Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About a Cena Ristorante
At a Cena, we share a love for simply cooked meals enjoyed with friends and family. We value fresh ingredients, local Portland area farmers, handmade pastas and cured meats, daily prepared breads, consistency, a well-matched wine list, and a seasoned and personable staff. With these elements, we strive to offer our guests a fine-dining experience with the comfort and warmth of an Italian country kitchen. Salute!
Portland, OR 97202
Hours of Operation:
SE Lambert St.
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Most of our menu items and other creative items designed between our chef and the client
Ample street parking
Several on 13th Street
Private Party Facilities:
Three adjoining rooms allow for separate or joined private dining for 20 to 70 people
Private Party Contact:
Chris Custer: (503) 206-3291
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
a Cena Ristorante Ratings and Reviews
Warm, intimate and bustling! A Cena is one of those Italian restaurants that makes you feel you are truly in Italy, in a local neighborhood hang out spot. The food is great, the atmosphere is wonderful and this is wonderful neighborhood for an after-dinner walk to burn off a few pasta calories. I had the lasagna, took home a part of it and it was even more outstanding the next day for lunch!
This is the second time I've eaten here and it did not disappoint. I ordered lamb chops, rare, and they came perfectly done. The cocktails was great, the wine perfect and no one complained, not even my mother-in-law, and believe me, that's something special.
We went to this restaurant for our year anniversary and it was wonderful. The pasta was delicious! The servers were very flexible when my husband and I had to move inside due to his allergies. It is a romantic spot and the service is wonderful. Great wine selection!
We were given a gift certificate to A Cena as a wedding present and finally decided to use it! We were not disappointed - as you would expect in an Italian "taverna", the ambiance was warm with an inviting décor and earthy color palate. The food matches: our burrata caprese did a quick disappearing act as did my Eggplant Parmigiana, which was not served old-school "deep-dish" but nicely plated and garnished in slices. My wine by the glass - a Nebbiolo & Vespolina Rosato (Rosé) was sturdy but light enough for a warm late spring evening.
Our server did a great job and had that great mix of personality, knowledge, and presence - something that is in short supply in Portland. Definitely on the Sellwood "short list" and totally worth a visit.
The ambience, food, and service were good. My issue is that it was very early in he evening (they weren't busy) , we had made dinner reservations and even with that they put us in the "B" area or the bar area . I felt it was discrimination based on how we were dressed- jeans and tennis shoes for me while my daughter was dressed nicely as she was coming from work. I noticed the only people in our area were dressed casually in jeans. All the people in the other dining room were dressed In more business casual attire. I wanted to check this place out for a college graduation dinner, but think after the snub (whether perceived or otherwise) we will look elsewhere.
Wanted to try something new for our anniversary and found a Cena. Hubby ordered the ravioli special, Caramelitos, or something like that. The filling was truly remarkable and it was the best thing we had. The salad with grilled romaine would have benefitted from a bit more time on the grill. My tagliattelle with asparagus and lemon lacked lemon taste and was very short on sauce. I was left with a portion of plain pasta. I ordered tiramisu for dessert and while it was huge and had a serious dose of booze, it was a bit soggy and unremarkable. All in all, it was okay, but we probably won't return.
While I appreciate the ability to order smaller portions of pasta at this restaurant, I think it ought to consider mitigating the noise level, with some more sound-dampening surfaces or spacing tables farther apart. The party next to us was quite loud and became rather a nuisance, making our conversation difficult. And one of the four neighbors was swearing loud enough for us to hear. I really don't want to hear the F-word from somebody else when I am eating and trying to catch up with long-time friends.
So disappointed in our Mother's Day visit to aCena. Three of our party had food that was served at a tepid temperature while the fourth ordered the branzino which was piping hot and remained that way throughout the meal (it was delicious!). The pomodoro sauce on the ravioli was thin and tasteless and lukewarm lobster & corn agnolotti doesn't do justice to the flavors of that dish. Additionally, when we booked a table we requested to sit anywhere other than in the front room. Guess where we were seated? Hostess was not at all apologetic about seating us in front when we asked if table was available in back room.
Had a wonderful Mother's Day dinner with my wife and our 22-month old. Courteous, prompt , exceptional service and even better food! I was a little worried about bringing our kid based on previous reviews I'd read, but if you time it right and maybe bring a small snack or other quiet distraction, all should be fine. Food and drinks were fresh and quick, very little wait. The early dinner was just right for our kid, though we came with a small bag of snacks that held her over. [ We were still deciding what to order when she'd realized everyone around was being served food. Cereal to the rescue! :) ] Bread and the arancini appetizer came very quickly after ordering, promptly followed by our main courses. Note, a half order would probably suffice for most, but trust me, you'll be glad to order the full and take home what you don't finish, the food was so great. :) While getting our leftovers boxed up, they brought our daughter a cool tricolor crayon to use on the paper table liner.
For all the parents with young children, this is no Chuck-e-Cheese-type of place to take your kids, but they are most definitely kid-friendly for a nice, and more importantly delicious dinner.
We've been here before and I would go back but this was not a great experience. One of the people in our group had never eaten at a Cena before and we had given glowing reviews so the meal did not live up to that. First of all, the place was not jam packed. Most of the tables were full but not all of them and some of the 4 tops only had 2 people. I've seen it much busier. Our server didn't come over to get our drink order in a timely fashion and once he did it took a bit. Three of the items my group and I were interested in ordering were either out or no longer available and only one of those had a replacement dish so the already small menu was even smaller. We ordered a pizza to start and a bottle of wine. The wine was delicious and we all enjoyed it. My entree came to the table before our pizza or anyone else's food. When we said we had ordered a pizza to start the guy bringing my entree (not our server) looked flustered and took the plate away. Next all of our entrees came out, followed by the pizza that was supposed to be the starter. At that point we ordered another bottle of wine to go with the entrees but it didn't come until we were all pretty much done. Our server was here and there but it was actually a very kind older gentleman, possibly the manager or owner, who checked on us and who apologized for the pizza coming out late. Like I said, I would probably go back but this was a disappointing experience.
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