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
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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