About a Cena Ristorante

7742 SE 13th Avenue
Portland, OR 97202
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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!

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner:
Sunday 3-9pm
Monday-Thursday 5-9pm
Friday-Saturday 5-10pm

Lunch:
Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-2:30pm

Cross Street:
SE Lambert St.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(503) 206-3291

Website:
http://www.acenapdx.com/

Catering:
Most of our menu items and other creative items designed between our chef and the client

Parking Details:
Ample street parking

Public Transit:
Several on 13th Street

Executive Chef:
Gabriel Gabreski

Private Party Facilities:
Three adjoining rooms allow for separate or joined private dining for 20 to 70 people

Private Party Contact:
Chris Custer: 5032063291x

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

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Steak
Seafood Pasta
Affogato
pasta aglio e olio
Bruschettas
Lobster Ravioli
Finocchio
Cavatelli With Lamb Ragu
farro
Bianca Pizza
Spicy, Creamy Sausage Pasta
Cremini Mushroom Risotto

Specials

1,000-Point Tables

Specials

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1000 point tables

Details
Tue - Fri 11:30AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 1:00PM 1:15PM - 2:30PM

a Cena Ristorante Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.3

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Italian
Portland / Oregon
Italian
Portland
Best Restaurants in SE Portland ›

Neighborhood Gem (89)
Special Occasion (76)
Fit for Foodies (73)
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Romantic (56)
Notable Wine List (46)
Great for Outdoor Dining (21)
Great for Lunch (21)
Cozy (18)
Good for Groups (16)
Authentic (13)
Good for a Date (13)
Creative Cuisine (11)
Hot Spot (8)
Local Ingredients (8)
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Comfort Food (7)
Casual (7)
Worth the Drive (7)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Late-night Find (5)
Family Style (4)
Fun (4)
Great for Brunch (2)
People Watching (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Seasonal (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Business Meals (1)
Scenic View (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Bar Seating (1)
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1218 reviews
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Marvelous time. Took my wife for her bir ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined 4 days ago

Marvelous time. Took my wife for her birthday with a bunch of friends. The food was outstanding, the place was vibrant, a little loud, and the service was awesome.

Though not inexpensive I was very happy that they had gluten-free pasta options. And I was told, that they make the pasta in house. Love it ! I will be back !!

Tags: Good for Groups, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Gluten Free Options, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The attention received by all of the tea ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined 4 days ago

The attention received by all of the team was fabulous, very welcoming. The food was out of this world. Really a special place. A little spends but well worth it. This is a city for foodies and this is my new top place. Reservations a must

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Over the years, a Cena has gone from ups ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined 4 days ago

Over the years, a Cena has gone from upscale dining to casual neighborhood bistro. Food is still good. Get one of pasta or risotto dishes; it's what they do best. LOUD when they seat large parties, especially those with kids.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

It was our first time eating at this est ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined 6 days ago

It was our first time eating at this establishment, it was a great choice. The food was delicious. My wife and I were celebrating and this was a great spot to do so. The staff was very nice and did I mention that the food was delicious? Really enjoyed our visit.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Cozy, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

This place hit all my buttons -- casual, ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined 7 days ago

This place hit all my buttons -- casual, cozy atmosphere, attentive but non-intrusive service, and great food. This is not a gourmet place by any means, but standard Italian fare done really well. I am looking forward to making this one of my go-to places for a casual dinner.

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

A Cena is always a superb dining experie ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 20, 2016

A Cena is always a superb dining experience. Fresh food, good drinks, great service.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Romantic, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nice meal. Great food, very creative an ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

Nice meal. Great food, very creative and delicious. Only bad thing was being seated in bar side. Prefer dining room.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience1
service4
value3

We're glad we had reservations - it was ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

We're glad we had reservations - it was packed! Food was delicious, great dining experience. Will be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Amazing place, amazing staff, amazing fo ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

Amazing place, amazing staff, amazing food....everything was so good especially the agnolotti and limoncello

Tags: Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a reservation for 6 people at 7:1 ...

 
 (Hawaii)
·Dined on September 12, 2016

We had a reservation for 6 people at 7:15. We were seated around 7:45. There was another party at our table that stayed much longer than they expected. That's OK. However, while we waited, my wife asked for a drink and they did nothing. Finally I had to get pushy and ask for drinks and the guy behind the bar seemed very annoyed that we disturbed him.

As to the meal, I wish they had more traditional pasta offerings but on whole the food was very good.

The experience at the beginning kind of soured the rest of the evening unfortunately.

