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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

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.6

ambience

4.3

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (21)
Special Occasion (20)
Creative Cuisine (19)
See All
Fit for Foodies (18)
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Good for Anniversaries (15)
Worth the Drive (14)
Romantic (13)
Authentic (13)
Bar Seating (12)
Notable Wine List (11)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Casual (9)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Business Meals (7)
Cozy (7)
Great for Outdoor Dining (7)
Good for Groups (7)
Modern Decor (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Comfort Food (5)
People Watching (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Disabled Access (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Fun (4)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Local Ingredients (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Great for Lunch (1)
Organic (1)
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247 reviews
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 (Tampa)·Dined 3 days ago

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
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined 3 days ago

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 4 days ago

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 4 days ago

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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on June 24, 2017

The restaurant was immaculate, the service was great (our server was Ivy), and the food was delicious! Definitely going back to dine with friends!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, People Watching, Romantic, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on June 23, 2017

Cena is one of our most FAVORITE places to dine! I would recommend it highly.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on June 18, 2017

It was a lovely evening. Great food and wine. exceptional service.

Tags: Bar Seating, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Naples)·Dined on June 18, 2017

The food was excellent. It was weird getting there at 4:40 and not being able to wait inside for our 5:00 reservation. Went to bar acrross from Cena. Very nice place. The only thing that needs to improve is their bar. Looked disorganized and did not have a great variety to choose from. Mixers were not of good quality.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on June 8, 2017

Nice first experience. Server Eric was super nice and knowledgeable. All we interacted with were very nice and professional. Food was well prepared and tasty.

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on June 3, 2017

This place was a gem! I highly recommend the Eggplant appetizer and pretty much any entree. It's somewhat dark, small, cozy and romantic.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on June 3, 2017

I've never had a bad meal at Cena. In fact, I've never had anything but outstanding food at Cena. The service, though, can be a little quirky. Saturday, the waiter described the special of the day as having a Puttanesca sauce and only when questioned about the lack of anchovies did he admit it wasn't Puttanesca. There were other odd encounters with the waiter as well. Why did he take the French presses away when there was still obviously some coffee in them, for example? Our only disappointment with the food was that the gnochhi with mushrooms and truffles only had about three bites where the truffles were evident. It was still outrageously good, however. And that risotto with scallops, wow!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on June 2, 2017

Amazing as always!!

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

 
 (Miami)·Dined on June 1, 2017

Date night with the wife. Seafood risotto was fantastic! I would also recommend the Duck prosciutto.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on May 26, 2017

Not worth the price. Very average tasting food. Was looking forward to this place, very disappointed.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service3
value1

vip
 (New England)·Dined on May 25, 2017

Excellent as always. Flora is the best. Always a friend or business associate is there.

Tags: People Watching, Happy Hour, Casual, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on May 21, 2017

I will never have enough outstanding things to say about Cena. In a world of diluted ideas of what Italian cuisine is; Cena represents the true tradition that can be found in the heart of Italy. It is almost mandatory to order the tiramisu. I do not say that lightly. You will be very happy with this advice. From there plan your courses. I enjoyed three amazing plates which included and octopus salad, pork belly and eggplant. I was pleasantly surprised with quantity on each plate. I had enough for my guests to try. Service was incredible. We had Ivy who worked at our pace and had great recommendations. This is a great restaurant for dates, occasions or just a casual dinner. I wouldn't say this is a child friendly environment due to the size of the dining room. I cannot wait to go back!

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

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 21, 2017

So so food, service was par...nothing special. Much better restaurants in better surroundings for equal cost.

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food3
ambience2
service3

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 20, 2017

One of the best restaurants in Tampa Bay. Unique modern Italian menu, very creative and very fresh food. Small setting but tastefully decorated, very urban. Service is attentive but not disruptive.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 20, 2017

Wonderful food and the servers are always well trained and very pkeaaant. So conveniebt, especially if you're going to a Stage Woks production which are always fun and well dobe

Tags: Authentic, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 17, 2017

This location is a local gem. Their food is great and now that they have full bar, their specialty drinks are fantastic.
Visit this place. A great restaurant with yummy food.

Tags: Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 17, 2017

The Eggplant appetizer is a must try! Presentation of the entrees was lovely and the desserts were not only tasty but a true work of art!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on May 13, 2017

Cena is an excellent restaurant. The food is absolutely Amazing! We can't say enough about how Wonderful our meal & service was. We absolutely cannot wait to go back soon!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Authentic, Cozy, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 13, 2017

My husband and I were visiting our daughter and son-in-law for the weekend. Cena is a favorite of theirs and it was a great choice! We felt welcome from the minute we stepped through the doorway. Overall, the food was fabulous with one exception - the pasta carbonara was dry. It really needed something to make a bit of sauce. To be honest, our server told us that it was made with just egg yolks - no cream - and that's what we got. Despite the carbonara, all the other entrees were great and we will return!

Tags: Happy Hour, Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on May 13, 2017

The best kept secret in Tampa. Excellent staff, good, and ambience

Tags: Cozy, Bar Seating, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 12, 2017

Overall a nice dinner. The wine and pasta were tasty, and the service was excellent. Nice ambience for a romantic dinner. Quite expensive.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 12, 2017

It was a great experience!!! The food was awesome! The service was fantastic and the night air was absolutely perfect

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot, Authentic, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on May 12, 2017

Always very good

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Orlando)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Superb meal at a reasonable price! I would highly recommend dining here for special occasions or just a night out.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on April 26, 2017

Best salmon dish I've had in so long. The food taste very homemade and fresh. Portions are enough and desserts are to die for. Definitely a new favorite spot. Everyone was so nice and helpful.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Authentic, People Watching, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on April 23, 2017

Food was delicious. Waiter, aloof. Host, friendly. A little cramped. I'll come back.

Tags: Authentic, Sunday Lunch, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on April 21, 2017

It looks better than it tastes. This was my second time and it was not as good as the first.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (New England)·Dined on April 21, 2017

Our FAVORITE, must visit every time we come to Tampa, restaurant!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Happy Hour, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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