Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.22mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.22mi
  2. Distance: 0.24mi
  3. Distance: 0.28mi
  4. Distance: 0.28mi
  1. Distance: 0.22mi
  2. Distance: 0.24mi
  3. Distance: 0.28mi
  4. Distance: 0.28mi

About Cena

Cena is a modern, fresh and simple Italian food served in a contemporary and stylish setting. Located in the Grand Central building at the heart of the vibrant Channel District of Tampa, Florida – Cena is dining from the roots – great ingredients, traditional dishes, and attentive service. Join us.

Cena – “dinner” or “supper” in Italian.

1208 E Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Monday-closed
Tuesday-closed
Wednesday-Saturday 5 -10
Sunday 5-9

Cross Street:
Kennedy and Madison in the Grand Central

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(813) 374-8840

Website:
http://www.cena-channelside.com/

Catering:
For catering inquires please contact Kate Hardy, General Manager, at 813-374-8840 or kate@cena-channelside.com

Parking Details:
There is a parking garage for the building, free for the first two hours and two dollars after that. Parking in the west garage is easiest, parking on the up ramp taking the "stageworks" elevator down.

Executive Chef:
Michael Buttacavoli

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wine

Cena Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.8

ambience

4.4

value

4.3

Noise

Quiet

97% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (13)
Special Occasion (10)
Good for a Date (9)
See All
Fit for Foodies (7)
Casual (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Fun (5)
Neighborhood Gem (5)
Authentic (5)
Pre/post Theatre (5)
Cozy (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Romantic (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Business Meals (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Comfort Food (2)
People Watching (2)
Healthy (2)
Great for Brunch (1)
Great Beer (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Scenic View (1)
Seasonal (1)
Late-night Find (1)
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275 reviews
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 (New Orleans)·Dined 3 days ago

Food was excellent. Service was spotty only one waiter and it was busy. Acoustics are not the best. Conversation can at times be difficult. That aside we would highly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Casual
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
·Dined 3 days ago

Everything was great. Our server Nate [?] was exceptionally professional. We'll be back.

Tags: Great Beer, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined 4 days ago

We had the Pasta Bolognese and Veal. Food was excellent, wine was reasonably priced. I would definitely go back and recommend. Reservations were not difficult to get although the restaurant was packed. Wait staff was friendly and we ended up passing on our table and eating at the bar.

Tags: Bar Seating, Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on November 3, 2017

The service was very good and we especially enjoyed the appetizer and salad. The entry was good but not as good as the salad and appetizer.

Tags: Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Cena consistently has the best Italian food in Tampa. Hosted a group of out of town colleagues and everyone raved about it. New liquor bar a plus.

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 29, 2017

This place never disappoints! Another amazing meal and I will look forward to returning for many more!

Tags: Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Authentic, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Our server was great, but the meal was just OK. The chicken marsala had a weird flavor. The red wine was mediocre.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Joe was very welcoming. We started with the Burrata salad and the warm bread. Dinner included Scallop risotto & Ox Tail gnocchi. Both were amazing!!! Also had the carrot cake for dessert, it was beautiful!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 28, 2017

NEVER a dissappointment. The skill used by the mastermind of these meals can easily compete with those meals you enjoy at a 5 star ANYWHERE. They're our golden secret...shhhh....

Tags: Cozy, People Watching, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 27, 2017

The new additions to the menu are a foodies dream..... beautiful eggplant appetizers with a savory sweet tomato jam, spaghetti squash lasagna (who would've thought), and finish with the ONLY tiramisu I will eat.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Naples)·Dined on October 20, 2017

I enjoyed my dinner at Cena and would recommend it highly! If you're lucky you will get Nate as your server!

I loved all the dishes I ordered, the house Pino Grigio was lovely but the dessert was to die for!

Best, most artful chocolate dessert I've had in some time. Would have licked the plate but I'm a lady!

My husband ordered the Tiramisu and it also was a piece of art! Most creative presentation I've ever seen!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 14, 2017

It was fabulous

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on October 8, 2017

The food was beautifully prepared and delicious. Our waiter, Nate, was awesome. He let us taste several red wines before we made our selection. We will definitely be back the next trip to Tampa.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Outstanding food. Although menu limited. The selections were very appropriate and high quality.

Tags: Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 4, 2017

The food and Eric our Server were great!! My son and I were there for the first time to celebrate his Birthday. The only thing that ruined our evening was the very loud woman at the table next to us. I thought she should have been told to quiet down.

Tags: Casual, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 23, 2017

We had a great experience and the Crispy Eggplant was phenomenal!!

