi he has had in a restaurant! We will definitely be returning!

M
Mell
Tampa
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food... Live music could improve the ambivalent...

MA
vipMAdams
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Wavy beef carpaccio came sitting in a pool of oil completely undressed. No Parmesan cheese as advertised. We had to ask for lemon and ground pepper to improve the taste. Also some crostini which I was promptly told normally they don’t do so the waiter reluctantly brought me a couple of small I toasted pieces of bread. My main course of scallops and shrimp risotto was so over salted it was difficult to eat. And the service was extremely lacking and the attitude was one where I felt they were doing me a favor for every request. Very unpleasant experience and my husband and I will not be returning.

R
vipRichard
Vancouver
20 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

One of the best Italian restaurants in Tampa. Can get a little crowded and we hesitated with Covid, but it was a nice evening.

M
Mimi
Tampa
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

I think the set up and atmosphere was nice, but our table was literally not very spacious and sat very close to the next table in which conversations could definitely be overheard. Our waitress did not have too much personality and for this restaurant to be labeled a $$$ experience, I honestly thought she could’ve been much more enthusiastic and made our experience more enjoyable. My husband and I had the wagyu braised short rib and I had a dish that was like paella. I feel that for the price we paid, it was not worth it. It wasn’t bad, but it could’ve been better overall.

FAQs

Cena offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (813) 374-8840.

Cena is rated 4.6 stars by 855 OpenTable diners.

Cena does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://cenatampa.cardfoundry.com/giftcards.php.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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