Tags: Wood Oven, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

The food was delicious! We started with ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 10, 2016

The food was delicious! We started with the frito misto and the seafood was cooked to perfection. From the panini of the day on homemade ciabatta to the fresh in house pasta and desserts. Everything was exquisite!!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Everything I have heard was true, great ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 10, 2016

Everything I have heard was true, great food and great service

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

OUTSTANDING pasta and breadsticks co ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 10, 2016

OUTSTANDING pasta and breadsticks could actually have a conversation because there was no blasting noise supposed to be music OUTSTANDING waitress

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service5
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My wife and I have been going to this re ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 8, 2016

My wife and I have been going to this restaurant for several years and it never fails to impress. On this night we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and we knew we would get a fabulous meal and great service.

I started with the grilled romaine salad (which I nearly always get). The smokiness of the grilled romaine along with the gorgonzola cheese and crispy pancetta creates just an incredible taste. It is best described as savory (weird description for a salad, right?) and delicious.

For my entree, I had the special, a pork sugo over housemade pasta and it was really good. Tender chunks of braised pork and rounds of pork sausage in a light red sauce. I hope to see it as a special again. My wife enjoyed the Garganelli alla Norcia, with the housemade fennel sausage in a spicy cream sauce. We have enjoyed this dish many times here and it is consistantly a winner.

For dessert, we shared the special of the evening, a butterscotch pudding. My wife is usually not a big fan of butterscotch, but our server highly recommended it and it fell into my master plan that I wouldn't have to share as much of it. The plan backfired, big time! That dessert was so light and creamy that it really should have been called a mousse. Or better yet ,Crack, because it was so addictive that neither one of us could get enough.

One other thIng I appreciate about a Cena is their reasonable corkage fee. We often travel to Napa Valley and Walla Walla on wine tasting trips and have brought home many great bottles of wine that we have in our cellar. We enjoy pairing these great wines with a great meal, so we often bring a special bottle with us when we go out to dinner. The owner of another nice Italian restuarant in the neighborhood allows patrons to bring in wine (and charges a higher corkage fee, which we don't mind paying) but then seems offended that we don't order off his wine menu. We no longer go there very often anymore because of that.

Tags: Cozy, People Watching, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Fun, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Comfort Food, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I am so disappointed. I have been going ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 5, 2016

I am so disappointed. I have been going to a cena for 13 years and have never been disappointed, food was always excellent. This time, however, the food was mediocre, at best.The octopus was stringy, tough, overcooked and the "char" was just burned. The fried artichokes, always a favorite, was oily and cold. The rest of the meal went downhill from there. Maybe the chef was off his game, or not even there. I will go back because this is the only time I have not had a superb meal. It was very crowded with lots of loud large groups at tables which may have just overwhelmed the staff.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

This restaurant is in our top 10 restaur ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

This restaurant is in our top 10 restaurants of Portland, and we've eaten here many times for client dinners, graduations, birthdays - it never disappoints. This time we met another couple, to meet the new boyfriend of our friend. Our only complaint is that it is a very loud place, so when you're trying to get to know someone, it can be hard to hear what they are saying from across the table. If you need a quieter environment, see if you can request a table in one of the alcoves for a little more privacy. There is also seating outside, which is a little quieter if you don't mind being on the sidewalk, but bring a wrap or jacket.

But if you can handle the noise, the food is worth it! The selections from this meal was great, as always, with a special call out to the caprese salad. The barrata is amazingly creamy, and coupled with the beautiful tomatoes, basil, oil and grilled ciabatta - it could have been my entire meal! But I found room for the scallops, which they cooked well done to my request. I like the fact that they offer half-size portions of many dishes, in case you aren't super hungry. And they brought me more bread for my caprese, which I appreciated.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Another wonderful family dinner at our f ...

vip
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

Another wonderful family dinner at our favorite local Italian Restsurant !

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Outrageously good pasta! Helpful with th ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

Outrageously good pasta! Helpful with the wine choice.

Tags: Late-night Find, Family Style, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food
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food5
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service5
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a Cena makes the most incredible Agonott ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

a Cena makes the most incredible Agonotti; a perfect dish of succulent lobster swimming alongside raviolinis stuffed with a sort of silky corn puree and mascarpone. Truly a culinary thrill!