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on September 3, 2017

We ordered salads, wine, entrees, dessert and liquor and when we ordered the salad to be split for splitting it they charged us a splitting fee. Food was disappointing.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service4
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Service was excellent and the food was great. I had the risotto and Bolognese and was very pleased. After dinner we asked for nightlife recommendations and the staff was very helpful and sent us to Soho and we had a great time

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on September 2, 2017

One of the best meals we've had since moving here from New York .

Tags: Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 26, 2017

The service was excellent and so was the food. It's a bit pricey so I'd put it into the special-occasion category, but we really enjoyed the splurge.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Great food and wonderful service, (we'll definitely be back!).
I don't care for eggplant, but the crispy eggplant is awesome!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 25, 2017

Always a great night at Cena! The food is top notch. The branzino is to die for. Service is attentive, efficient, knowledgeable and warm. Eric and Flor do a fabulous job. And Joe always ensures that we have a wonderful evening and that everything is perfect. Many thanks to all.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 5, 2017

Cena offers a creative twist to delicious Italian favorites. We shared the crispy eggplant appetizer. It was wonderful. For our first plate we shared a pasta dish. Next we shared the branzino fish for our second plate. We love eating "Italian style". Their bread is so good. Parking is easy, too, in the lot right next door. Give Cena a try, it is so good.

Tags: Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 30, 2017

The eggplant appetizer was amazing! The Chicken Marsala was just okay, the pasta used seemed like spaghetti from a box. Our server was patient and attentive along with the manager.

Tags: Cozy, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 29, 2017

The service and food were exceptionally well.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on July 29, 2017

Appetizer with caviar, crab meat and fried green tomato was amazing.

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on July 27, 2017

Always a treat but you need a reservation to avoid disappointment on the weekend. I had the Oxtail Gnocchi and it was fantastic!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Orlando)·Dined on July 26, 2017

This is a Italian cuisine is a amazing and a must to check out if your in Tampa.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 22, 2017

You must get the Almond Cookie dessert. Amazing presentation. Almost to pretty to eat! (BUT, make sure you eat it!)

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 22, 2017

First time here and definitely will be back.
Delicious food, excellent service from Nate, comfortable dining and fabulous dessert.
The Calamari fra diavolo special was very tender, but could have used a little more of the diavolo sauce.
The Octopus salad was excellent with a mix of cauliflower, olives, herbs and cheese in a spicy tomato-sticky sauce.
The pan fried Pecorino Sardo was crusty outside and pleasingly sharp, salty and smooth underneath.
We shared the Bolognese and thoroughly enjoyed the pork and rib blend sauce, with the hearty, perfectly al dente, calamarata rings and ricotta topping.
We didn't dare leave until we sampled the "Best of the Bay" awarded tiramisu "that is pretending to be an ostrich egg". WOW!! Very glad we didn't leave that out. It was so good that we nearly finished it even though we were very full from dinner.
Very enjoyable restaurant.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Authentic, Cozy, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 22, 2017

One of our favorite restaurants. Chefs food is amazing and service terrific.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Cena is reliably excellent every time I go. They have one of the best chef's in Tampa Bay serving innovative Italian cooking. I am never disappointed.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Authentic, Hot Spot, People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 14, 2017

Been here before many times and we love the place. Food a little off from their normal taste. Bronzino a little dry and the rigatoni was under cooked. The mushroom risotto was fabulous and the service was, as usual, great.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Authentic, Casual, Good for a Date, Organic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 12, 2017

Food is amazing. The menu might look a bit out there but if you just trust the food is outstanding and go for it then you will not be disappointed. My husband and I loved it.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Fun, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Great food, amazing service. Love sitting outside under the stars after sunset with a bottle of wine!

Tags: Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Romantic, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 8, 2017

I ordered the black truffle gnocchi which had a mushy consistency like raw dough. Everything else from the eggplant appetizer, Cena salad and scallop risotto was very good.

The staff was friendly and attentive.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 6, 2017

I live on Harbour Island and this is my new favorite restaurant. This time I invited my son, his friend and my son's girlfriend. Every item bursts with flavor. We tried the cheese board with all the available items for $50 and could not finish it. I had the Cena house salad and seafood risotto which I highly recommend. We had a nice bottle of wine and carrot cake with a creative twist for desert.

Tags: Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 2, 2017

The staff were extremely friendly and the food was awesome. Thanks so much for the experience!

Tags: Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Disabled Access, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Graduation

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on June 29, 2017

Some of the best food in Tampa. Our server, Sierra, was knowledgeable and attentive. My wife and I are anxious to return. Two must dishes, the eggplant appetizer and the tiramisu. We are harsh food critics and demanding in tastes, but there simply are no negatives to note in our experience at Cena; only superlatives to describe our first try here.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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