Make a reservation

Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
icon/ic_social_proofCreated with Sketch.
Booked 23 times today

a Cena Ristorante

4.7
1769 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Italian
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Authentic
  • Neighborhood Gem
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!
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private dining
Dining Style
Fine Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Italian
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Dinner:
Sunday-Thursday 5-9pm
Friday-Saturday 5-10pm

Lunch:
Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-2:30pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(503) 206-3291
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Smart Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Gabriel Gabreski
icon/ic_cateringCreated with Sketch.
Catering
Most of our menu items and other creative items designed between our chef and the client
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
SE Lambert St.
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Ample street parking
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
Several on 13th Street
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

a Cena and FESTA welcome you to explore our Private Dining option that is perfect for any occasion. Food can be served as individually plated, family-style or buffet.

View Private Dining Details
What 1769 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
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
5.0Dined 16 hours ago

The best Italian I've ever eaten.....yes I would refer people......

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 3 days ago

This is one of my favorite spots when we venture out into the city!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 4 days ago

Great service and tons of great food selections! We ended up going with two different plates so we could try each others and we were not disappointed on either end - I almost wished we had stayed for dessert, because as we were walking away we noticed another table and it looked delicious! Great wine selection and loved the outside seating on a beautiful evening in Portland.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 4 days ago

Owner always there. Great place. Great service. Great food.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 4 days ago

As always, a Cena Ristorante's food hits it out of the park. The atmosphere is elegantly casual with butcher paper covering the tables. We took our daughter-in-law for her birthday. There were 4 of us so we decided to share 1st, 2nd & 3rd courses to taste all we could. A Cena is so great about bringing all the additional plates and silverware to accomplish this. The food was OUTSTANDING! All dishes have there own distinct flavor. Perfectly balanced.
The only things I was disappointed in were 1) the table had an oil burning light on it which smelled just like oil burning. Very unpleasant for dining. I had to blow it out and move it away. They should get real candles or even (gasp) LED candles. 2) We were there for a birthday, we noted that when making reservations, again when we arrived, and we were assured they would take care of doing something special. When they brought dessert, no mention and no candle at all. We had to wait quite a long time to find someone to bring a candle. Our daughter-in-law was slightly embarrassed that we had to track someone down. When they finally brought it out, no one from the staff helped us to sing, they just walked away. I wasn't expecting everyone to come out, but a waitress or host would have been a nice touch.
For a spectacular dinner out, $$ but well worth every penny.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 6 days ago

My wife and I went here for our second wedding anniversary. Our waiter was very kind and warm, and explained things and made recommendations when asked. The food was heavenly - they had run out of their daily special primi (pasta) dish, but he recommended a house signature primi instead, and it ended up being the hit of the evening. The food was all perfectly prepared and flavored, and the service (from the wait staff and assistants) was attentive without being obtrusive. There was a good wine selection that was thorough without being overwhelming, and dessert - a butterscotch pudding dish that we split - was pure bliss. I don't even like butterscotch that much and I could have eaten it till I popped! It's not cheap to enjoy a full meal here, but it's well worth the visit for a special occasion.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 7 days ago

Food was good but a expensive for what you received. The kitchen workers were talking loud enough to hear their conversation which was disruptive to our table.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Rushed service, gone down hill, much better in past

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

We enjoy going back to a Cena and need to go more often. Our friends went with us for their first time and will be going back soon. Food and wine are expertly prepared and served by experienced staff who have been there for many years. The owner is often present and involved and observant. Great food and friendly service.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Went to Portland from Seattle for the annual melanoma walk. We & our friends who went with us go to a different Italian restaurant monthly in Seattle so I looked for one on line in Portland & a Cena sounded like a good one & it was excellent. The only complaint I have is the meatballs were way to salty. We will go back again when we’re in Portland.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Loved the new annex, waitperson very friendly and we were never rushed or pressured. Like the choice of having large portion of entree or smaller one. The Casa salad is outstanding a must for all who love a refreshing, tasty salad.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Excellent food. Exceptional service. Wonderful atmosphere. Salted caramel gelato.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

We've been going to A Cena with some regularity since it opened.

As in all restaurants, the noise level of A Cena varies depending on what room you're in, how many other diners there are, and of course whether there is the Particularly Loud Table. Most recently we three were in the bar area with several other tables, and it was very quiet and civilized. At other times, you have to order by pointing to items on the menu. (That said, recently, management made a serious effort at acoustic engineering, which has helped a huge bunch.)

The food is reliably good, with a good number of particularly outstanding preparations. And only a few disappointments (I've basically given up on their risotto). The menu changes rather slowly, but most recently there were a bunch of interesting new offerings.

The service from both bar and kitchen is uniformly excellent (and staff turnover is very slow), the bar is well-stocked, and the wine-list is comprehensive. Dining at A Cena is something we always look forward to. (To be honest, though, I've never found their lunchtime offerings, while still quite good, and the ambience pleasant, to be as interesting or successful as the dinner menu.)

