Cena

4.7
520 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 520 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
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CR
Tampa
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Wonderful command of flavors and beautiful presentation... the desserts are no less than a work of art!

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OT
Miami
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Just moved to the Tampa area and trying new restaurants. Definitely will visit here again, food was delicious, service was great, and we were warmly welcomed. A very nice night out.

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SM
Tampa
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing! Best Italian in Tampa! Great food, service and atmosphere.

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MW
Vancouver
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go at least once a month, often more. My favorites are:

Charcuterie
Carpaccio
Truffle Pasta

YUM!

Also, haven’t been in awhile but they have amazing wine tasting events every 3rd Thursday of the month!

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

The pork was undercooked and hardly had any meat. The rustic bolognese was watery and the pasta was chewy. The house salad was the only highlight of the night. I spent $100 and am still hungry. I would avoid.

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V
Tampa
24 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous menu and outstanding service. I had the Truffle pasta which was absolutely delicious. It was one of the best pasta dishes I have even eaten, and that is coming from a first generation Italian! My husband enjoyed the risotto with fresh seafood. Both the scallops and shrimp were huge.
Like so many restaurants, the noise level was high. I would highly recommend this gem of a restaurant.

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JB
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was great, cool central location for an evening out.

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J
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Our server Vinny was excellent. Very knowledgeable about all menu items. My friend and I split the crispy eggplant for the appetizer and it was good but a little bland. I had the shrimp and scallops risotto and it was perfectly cooked but also a bit bland. My friend had the pasta bolognese and she loved it. I had a taste and it was good - rich tomato sauce and tender meat.

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G
Tampa
23 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This a neighborhood gem! We live in the area and when we have a chance we choose to dine here. We enjoyed an appetizer, the crispy eggplant, two main courses, the halibut (perfectly cooked)and the rustic Bolognese (savory and pasta was on point) and topped it off with the most wonderful dessert. Normally we don’t get the dessert but the description was so enticing. It was phenomenal! If you haven’t had a chance to eat here, you should. It will not disappoint!

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NN
New York Area
59 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Very nice restaurant with a focused menu (might seem limited, but there are specials as well). They accommodated our large group with no problems and we received excellent service. The cocktails were really tasty and everyone thoroughly enjoyed all of the dishes. We just wished the truffle-specific ones had real/fresh shaved truffle in it as opposed to using oil--just not the same. Overall, very happy with our dinner and would recommend.

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T
New England
4 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my all-time favorite places to eat in Tampa!

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N
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food. Will def be back!

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EH
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The chef, the manager and our waiter were an absolute delight. Initially we were seated next to a party of 6 ladies celebrating a special occasion. Just a little too loud for us, our waiter quickly accommodated us and we sat at a table perfect for conversation and enjoying a fabulous meal with a wine pairing suggested by our waiter. The evening ended with the chef suggesting The Rooster and the Till as a restaurant we would love, and he arranged a reservation for us the next evening. It, too, was a winner! We live in West Palm Beach and look forward to driving the distance to enjoy another evening at fabulous Cena.

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MW
Vancouver
15 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Cena! The truffle pasta is unbelievable as is the carpaccio! YUM - my favorites! Sunday is 1/2 priced bottles of wine too!!

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SM
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great Italian restaurant, chef has a wonderful menu.
Sunday is half price on bottles of wine.
Our meals were awesome (Truffle pasta and Lamp Chop) and we shared a signature Tiramisu.
Parking Garage is free for 2 hours - so enjoy.

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DJ
Tampa
11 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner before Stageworks Theatre

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OT
Tampa
41 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For a busy Friday night, the food, service and wait staff were terrific! Will be going back soon, it was that good. The Branzino was the best I've had since dining in Europe. The duck prosciutto and the artisal bread was so good, even for those at our table who don't usually eat bread. One of my table mates had the gnocchi with oxtail in what we call "Sunday gravy" - think I will get that next visit. For a showstopping dessert, order the tiramisu. I can assure you, it is so unique and delicious, you will order it again.

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WY
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always exceeds our expectations!

