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
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
a Cena Ristorante Ratings and Reviews
This was my third visit to A Cena. I come for the food, which is fantastic - although I love their Agnolotti so much (Raviolini filled with corn and mascarpone, and topped with lobster) that it's hard to convince myself to try other offerings. However, bites from the plates of my companions, as well as my varied antipasti and desert selections have been equally tasty.
The service is excellent (one problem with bus staff removing our plates too quickly was easily resolved), and the wait staff are quite knowledgeable about the wine list and dishes. The atmosphere is perfect for small groups of friends - not fancy or romantic, but comfortable and welcoming. I highly recommend A Cena.
Having lived in Europe for many years, quite a few of those within easy reach of the Italian border, I took advantage of the opportunity to eat true Italian cuisine many times. A Cena is as authentic as any I have had since returning to the US, and as good or better as quite a few places I ate in Italy. We had a wonderful meal at A Cena and overindulged ourselves. It was not inexpensive but it was worth every dime. We will return, with friends.
Based off reviews, I was expecting a cozy romantic Italian restaurant experience. Instead, it felt more like a neighborhood cafe. The music that was being played sounded like Italian pop music with some fast paced electronic music thrown in. It didn't fit the vibe of the restaurant at all and set the tone of our whole experience. The service was friendly and very fast, too fast actually. Our whole dining experience lasted no longer than 35 minutes, which I guess I can't fault them for, but I was expecting a slower pace and more hands on server attention. Fortunately, our food was very delicious and was indeed the highlight of the evening. However, a Cena seems to charge fine dining prices but delivers an ambience and experience that falls more in line with a casual neighborhood cafe.
Ultimately, my experience at a Cena was a victim of my own expectations rather than anything the restaurant did wrong. If you live in Sellwood and want delicious Italian food, you can't go wrong here. But don't make my mistake and book this place for a special occasion or date.
we’ve been here several times and it never disappoints. the food is fresh and fabulous, the servers are attentive and knowledgeable. i recommend that someone at your table order the Agnolotti (corn & marscapone ravioli with butter poached lobster in a sweet, creamy sauce) get the entree size since others at your table will be eating from your plate :-).
Normally, this is best in food, service and ambiance. It was a busy Friday night and the restaurant was packed, full of noise and understaffed. Our wait person was exceptional to us, but run ragged. Our home made ice cream was not good and very icy, just not expected in this restaurant. It still a favorite, but will stick to week day dining.
We have been to A Cena many times. The food is consistently very good as well as the service. It does get quite noisy as the evening progresses. We usually come early as it is quieter then. Great for special occasions or a very nice dinner out as the prices are fairly high. We have always been pleased. Good drinks also!
Was supposed to be one of the better Italian restaurants in PDX. Very average. Menu presented was different and limited from their web site. Best way to describe - average "meat & potato" Italian. Could have dined much closer to home and received better for less.
The food was great as always but what impressed me most was how easily the hostess and waiter handled my friend's diet restrictions - lactose intolerance was dealt with easily and in an Italian restaurant where cheese is the norm. There were other restrictions that were met with no fuss.
We went on a Tuesday, was only a couple other people there. Very quiet. Staff was very nice and accommodating! Although expensive, I highly recommend the Agnolotti! Honestly the most delicious pasta dish I've ever had and my boyfriend agreed. Very rich dish.
We've celebrated special occasions at A Cena many times in the past, and this occasion was without a doubt the most disappointing.
The food was good, not great (better in the past) and the portions and quality for the price are decent at best. Frustratingly, I don't feel like the menu has EVER changed, which is disappointing, because it would be nice to get a broader taste of the Italian cuisine that it's supposed to specialize in.
The service -- for a nice restaurant, on a relatively slow night -- was unacceptably and frustratingly pushy. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary on a Saturday night, yet felt as though we were getting churned through, rather than being invited to enjoy a nice, leisurely dinner. The table next to us had the same complaint.
A Cena has some charm and decent food -- it's worth checking off your list, but after this last experience, I think we'll be finding ourselves trying out its many competitors before going back.
Loved the food and the experience! Enjoyed the cozy feel and the atmosphere of comfort and fun. Really enjoyed the wine list and how knowledgeable the server was. The gentlemen who moved among the tables (the owner, we assume) checking on everyone was fun to talk to and he really knew the wines. Food was fabulous. Didn't know about the place until a friend gave me a gift card: now that I know where it is, I'm sure I'll be a regular!
This restaurant was recommended by a real 'foodie' who would never let me down and boy did he nail it with this one!
We arrived early and the Manager greeted us warmly, seating us at a cozy table near a window. We were greeted promptly by our Server, Alex who was personable and very knowledgeable of the menu. He offered us a sample of the prosecco, as we inquired about it. He then suggested an artichoke appetizer which was Heaven on a plate! We each enjoyed a glass of wine and shared two entrees. The spaghetti and meatballs was flavorful, although the sauce a bit thin. The corn and marscapone ravioli with lobster however, was flawless! So was the house made fococcia. We ended the meal with a divine sea salt and caramel gelato and decided collectively that we'd return to a Cena in a heartbeat!
The Manager graciously thanked us for our patronage as if we were old friends.
On a sidenote - we used to frequent this location when it was Assagio (so sad when they closed their doors) and it's lovely to see such a gem on this little corner. :-)
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