Spoil yourself with homemade cappelletti and fresh egg pasta dishes at the La Cena Ristorante. This restaurant and wine bar serves modern Italian cuisine in warm, cozy digs. Chef Jerry Moran champions a menu that features single and combo appetizers, beef strip steak, fresh salads, pasta dishes (served in medium or large sizes) and chick and veal dishes (accompanied by a fresh salad).
Visit for lunch and treat yourself to some homemade spaghetti alla puttanesca, tossed with olives, spicy tomatoes, anchovy and capers. Complement it with some wine. La Cena's intimate but relaxed space is tailormade family-style parties and friendly group events. The restaurant also boasts a private dining room for special events. Open for dinner Tuesdays to Saturdays, La Cena doesn't close until midnight, making it an appealing choice for the late night crowd.
This is the best Italian Restaurant in Jacksonville.
Great place. Looking forward to the new location.
The fresh red snapper Livornasie style and my wife's veal piccata were the best we've had in Florida. Incredible Italian wine list.
Chicken Parmesan is my husbands choice in Italian food. He said it was the best he's ever eaten AND he had leftovers (he has never had leftovers). The 1/2 loaf of bread was tasty! He was a little disappointed that spaghetti didn't accompany his dinner.
I ordered gluten free pasta (it took a little longer to prepare) with shrimp and scallops. It was the BEST gluten free pasta dish I have ever eaten!
Since we were heading into the area for the Jazz Festival anyway, we made an Open Table Reservation at La Cena. It wasn't our first visit but it had been a few years and it was as good as we remembered it to be. We both ordered the red snapper, mine was done Ellie fish style, my wife's style we can't remember....anyway, both were fantastic.
They are apparently moving in the next month and will be out of circulation for a couple of months but wherever they end up, it will be worth a visit.
We have been longtime patrons of La Cena, and have always recommended it highly to those who appreciate great Italian food and wine and know how to build a relationship with the folks who serve them and cook for them. Gerry and his outstanding long-time staff will serve you what we think is the best handmade fresh pasta in town (also great for seafood and steaks, btw) backed by a lifetime of experience in the business. Their upcoming move to Murray Hill is our gain and downtown's great loss.
Read the menu. Ask questions. Understand that the portion sizes will be enormous, and you will likely get several meals out of that which you are given. Be respectful, and don't have preconceived notions of what you think you're going to get, because they really do know their food better than you do. Go ahead and eat the bread sticks - they're great and they are fresh. Try it Gerry's way, and you'll see what I mean. Read the menu carefully first, from the very beginning, and you'll get a sense of how to go about your business. La Cena is not quite like anywhere else we've ever dined, and that's not a bad thing.
The reward will be a long term relationship with some gifted artists of the cucina Italiana in classic Long Island style.
This is the best Italian restaurant in Jacksonville! The food is freshly prepared and incredibly authentic. The mussels are fantastic whether in the white or red sauce. The entrée portions are hearty, so the small size will suffice for most .
Best Italian meal since I was in Italy!
Everything great. The bread had a remarkable wood oven taste.
It's a small place. Only a few staffed. The food was excellent. I'm glad I tried this place. We are going back.
Third time returning to this restaurant, this time with friends before a show at the The Times Union. Once again our meal exceeded our expectations and everyone enjoyed the meal.
Great food, great service, we love this restaurant
Great service; great food. Owner very attentive. Moving to new location soon. Revisit is a must!
Everything was excellent. The wine was good. We're not a fan of stemless wine glasses so the waitress happily brought the stemmed ones. Bread was hot and crusty, very good. The shrimp and scallops were big, juicy and tender on the pasta. Portion size choices are nice too! It was Easter weekend, there was no one else in the restaurant and we ate early at 5:30pm. The ambiance would have been better on a different day or weekend when its busier and more festive. I always enjoy going to La Cena because its cozy, has a cool vibe and the food is good. Service excellent. My mother forgot her purse they happily brought it out to the car. Nice!
The menu is huge with a lots of great options; however the portions are huge; even the small pasta size. It would be nice if you could split a meal, but the menu clearly states there is a $18 fee to split. With many dishes only costing $21 that was a total rip off. The service was terrible; it took over 25 minutes to even get the waitress to pour the wine we brought with us and over 2.5 hours to eat. The staff was not all that friendly either
The pasta was delicious! Extremely generous portion sizes.
We ate at La Cena 2 yrs. ago and couldn't wait to go back. However very disapointed this time.
My wife had sea food, the lobster and scallops were over cooked and clams were too chewy to eat. When my wife mentioned the clams to the staff she said they were fresh and there was nothing they could do. I had a veal chop (52.00) that was certainly not worth that money.
Made reservations and yet the hostess/waitress acted like there wasn't room for us. We should have left then. The place is small and smells musty. The portions were huge. Staff not nice unless you are a regular.
What a find! Portions are HUGE! There are three sizes with only a dollar or two between each. The small size would fill even the hungriest diner. The mussels posillipo starter was the best I have ever tasted, anywhere, in the world! Besides the quantity (three bowls were given for the shells) the red sauce was amazing. After eating the mussels, the spoon was used next to complete this fabulous journey. While prior reviews raved about the escargot (which itself was amazing in both quantity and quality), the mussels were extraordinary!
Dined here before a show at the Florida Theatre. You must let them know that you will be going to a show otherwise time will be a factor. We had a 5:45PM and an 8PM show. The main course arrived at 7:10PM so there was no time for dessert. That didn't matter as our dinner here was awesome!
This reminded me of the Italian places up north...the ambiance, awesome food, and great personalized service will definitely bring me back again!
A hidden gem on the northeast Florida restaurant scene. Perfect location before a show at either the Florida or Times-Union theatres. The flavorful fare was a surprise and delight, with rich fresh ingredients that danced deliciously with one's senses. Kudos to the chef and staff. I can't wait to dine at La Cena again, and have raved about it with all my friends.