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.
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday-Saturday 5 -10
Kennedy and Madison in the Grand Central
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
For catering inquires please contact Kate Hardy, General Manager, at 813-374-8840 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Bar Dining, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine, Wine Bar
Cena Ratings and Reviews
Lovely dinner last Saturday. Great co ...
Lovely dinner last Saturday. Great composed salads. Fresh and well-dressed calamari fritti. All followed by risottos and agnolotti; the braised wagyu beef cheek with gorgonzola finished risotto is as rich and decadent as any dish in Tampa...calls for a big red wine. Cena offers an updated version of Italian, not unlike that served in Italy's finest modern restaurants today. The kitchen's efforts are supported by a short, but well-chosen list of Italian wines from top small producers at reasonable prices. Save room for the creative desserts; the 21st century version of tiramisu is not to be missed! FWIW, the dining room is attractively modern, but can get very loud.
Cena is wonderful! Everything was absolu ...
Cena is wonderful! Everything was absolutely delicious. They have a very nice selection of cheese and charcuterie that allows you to select one, three, or six items to put together based on your own preferences. Serving sizes are perfect so that we were able to have enough room for dessert but left very satisfied. Our server mentioned that the red wine risotto with Kobe beef cheek is the best item on the menu and I am so glad to have tried it. My husband had the pasta with braised short ribs that was also amazing. For dessert we had the hazelnut brioche that was off the charts. Highly recommend it and can't wait to go back to try other menu items!
Had a delicious dinner. Eggplant appeti ...
Had a delicious dinner. Eggplant appetizer was very good. My husband had the special, squid ink pasta with shrimp and lobster, and it was great. I had the Branzino which was perfectly crusted with garlic, served over escarole, white beans and peppers. Fantastic combination of flavors and textures. We finished with the spumoni, which was good, and the tiramisu, which was fantastic. We'll be back!
We were grateful to experience a number ...
We were grateful to experience a number of superbly executed dishes.we shared every morsel from the duck prosciutto to the Branzino. Delicious! Our server was terrific and was engaging and well versed in the menu. The only negatives were the 2nd wine was corked but was quickly replaced. And toward the end of our dinner the room became VERY loud and conversation was difficult.
One of the best restaurants in Tampa. Fo ...
One of the best restaurants in Tampa. Food is great. I had a pasta & mushroom entree, the best. We shared a fried cheese appetizer and love! All the food is perfectly prepared. Great service too! Wish they had bourbon for hubs, but he enjoys a cold beer too:)
Cena offers a small, neighborhood vibe a ...
Cena offers a small, neighborhood vibe and friendly service with ambience and a menu that would be competitive anywhere. Best of all words and a place not to be missed.
The whole experience was outstanding! Fo ...
The whole experience was outstanding! Food was absolutely delicious!!
Cena, Main meal of the day
Tampa has some great restaurants and we hoped for a knock out meal at Cena. But my group of 5 seemed rather so-so about their dinning experience as we left. After all the hype from various on line reviews and considered to be in Tampa's top 50 restaurants I was not so sure. The food was good and the service was good but certainly not memorable. Parking in the lot next to the restaurant is confusing even for those who live in Tampa.
SLICE OF DELIGHT SO NEAR BY
Chef Michael does an amazing job with the simplest of ingredients. I have eaten there more than a handful of times, and have enjoyed a full course along with a great bottle of Italian wine. WOW! You're missing out on this neighborhood gem.
A unique restaurant with wonderful choices and spectacular desserts!
The food was solid for someone who is a foodie. Choices are of moderate variety. Somewhat on "high cholesterol" side for many dishes which is somewhat of a turn off. Service was solid but could have been better if waitress was not quite over the top with how much everything was "her pleasure"
Cena is one of the top restaurants in Tampa and can hold its own nationally. The food is creative without being overthought and consistently delicious.
Food, atmoshpere, service, wine. All wonderful. The gnocchi are like little pillows of heaven in your mouth. Can't wait to go back!
I love this place and am becoming a regu ...
I love this place and am becoming a regular. The only thing this gem lacks is a full service bar. A martini to get started would be great!
The food preparation took us right back to the many enjoyable meals we have had in Italy.
Outstanding service, specialized and well-curated wine list (start with a glass of Prosecco and finish with the tawny port) and a unique take on modern Italian cuisine make this a memorable dining experience. Chef Buttacavoli has created a top-notch dining spot in Tampa. The short rib bolognese is not to be missed. Next time, we'll probably sit at the bar and try one of the many risottos. (I hear the seafood risotto is outstanding). The bar looked like a fun spot to perch and sip wine later in the evening over charcuterie. (We tried the charcuterie, too. Loved the tartufo with fig and the gorgonzola with honeycomb.) The fresh bread basket with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to start the meal was a nice touch, too.
Great meal, great staff, great experience!
Met friends for dinner before an event at Amalie Arena. We arrived a bit early, but were easily accommodated. Excellent wine list with tastes for everyone, and a broad and diverse menu. Our server was super fun and knowledgeable. We had the amazing octopus salad....truly delightful, light, and well prepared. I had the oxtail ragout gnocci, and found the dumplings to be perfect...light, fluffy, with a perfect sear from the pan tossing with the meaty ragout. I make many of my own pastas at home, and this is one of the few restaurants that I can't outdo. Seriously...a great meal, very reasonable price, and great memories.
