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, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wine
Cena Ratings and Reviews
Excellent eggplant appetizer and the tir ...
Excellent eggplant appetizer and the tiramisu for dessert is not to be missed! Noisy and not the place for a quiet romantic dinner but a good atmosphere. They follow traditional Italian seating with your table reserved for the entire evening - there is no rush to leave the establishment.
Always love Cena! Their wine selection ...
Always love Cena! Their wine selection changes from time to time and I enjoy trying new wines. Their Italian reds are good and most are well-priced. This time I had the clam chowder which was unique, rich and delicious. I couldn't eat much of it because it was more rich than I like but not a problem because I was able to swap with my husband half way through. Had the Wild Boat. It was fabulous. We'll be back.
Chef Michael is one of the most talented ...
Chef Michael is one of the most talented in Tampa Bay today.
His is a modern Italian, like dishes you might be served in Rome, Milan or Florence in a fashionable place requested by young and sophisticated patrons, is creative and well balanced.
The room is a nice contrast between industrial space, modern art and elegantly modern appointed tables. Service is friendly and professional, familiar with all the dishes.
Our appetizers were flavorful and nicely presented. A pompano special was amazingly fresh and perfectly cooked and the seafood risotto creamy and full of scallops and shrimp.
Love the small and well selected wine list of Italian regional wines from some of the best small producers, all excellent and reasonably priced.
Too full for dessert, which upon leaving, we determined was a mistake as Cena's pastry chef may be Tampa Bay's best!
Just the tip ... Just for second. The a ...
Just the tip ... Just for second.
The ambiance and aesthetic of appetizers led us to believe we were going to have a spectacular meal, however after the first bite we realized it was all just a tease. Although the menu sounded Delicious, the dishes all lacked flavor and especially lacked salt. The kale ceaser was all cheese and the beans with the branzino and escarole were so under - cooked they weren't edible.
This place has potential but needs a more experience chef
We had a very pleasant experience at Cen ...
We had a very pleasant experience at Cena. EVERYTHING we had was delicious! We had their appetizer of the pan fried pecorino cheese with figs as well as a special app of a pasta with brocolli and truffle. So delicious!!!
We have been here a few times, always gr ...
We have been here a few times, always great. Food, especially the Branzino, is always prepared with flavors and style. The special risotto of the day is prepared perfectly, creamy and flavorful. The limited wine list is put together to pair well with the entrée. Will continue to keep coming back.
Cena had amazing service and the food wa ...
Cena had amazing service and the food was wonderful! We are foodies and we loved it. I'm not sure if I would go back though primarily for the location. The view out the window was a chain link fence around an over grown empty lot that people let their dogs run through. The parking was impossible to find and after we found a parking garage, it was not something I would have felt comfortable using after dark on my own. If they added valet parking, I would consider returning but that wouldn't change the view. Again, the food was awesome and our waiter was very attentive!
Relaxing dining experience with superb s ...
Relaxing dining experience with superb service and food. Enjoy a Prosecco while you try and narrow your choices for dinner. You will want 1 of everything! High quality ingredients. We especially enjoyed the Burrata Salad, Braised Oxtail Gnocchi, and the Risotto ( extremely creamy and delicious). DO NOT MISS the Tiramisu, even if you don't normally like tiramisu you will LOVE this. Our server Kim was outstanding in every way. Chef Michael's passion shines thru everything about this restaurant. Can't wait to go back!
The food was excellent and the service g ...
The food was excellent and the service good. We had multiple courses and all were delicious! Very small restaurant, so would definitely advise reservations. Would also advise against bringing kids which made it perfect for a night out with friends.
The food and service were outstanding. ...
The food and service were outstanding. We have been here several times and are never disappointed. Although the menu is not extensive, there is something for all tastes, and each dish is excellent. The dining room is a little noisy, and at sunset a little warm, but those are minor complaints. The good quality is exceptional.
I am Italian, born and raised in Sicily ...
I am Italian, born and raised in Sicily where I grew up enjoing simple and testy food from my mamma's kitchen. I, myself, am an avid cook, therefore picky about food. Since I have been living in FL I have tried several "Italian Restaurants" and I had been disappointed.
Cena, on the other hand, is the first Italian Restaurant I have enjoyed dining at and that made me feel like being back home.
Cena was a little hard to find (they cou ...
Cena was a little hard to find (they could definitely work on their signage), but worth the effort. All of the food was beautifully prepared - the chef clearly understands flavor, not just presentation. The branzino with lemon and garlic was lovely, and they have a nice wine list. What a surprise to find a restaurant like this in Tampa.
This is an amazing restaurant and I wish ...
This is an amazing restaurant and I wish that it was better known but I feel that the fact that it isn't also added for the nice quiet ambience that mean this evening so wonderful. They have an incredible wine selection and the food is delicious.
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, 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.
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