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food5
ambience5
service5
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My favorite restaurant in Sellwood. We ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on September 1, 2016

My favorite restaurant in Sellwood. We frequent A Cena because we know we will always receive excellent service and outstanding food in an atmosphere of casual elegance. They have also catered several parties for us, which were fabulous.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
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Always love A Cena for special occasions ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Always love A Cena for special occasions and for taking out-of-town guests. I always order my fave- agnolotti with lobster chunks, but vary the appetizers and salads. My husband usually orders the special. Neither of us has ever been disappointed. ( We still miss the lobster bisque though.) This past Saturday when we were there, they were VERY crowded. Although service was a bit slower than usual, the meal, as always, was outstanding.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Authentic
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food5
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service4
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Fantastic cuisine! My husband and I hav ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

Fantastic cuisine! My husband and I have made a pact that any time we go in a date to a restaurant, we'll never go to the same one twice in Portland. We may have to find some loopholes. So fantastic and the limoncello... WOW

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food5
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service5

Our first date was at a Cena and we've c ...

vip
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

Our first date was at a Cena and we've come back on our anniversary every year...as well as many other times. We love a Cena. Best Italian restaurant in Portland. The tier one food, service and warm feeling are always present.

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food5
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A Cena continues to be one of our very f ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

A Cena continues to be one of our very favorite restaurants! The appetizers and small plates make wonderful light meals, and their entrees are great if you want a full-on dinner. Yummy wines and desserts, too. Attentive and informative service, friendly and warm atmosphere.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Cozy, Fun, Business Meals
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

We were delighted to hear of delicious d ...

vip
 (Sacramento)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

We were delighted to hear of delicious daily specials, which we sampled with relish, then had a nice variety of options for the 5 of us, including a nice selection of wines. I liked that several dishes could come in half sizes for shared tasting. Everything was delicious!

Tags: Kid-friendly, Cozy, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Consistently excellent food and service. ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

Consistently excellent food and service. Brown paper tablecloths, blue jeans on the host, and old-school R&B music set an atmosphere at odds with the quality and cost of the meal.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Family Style, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

This was our second visit. Enjoyed the ...

vip
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

This was our second visit. Enjoyed the food and the service was attentive but not intrusive. This is a busy place. So, it can get noisy. If you're looking for a quiet place to converse, I would not recommend a Cena.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
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service4
value4

They were unexpectely busy, so the servi ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

They were unexpectely busy, so the service was a bit slow. The food was delicious (Sea Bass), and we had a very nice time.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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service3
value4

It's always a treat having a meal here! ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

It's always a treat having a meal here! The food is fantastic and the staff is wonderful.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

Excellent meal! The lobster angolli was ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Excellent meal! The lobster angolli was amazing as usual.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
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service4
value5

We had an enjoyable Friday night. Good f ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

We had an enjoyable Friday night. Good food and atmosphere.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I appreciated that our server gave sugge ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

I appreciated that our server gave suggestions and was knowledgeable about both the food and wine.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Good food, spotty service and poor food ...

vip
 (Houston)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

Good food, spotty service and poor food choice descriptions. The sea bass is just OK and full of bones. The fried seafood platter appetizer was very good.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

We ate outside this time - a first for u ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

We ate outside this time - a first for us. I was worried that the traffic, etc. would detract from the experience but we were seated on the side street and there was no problem. It was quieter outside. Food, wine, and wonderful service were as outstanding as ever.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Chose this restaurant for a date night. ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 3, 2016

Chose this restaurant for a date night. The food tasted fresh and I can say for sure that it was some of the best Italian that I have had in Portland so far. All of the staff were very kind and attentive. The manager/owner? even went so far as to offer to take a photo for my girlfriend and I. I would definitely recommend a cena. LGBTQ friendly!!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
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I have had many very good meals at A Cen ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

I have had many very good meals at A Cena but this was not one of them. The kitchen must have had a off night as most of the dishes were just plain disappointing. We started with the Fritto Misto which was quite tasty but the grilled romaine salad was really overdressed, the Bucatini was undercooked, had no spice and was just plain bland, the Salsiccia pizza crust was completely under cooked and the $46 steak while cooked perfectly was tough. Our group had a great time and the waitress had some great wine recommendations so I will chalk it up to the kitchen having a bad night.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

while some of the food was good, it was ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

while some of the food was good, it was inconsistent and EVERYTHING was cold (even though I specifically asked the server to make sure dinner was hot after the pasta appetizer came out cold). Desserts were fabulous.

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food2
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service3
value2

a Cena was a great place for my wife and ...

 
 (Austin)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

a Cena was a great place for my wife and I to have a birthday dinner! The service was great and the staff did a fantastic job.

My only knocks would be that I had a question about my reservation that I entered in opentable, but didn't receive a response until the day of the actual reservation. It wasn't hugely pressing, but I was hoping someone would've followed-up a bit sooner.

Great place!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Fantastic. But a little expensive, but ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Fantastic. But a little expensive, but a great place!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Special Occasion, Late-night Find, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

a Cena is great. They have an excellent ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 27, 2016

a Cena is great. They have an excellent selection of food. The grilled octopus is fantastic.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
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