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
The food was very good with the exception of the tiramisu. The service was poor as the waiter was unable to keep up with the tables. We were there celebrating my birthday and when as if we had saved room for dessert I said yes and was greeted with a great I will be right back. When he returned he gave me a tiramisu with a candle in it and said happy birthday, then walked away without getting other guests at my table an opportunity to order dessert. After a lengthy wait he returned to ask if we want any other dessert and had to be told we still had not received a dessert menu. The food I will return for someday but I will not get the tiramisu and not during lunch. Our reservation was for 11:45 and all parties were seated by 12:00 and we still didn't get out of there until almost 2:20 so no a place for a normal 1 hour lunch.
We have been to A-Cena 4 times and each time has been a culinary delight, but the other night we were there with friends and the waitress came up to ask for our drinks and then asked it we were ready to order. We barely knew what we wanted to drink, let alone what we wanted for dinner. So we ordered our drinks and then she was back about 3 minutes later to ask if we were ready to order our food. The bottom-line is it was obvious that she was hurrying us along because the restaurant was packed. When you spend that kind of money, you don't want the feeling they are scooting you out of the restaurant. It was very annoying to all four of patrons.
Lovely, classy and charming. The food was delicious from the appetizer to the entre. Attentive server, made great suggestions/recommendations. It was a relaxed, not hurried lunch for old friends wanting to catch up with each others lives; this was a perfect location with fantastic fare.
First time diners here. Street parking was available! Restaurant is small and cozy. Menu choices were just right! We ordered the Misto Frito which was excellent and generous for two people to share. I ordered the eggplant Parmesan. The sugo sauce was very good. The eggplant a bit too crispy but tasty. My friend ordered a pasta with kale and squash. She said the sauce was lacking so they brought her sugo sauce to liven it up. She was happy
We ended the affogatto and were very pleased.
We celebrated my mom's 90th birthday. She was delighted, as were we, in the food and atmosphere. It was quiet enough for her to hear our conversation but jumping enough to feel like a party. The food, well it's excellent. The "polpi" appetizer is magnificent. Just a wonderful evening.
When we sat at our table it was horribly unbalanced and insecure. BUT one of the employees fixed it stat and it was secure for the meal. The waitress was outstanding , the good as fresh as we've had there. They had a nice 'super tuscan' wine by the glass offering. This is one of those gems in Portland that doesn't get the credit and visibility in things like the Oregonian etc.
Net net: great place with very good good , nice wines and cocktails !
The grilled octopus was delicious, but the scallops were over seasoned and over salted. Friday night seemed to attract a lot of group tables, so the place was noisy with happy chatter. Hard for a couple who expected an intimate dinner setting. The wine was excellent and staff were nice and not at all fussy.
Great food. Loved our waitress. My only complaint was the gentleman bussing the tables would just reach in and grab plates or reach to fill water with out even a word. Would have been nice to have a " can I take that for you" and " can I fill your water" before some close calls of us reaching for something as he swooped in to take a plate or fill our glasses
My first time at a Cena was for a birthday dinner, and I was pleasantly surprised. The service was so far above what one usually experiences at many Portland restaurants, without being overly stuffy. The room had nice, dim lighting, a moderate level of noise so conversation was possible without having to yell. We had two different servers, both delightful and informative. There's an actual busboy too, so our water glasses were always full and our dirty dishes promptly cleared. The food came -- papardelle and a faro side for me, margherita pizza for my date - came out hot and fresh, and perfectly prepared. A wonderful meal. We will definitely be back.
Every visit to Portland includes dinner at this restaurant. The pasta is homemade and delicious. Creative ingredients and local items make for a delicious dinner. It is truly a neighborhood gem. It does get a bit loud as the night develops.
The mood lighting was great, I would have to say that with the tables within the door being so close, the waitress kept serving the tables from between, so her butt was at eye level, and hanging over the table which I thought was inappropriate. The food was great. Also they got our appetizer wrong, had asked for the shrimps, got a salad.
Our last visit was for a 74th birthday. The upscale Italian restaurant is always very good and welcoming. Limited menu, but tasty selection of appetizers, first courses and main courses, with a changing deseet menu. Very much worth the owner,and staff are friendly and capable.
I used to LOVE this place! I have taken many clients here, countless family dinners and always on Mother's Day. This last experience was AWFUL. Our server was very complacent, and overall pretty rude. We never got asked if we'd like another glass of wine, and we were checked on maybe twice. The worst of it was that my husband can not eat mushrooms- so he asked for no mushrooms on a dish- it wasn't possible since it was in the sauce- no big deal, so he ordered another entree. His meal came out and it was covered in mushrooms. He did not check to see how our food was, and then at the end of the meal he came over to see if we needed boxes- and he said to my husband in a very accusatory tone- You didn't like it? My husband said- I can not eat mushrooms as I told you before. The server blew up on him and exclaimed why didn't you tell me? You need to tell someone when it is not right- next time you have to speak up! It was very uncomfortable for us- I felt like my husband was being scolded... See, we couldn't get his attention until my little toddler was squirming her way out of her seat- so we didn't have time to wait for another meal. We were also celebrating his Mom's birthday- so he decided to play it cool and just get it to go for my daughter to eat the next day.
After all of that- the server slammed the bill down and we were on our way- needless to say- we will NOT be back here.
This was our second time visiting a Cena and we have not been disappointed! The food is awesome and from the moment you walk through the door the staff is amazing!
For an appetizer, we ordered Cavoletti di Bruxelles-fried brussels sprouts with pancetta. Not only was it incredible, it also arrived at our table about 5 minutes after we ordered. For our main course, my wife had Garganelli alla Norcia -pasta with house-made fennel sausage, Cremini, white wine, and cream and I had Stracotto- boneless short rRib, horseradish, potato gnocchi Alla Bava'. We finished our meal with coffee and Affogato-vanilla bean gelato with warm chocolate sauce and a shot of espresso. It was a perfect way to end our anniversary dinner. If you love Italian food, you can not go wrong with a Cena!!!
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