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LY
Orlando
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice place. The service was good and friendly. The food was good but if you are a picky eater there is not much of a selection to choose.

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CH
Tampa
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant but would like a few more mainstream menu choices.

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t
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Consistently good. Not the usual American/Italian fare and the tiramisu is not to be missed.

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LO
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Had high hopes but was underwhelmed. The place is really trendy and has a great vibe inside. The guy who greeted us was nice as was our waitress. The food was just good, not great, and the prices high for just “good” food. We started with cheese and meat selections and that was nice and fresh. For mains I had the oxtail gnocchi and my gf had the shrimp and scallop risotto. Both were good...but nothing amazing as we expected. The flavor was good but nothing that made me say wow. We tried some desserts, the apple crostata and the chocolate cake and the presentation was amazing but again it was just “good”. I am not sure I would return.

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JV
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding place for dinner.

I do not have time to write a fifty words review.

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J
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every bite was amazing. Great service and good atmosphere. One of the better places I've eaten in a while.

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r
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Went there before the Friday "rush" and got excellent service. Will go again when we go to Tampa. Richard, Naples, FL

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w
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Delightful understated excellence! This restaurant is located in a “newish” apartment/condo area outside of the main tourist areas of Tampa but close to Amalie arena and the cruise ship wharf. It was quiet enough to carry on a conversation and place where one could feel comfortable in casual (but not beachwear) clothing. The food was excellent and creative modern Italian, prices were reasonable for the quality of food. Dessert was a work of art.

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h
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a late Valentine's day dinner....it was beyond my expectation.
Delicious..

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WM
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always wonderful

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JG
Tampa
27 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food is tasty and the flavors are well put together.

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RV
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and food. Would highly recommend and visit again.

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LD
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was wonderful! Eggplant appetizer was crisp and delicious, loved the sauce. Beet salad was was also very good. We had the shrimp and scallops risotto as our entree. We ate outside, weather was beautiful. Altogether a lovely evening.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cena is hands down my favorite restaurant in Tampa. Chef Michael consistently knocks it out of the park. The care and creativity he has given his cuisine is unparalleled in Tampa. I highly recommend requesting Eric for your server. He’ll take very good care of you and makes spot on recommendations. Cena is truly a Tampa gem.

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WM
Houston
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our experience at Cena was very enjoyable. At the time of our reservation, we had told the restaurant that we were celebrating a birthday. And while they didn't give us a free dessert or anything, we did receive a nice little card that said happy birthday.

Our waiter was very knowledgable and attentive. He answered questions quickly and with great authority over the menu.

Finally the food was simply fantastic. Everyone's dish came out perfectly and delicious.

Wonderful restaurant.

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BA
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 4

The vegetarian options need to have protein. My gnochi was burnt on one side. No added protein option.

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B
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow! I went with my girlfriend and we loved this place! We arrived for the last time available for the night but we were greeted when we got there and there was never any rush during our meal. The ambience was great and we loved the atmosphere! I loved the food we selected and everything tasted amazing! We had the beet salad and then the truffle pasta and the wild mushroom risotto. My girlfriend is vegan but loved both the entrees! I love finding restaurants like this that maybe have been not discovered by everyone as much as they should be! This is a wonderful place and everyone else should come try! You will love it too! We will be back!

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C
Tampa
31 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was good. I would like more food choices though

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ER
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food by Chef Butta and perfect service by Eric! We will be back for more soon... This place is a gem!

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AW
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. Always top notch. Super wines. It is on the loud side, so probably not a first or second date place. We always have a great time here.

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PM
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Celebrated our anniversary and had a wonderful time. Joe and his team made our experience very enjoyable! We will definitely be going back again.

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BG
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Day 2 on vacation, found this restaurant without recommendation. It was excellent! Great wine list, fresh pasta made in house melted in your mouth. Appetizer & Salads were outstanding! The manager was on point as if he were the owner.... Owner should be very proud of his work ethic! Super friendly & happy wait staff worked together to make our dining experience delightful! Definitely is our new favorite! Make a Rez to be sure you get a table!!

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