Nearby points of interest

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

4.5

value

4.4

noise

Quiet

97% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (14)
Special Occasion (14)
Good for a Date (13)
See All
Fit for Foodies (13)
Good for Anniversaries (10)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Handcrafted Cocktails (8)
Notable Wine List (7)
Worth the Drive (7)
Casual (7)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Comfort Food (6)
Cozy (6)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Romantic (6)
Authentic (6)
Bar Seating (5)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Business Meals (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Fun (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Hot Spot (2)
People Watching (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Happy Hour (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Organic (1)
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260 reviews
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·Dined 2 days ago

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

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.

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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!

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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!

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

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

Graduation

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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.

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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!

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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

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