Chef Michael is the bomb
I have had a chance to eat here a few times and also attend Chef Michael's cooking class at the Epicurean. He has an incredible talent with flavors, texture, combinations, quality and presentation. This is one of our favorite spots in Tampa. From the gnocchi to the branzino to the mussels and the desserts, truly excellent place.
My friends and I go out together to a di ...
My friends and I go out together to a different restaurant every month. Cena has been one of our best experiences. The server was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The menu was well thought out, and the food beautifully presented and flavorful. Since we all work in bakeries, we were especially pleased with the desserts, pleasing to the eye and the palate. We highly recommend this restaurant to other diners and food enthusiasts.
Food was fantastic. Very well presented, fresh.
Went for our anniversary. The restaurant manager and servers were friendly and attentive. We really enjoyed our meal, right down to dessert and coffee. We will go again soon we hope. Highly recommended.
Mushroom risotto was outstanding. Bib & ...
Mushroom risotto was outstanding. Bib & beet salad also delish.
ME WIFE AND I HAVE BEEN TO CENA PREVIOUSLY , HOWEVER, MY BROTHER/WIFE IS IN TOWN FROM NYC SO WE THOUGHT THEY WOULD ENJOY GOING OUT TO CENA. AND THEY DID! WE ALL ENOYED OUR MEALS/WINE VERY MUCH AND WE HAD A VERY ENJOYABLE EVENING THERE.
This restaurant never disappoints
Cena is a go to restaurant where we know we will always have great food, and enjoy a nice atmosphere. This was our first time sitting outside, and we loved it!
Food and service have been inconsistent ...
Food and service have been inconsistent the three times that we have gone. Sometimes great, sometimes eh. Desserts are amazing. Nice wine selection.
delicious! we will be back! great pres ...
delicious! we will be back! great presentation and GREAT service (eric).
First time at Cena
Cena was fantastic, from the appetizers, to the shared risotto. We had a party of three, and each once of us was thoroughly impressed. The lemon dessert at the end was amazing as well. All of that though, I will say the service was even better. Some of the best service we have experienced in quite some time. All of the staff check on you, re-fill water, etc. Very attentive and excellent overall experience.
Excellent! Very happy with the food and experience
Delicious and the server was very polite and knowledgeable. I don't think that I'm easily impressed with restaurants but I definitely am with this one and I'll be going back for more!
Bolognese was good, very nice service. E ...
Bolognese was good, very nice service. Eggplant and salad was very good also. Nice place. I would go back.
Channel side food at Cena
We thought Cena had a varied foodie menu. The corn ravioli with carbonara sauce was very good! The large seafood risotto was outstanding! Best of all was the dessert menu- the lemon sponge cake with vanilla gelato was wonderful. Excellent parking in the garage close by.
Cena is a winner. Loved the food, wine selections and service. Definitely worth a visit if you enjoy high end Italian food at fair prices.
Excellent food. Excellent service.
Wonderful evening. Friendly and knowledgable server. Food was amazing.
Off the beat and path gem
We were looking for something that wasn't in Ybor city. The location is a little off the beat and path for tourists as we were. But were were glad to walk the 1.3 miles from riverwalk and it was very safe. We walked in a bit before our reservation at 550pm or so and the place was empty so gulp... we wondered but the hostess assured us a friday night would fill in around us immediately and it did. The menu and the winelist was a little out of my depth, I'm a simple guy and our waitress and other servers were happy to hold our hands through the menu and honestly the house red wine @ $5 per glass was a great way to not worry about how high the final bill would be. We had the eggplant and fried green tomato apps which were both great. The tomato marmalaide on the eggplant was truly delicious and a different experience for both of us. I had the seafood risotto and she had the mushroom pasta and both of us were as happy as could be with our choices. Its got a little urban industrial look inside and I am happy to report they probably could fit 2 or 3 more tables in the main area but haven't. We didn't do dessert but I'm pretty sure it would have been great too.
It was our wedding anniversary and Chef Micheal specially prepared stuffed artichokes for us. Those and the meal were terrific. Our JENNIFER was extremely good and helpful. JD
it was okay. It was written up as the ...
it was okay. It was written up as the #2 Italian restaurant in the Tampa Bay area. I was disappointed - it is not #2. As I said, it was okay. The service was great.
A Valentine's Date to Remember
The outstanding food and service made up for the lack in atmosphire. Our server was quite knowledgeable and made great suggestions. She was very descriptive which was extremely helpful. Although I typically go for chocolate - I'd recommend the lemon dessert (sorry but I forgot the exact name) / trust me that you will not be disappointed!!
Eric was excellent
Eric was excellent
Great restaurant for an elegant evening ...
Great restaurant for an elegant evening out. Service , food and wine were spectacular.
The food and the service were excellent!
The service was top notch and the food was delicious. The Kobe beef cheek risotto was amazing and the Burratta salad was fantastic. We had a four top and one entree wasn't right. They fixed it right away and the chef agreed it wasn't up to par. I will definitely go back and recommend it to all my friends.
Happy to have La Cena within walking distance!
We are quite happy that La Cena is chef owned and a local restaurant rather than a chain. The dishes are inspired and the ambience modern and trendy. It truly has become a neighborhood gem, just glad that we have this restaurant in our neighborhood!
Cena - great experience.
Went to Cena with my wife for a night out without the kids. Great food and service. The mussels are outstanding and much different then any other mussels I have had. Would have given the restaurant 5 stars except they only have a beer and wine list and no liquor. The wine list is great with several different options and price points. If you want great Italian food this is the place for you.
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