Speaking of menus, I've never seen a mistake in the Italian terms on one, which is an unusual accomplishment.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

This is our favorite Portland restaurant. We recently invited out-of-town friends to experience the wonderful food and service a Cena has to offer. One of our guests is handicapped, and the staff went out of their way to accommodate us. Thanks, Loris (our server), for the amazing care and service! Love you guys!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 16, 2018

The power went out all over town, and so we were not able to be served any food. But the hostess was incredibly kind and collected, and the manager/owner came to every table and apologized for the inconvenience. They tried to serve food for as long as they could, but a chef can only cook in the dark for so long. It seemed like a great restaurant set in a wonderfully quiet and scenic part of town. Would love to try out their restaurant when the power is back on!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 15, 2018

Really great service! The parmigiana was the best I’ve ever had, and I sampled everyone else’s pasta which was an amazing house made pasta.
This was a very special occasion, so we didn’t faint when we received the bill, but be prepared to spend a good amount.
Enjoy!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Thank you for making Mother's Day perfect for us! The entire dinner and attention to detail was exceptional! We were all thrilled. See you soon.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Another great meal at A Cena we are never disappointed.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Every time I visit Portland, this restaurant is a must visit on my list. Local, small restaurant with excellent food. Great presentation, variety, and taste. Everything was delicious. The Haddock, the Filet, the pasta, the bread, the salad and the desserts-cannoli's especially authentic and the ice cream with berries tasted like iced cheesecake. And their risotto is the best - even better than Italy. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that the server didn't seem to want us there. He was very efficient but not very engaging.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Excellent food! Lovely restaurant! I made this reservation for Mother's Day Eve 3 days ahead of time. Luckily was able to get in at 8:00 pm, perfect time for us. As well, it wasn't prix fixe, which is common on holidays but usually too much food for us. Husband, son and I had a table in a private nook, quiet but with view of outside. I had not planned on Italian food, but this turned to be a great choice for Mother's Day. Nice cocktails, super side of meatballs in marinara sauce, the other two loved the octopus (not my thing), incredible house made pasta (which I normally avoid) with rich cream sauce, mushrooms and sausage--plate-licking good. Exquisite lamb special done to perfection with nice sides. Service was very professional indeed. Terrific experience.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 9, 2018

Best restaurant in PDX.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 7, 2018

I had the eggplant parmigiana and my wife had the ravioli. Both were big hits! Food quality is second to none and the ambiance is excellent. This has become our Sellwood Staple fo Italian food.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Amazing food and service! Our server was Mark and he was fabulous! Great to see the owner working tables and taking care of customers! Have already recommended to several friends! Thanks for an amazing date night experience

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 5, 2018

The service was excellent, the food was creative and prepared with high quality ingredients.
The main room we dined in had an active ambiance, which made for difficulty in hearing what those at my table were saying. This is definitely a function of getting older, and we were celebrating a 68th Birthday on a Friday night. Still, this did not dampen our celebration at all and I would recommend a Cena for those looking for a fine dining experience in the Sellwood area.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 4, 2018

Casual atmosphere with great service and very tasty dishes.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on May 3, 2018

Both our pasta and pizza were served cold when the restaurant was almost empty which means that the servers neglected to bring the food from the kitchen to the table when it was ready or the chef did not properly heat the food. Their signature pasta agnolotti with lobster was was disappointment especially when it was served the second time; all the lobster had disappeared. The servers seemed to want to be somewhere else and we felt neglected by the bad service. For the high price and lack of attention by the chef and the staff, we cannot recommend this restaurant.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 1, 2018

If you haven't been-go. Superb food, outstanding wait staff. Looks like they have opened up an event space and a pizzeria is coming soon-i cannot wait.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Our second time here and it didn't disappoint. Food was amazing. Waitress was just as great but seemed overwhelmed, she was in a hurry, waiting tables and bartending at the same time will do that. They seemed short staffed but everything was great. We'll be back. And I've already recommended it to friends and family.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Great food, great service. If you want romance, ask for table 54. Small table with view of the outside street.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Great part of town, fun neighborhood and the overall ambiance of the restaurant was great. The manager was super friendly. My dinner itself (eggplant parmigiana) was excellent but our appetizer (fried calamari, shrimp and artichoke) was way too salty. Drinks, appetizers, bread, dinner and dessert only took 52 minutes which I think was way too fast for celebrating a special occasion and in fact just to experience everything. Our dinner was served what felt like 5 minutes after we ordered. Not exactly sure how but I wish it would have been longer. I would not plan to go hear again unless someome else really wanted to.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Our food was exquisite- so much flavor and decent quantity. A bit spendy but for fresh handmade- that’s the price you pay.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Very impressed! So many things made from scratch...pasta to lemoncello & sorbet. Every course delicious and lovely service.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on April 27, 2018

Amazing service, delicious food, the outdoor patio was pretty nice too.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 26, 2018

This was our fifth or sixth visit over the last several years, so we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. I had the halibut, which was delicious as well as nicely presented. My wife and our friends all loved their meals, and we enjoyed the wine recommended by our waiter, who was attentive but not overly so. We didn’t need dessert, but of course we ordered it anyway. My Mascarpone and Huckleberries was lovely. A Cena is upscale Italian, so be prepared for higher prices (but they are within reason for the quality of food and service.). We will keep going back.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 24, 2018

This is the second time our family, coming from 3 different areas of the city, has met there and they do not disappoint! My brother LOVES the octopus salad and everyone raves about the pasta. The wait staff was great and we all had a memorable time. Repeat customers for sure..!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 23, 2018

We had an excellent meal at a good price on a night that we were both to tired to cook after working in the yard all day. The octopus appetizer was especially yummy and the pasta was filling and delicious. Couldn't have asked for anything better!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Some of the best Italian food in the Portland area. I keep coming back and it is always great.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

Outstanding in every way! The food was fantastic and very well priced. Service was outstanding as well.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 16, 2018

Once again we were completely satisfied with our meal and dining experience. The staff was great and the food top notch. Missed out on the Tagliatelle but will be back to get it next time :-) Well worth it on all levels!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

All of the pasta is great. The polipo is grilled to perfection. Great place!

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
45

Tweets by a Cena Ristorante