About Cena

1208 E Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
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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.

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

4.7

ambience

4.1

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (9)
Neighborhood Gem (7)
Authentic (6)
See All
Fit for Foodies (6)
Special Occasion (6)
Romantic (6)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Good for Anniversaries (5)
Good for a Date (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Cozy (4)
Modern Decor (4)
Business Meals (3)
Casual (3)
Bar Seating (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Hot Spot (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Fun (2)
Outstanding Value (2)
Late-night Find (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Seasonal (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
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181 reviews
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I've been to Cena many times and every o ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined 3 days ago

I've been to Cena many times and every one has been a great experience. Nice, knowledgeable staff, fantastic wine list (lots of Italian stuff you don't find elsewhere) and of course the food is unbelievable. Highly recommend, especially if you haven't tried it yet!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Notable Wine List, Bar Seating, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Greeted with enthusiasm, attended to qui ...

 
 (Caribbean)·Dined 4 days ago

Greeted with enthusiasm, attended to quickly with knowledgeable a friendly waiter. Food was meticulously prepared and tasted amazing. We dined on 2 specials and enjoyed their signature dessert tiramisu . Helped us pick out a very nice super Tuscan wine.

Will definitely be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Fabulous new years dinner! One of our fa ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Fabulous new years dinner! One of our favorite restaurants. House wine is the best in town,

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Restaurant Cena was very good. Everythi ...

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Restaurant Cena was very good. Everything was delicious.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Hot Spot, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was generally good; however, the cl ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 16, 2016

Food was generally good; however, the clams in the chowder were gritty. They were marginally busy, but it was very noisy!!! Probably won't return anytime soon.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

We reserved an early seating to accommo ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 15, 2016

We reserved an early seating to accommodate my parents.

The octopus was over cooked.

The risotto was served cold.

The dish was fresh. The wine wa very good.

The bread was outstanding.

If I lived within walking distance I would try again.

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food3
ambience3
service4

Awesome experience. The food was delicio ...

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on December 14, 2016

Awesome experience. The food was delicious and the service was even better. Save room to finish with the taramisu as it was the best we had ever had. Great food and great time.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

4/5 items requested were not available f ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on December 11, 2016

4/5 items requested were not available from the the short 1 page menu on a Saturday night. The very personable waitress kept coming back apologizing for the items on menu which the restaurant ran out, suggesting alternatives. The Eggplant appetizer tasted only of sugary marmalade, no taste of Eggplant or savory Parmesan cheese. Dishes were under seasoned or too salty. The signature dessert featured in the local newspaper was not available. Instead the chocolate mousse substituted was white chocolate milk chocolate. Pretty pathetic.

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food1
ambience4
service5

We have been at Cena several times and t ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on November 6, 2016

We have been at Cena several times and this visit did not disappoint. Food was excellent, staff professional and attentive. An appetizer that our friends ordered was not up to par-the cheese with bread and figs. When we mentioned it to the server, it was removed from their final bill. My only criticism of the restaurant is the noise level. Of course this is not completely their fault-but of the parties of guests who feel that their conservation must be heard by the entire restaurant-what ever happen to the saying "restaurant voices".

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Cena is tough to beat. Unique, thoughtfu ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on November 2, 2016

Cena is tough to beat. Unique, thoughtful menu. Nice atmosphere - sort of casual-classy, good service, good wine selection, and consistently excellent food.

Convenient parking in the building with two hours free.

On a nice day sit in the nice outside courtyard and people watch.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Cute place, excellent service,and a grea ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Cute place, excellent service,and a great value. The eggplant appetizer was really delicious.

Tags: Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Excellent eggplant appetizer and the tir ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 23, 2016

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.

Tags: Good for a Date, Fun, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Always love Cena! Their wine selection ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 22, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Burrata was very good. Carbonara was a l ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Burrata was very good. Carbonara was a little dry but shrimp made up for it. Small wine list. Only real down side is no cocktails, beer and wine only

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food4
ambience4
service5

Good food. The seafood risotto and Kobe ...

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Good food. The seafood risotto and Kobe Beef risotto were excellent.

Portion size was right sized leaving room for the cheesecake and tiramisu which were excellent. Definitely going back.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Very good food, good service and ambianc ...

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Very good food, good service and ambiance. The menu is unique and thoughtful. We'll definitely be back.

Tags: Modern Decor, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

Chef Michael is one of the most talented ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 9, 2016

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!

Tags: Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Lovely evening. Great menu choices. Food ...

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 5, 2016

Lovely evening. Great menu choices. Food wonderfully prepared. The tiramuso is awesome. Great service, friendly. Just perfect.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

The food was outstanding. Interesting m ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 30, 2016

The food was outstanding. Interesting menu and very tasty. The room is 'industrial' and got a bit noisy as the evening progressed. Definitely worth a visit.

Tags: Molecular Gastronomy, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Food was delicious. Staff very polite. ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on September 25, 2016

Food was delicious. Staff very polite. Portions way too SMALL.

Tags: Casual, Late-night Find
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

Beautiful restaurant with excellent food ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 22, 2016

Beautiful restaurant with excellent food. Ribeye was perfect.

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food5
ambience5
service5

This is a very noisy establishment. The ...

vip
 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on September 18, 2016

This is a very noisy establishment. The food is good, service is adequate. Will still recommend to others, just not for intimate dinners or when you need to do business discussion

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food4
ambience3
service3
value4

Just the tip ... Just for second. The a ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on September 14, 2016

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

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food3
ambience5
service4

Second time back and we loved it. First ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on September 4, 2016

Second time back and we loved it. First date night after having a baby so it needed to be special. It was perfect in every way!

Tags: Romantic, Outstanding Value, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great dinner, server/foodie Clint was gr ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 28, 2016

Great dinner, server/foodie Clint was great, loved everything he recommended!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good Vegetarian Options, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Excellent restaurant with outstanding fo ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on August 28, 2016

Excellent restaurant with outstanding food but it is VERY noisy

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food5
ambience4
service5

Great place good food, excellent service ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 20, 2016

Great place good food, excellent service, very quaint. will definitely be our neighborhood place.

Tags: Cozy, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

We have dined a Cena on many birthday oc ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 20, 2016

We have dined a Cena on many birthday occasions and have yet to be disappointed.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great menu, food, and service. Everythi ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 20, 2016

Great menu, food, and service. Everything was prepared well and was flavorful. I highly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We had a very pleasant experience at Cen ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 20, 2016

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!!!

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food and service were spectacular.

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 13, 2016

The food and service were spectacular.

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food5
ambience5
service5

We enjoyed our entire evening. A little ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 10, 2016

We enjoyed our entire evening. A little expensive, but well worth it.

Tags: Scenic View, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We have been here a few times, always gr ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 7, 2016

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cena had amazing service and the food wa ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 6, 2016

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!

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Fantastic food, all around great dining ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 29, 2016

Fantastic food, all around great dining experience. Try this place!

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food5
ambience4
service5

Very impressive menu full of great flavo ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 25, 2016

Very impressive menu full of great flavors! Don't miss dessert!!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Relaxing dining experience with superb s ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 22, 2016

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

The food was excellent and the service g ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 9, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

The food and service were outstanding. ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 9, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

I am Italian, born and raised in Sicily ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 8, 2016

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.

Complimenti.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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