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Serena Sicilian Influenced Gastropub - Durham

3.9
36 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Good for Groups
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

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About

For over 3,000 years Sicily has been a melting pot of humanities, cultures and culinary delights. We at Serena continue Sicily’s history of infusing multi-cultural culinary traditions to create fresh perspectives on Mediterranean & New World cuisine.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Sicilian
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Hours of operation

Monday - Friday 11:00am -10:00pm
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Phone number
(919) 941-6380
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Old Page Rd / Slater Road
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 36 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
3.9
food
3.7
service
3.3
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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  • 2
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1.0Dined on May 26, 2017

Way too loud, slow service & food gave me indigestion

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2.0Dined on May 25, 2017

service was slowest I've seen in a while, music much too loud, preventing any kind of conversation & forcing the waitstaff to raise their voices to be heard. the worst part was the food, I was sick to my stomach after eating the spedie! happened to this place?

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2.0Dined on May 12, 2017

Food was good. Service was very bad. Music is way too loud.

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4.0Dined on May 2, 2017

Overall good experience. Went there for an early dinner (5:30PM) so not crowded at all. The music level inside is way too loud.
Outside seating is nice but still a bit loud with the music.
I was disappointed that they did not have the prosecco or the red Italian wine I wanted. Though they did have a fine alternative. Overall nice place to chill
The food was plentiful and good- The olive dish as a appie was huge and the chicken parm with pasta was good.

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3.0Dined on March 27, 2017

The wine was chilled but it shouldn't have been. It left a strange aftertaste as well, like it had been left open for a few days. The food was fine but nothing you could not get at a cheaper, nicer restaurant. It was also extremely loud and made conversation nearly impossible. The server was very nice and prompt, I have no complaints with our waitress.

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4.0Dined on March 27, 2017

Tasty "Italian tapas" - the meatballs, the arancina, and the sausage were all very good.

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1.0Dined on March 13, 2017

A note, I have dined here 3 times in the past year and have had pleasant experiences, particularly with the food. This evening did not live up to previous experiences. The hostess, without a smile or pleasant greeting, was not aware of our reservation for later (we arrived early) and looked at us like we were confused (myself and two colleagues). She said she could seat us anyway and we were seated next to the door on a cold and rainy evening. There were other tables available so we are not sure why we had to have the coldest table in the restaurant. It was a dark table with a single color changing light above, not romantic, not practical. We were given wine, dinner and specials menus; specials, that did not appear to include any available on this evening, a Monday night. We waited for a server to take the drink order and by the time he arrived we were on the verge of leaving. We agreed to an opportunity of redemption but the server only confirmed one person's request for water and then walked away before anyone else's order was taken. We promptly left. I had talked up the food to my colleagues and this was quite a let down. I hope the take out process is better later this week. I'm looking forward to the create your own pasta dish.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2017

Great food service and value. I will return.

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2.0Dined on September 16, 2016

This place has an inviting outdoor dining area, and the weather was nice the night we visited. The white anchovy crostini were actually quite tasty, and the olive appetizer was generous. Wish we had stopped there. The house special sparkling wine cocktail was odd. Steak and lasagna nothing to write home about, for sure. The waiter was not attentive, and didn't seem into his job providing service. Was much more concerned about stacking all the chairs and taking the seat cushions inside, so that they could close the doors. And we arrived for dinner around 7:30, not that there was much of a crowd even at that early hour on a Friday evening.

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4.0Dined on September 15, 2016

Lovely. Had a mid afternoon lunch. Place clearly popular as it was just clearing out the lunch group. When we arrived at 1:30 the place was still pretty packed. Excellent octopus- we had the grilled and the fried. Salads wonderful. Impressive beer list for this type of place. Really enjoyed. Would come back.

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4.0Dined on August 17, 2016

Excellent local Italian with a great bar and very attentive staff.

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5.0Dined on August 12, 2016

Calamari was very good

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4.0Dined on August 9, 2016

The squid is amazing. Big serves, you'll have lunch for tomorrow.

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4.0Dined on July 27, 2016

Love the grill octopus on a salad. I go to Serena whenever I'm in the area on business.

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4.0Dined on June 23, 2016

Food was delicious and portions are generous. We each had the pasta garlic, pecorino and Pepe, super flavorful just a touch oily. We each had leftovers and can't wait to enjoy tomorrow. Excellent wine menu, Pinnocoli Primitivo was superb, went well with the meal. The service was attentive even during the back up in the kitchen but it would have been nice to be offered a free glass of wine or a bread basket. Will definitely be visiting again on next visit.

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4.0Dined on June 15, 2016

pls bring back the green flash passion fruit beer. it would help customers converse if the music was quieter

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4.0Dined on May 31, 2016

pls bring back the green flash passion fruit unfiltered wheat beer - it was amazing!

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2016

Great food, service was bit slow but I really enjoyed the food.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2016

I recommend keeping the music at more of background level so that waitstaff can hear customers & diners can more easily communicate during a meal

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4.0Dined on October 22, 2015

Food and service was excellent. Enjoyed th spacious dinning area and outdoor seating. Will definitely go back again.

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3.0Dined on September 22, 2015

We first thought we would sit inside. I don't normally get to have a nice dinner out with my husband due to our busy work schedules. However, the music was so loud we wouldn't have enjoyed our conversations, so we opted to eat outside. Again, we chose a corner table off to the side and still, the music was too loud. Th food was delicious, but honestly, it was not the quiet, romantic type of environment. I believe that the quality of the food and service was great, but it certainly was NOT a great environment, unless you are in the mood for a loud party. And we were there at 6:00.

May not go back for that reason only.

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4.0Dined on August 18, 2015

Visited Serena's for a last minute after-work "wind-down"...great location for happy hour; great specials, and appetizers were delicious! We all went back and recommended Serena's to co workers.

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5.0Dined on May 1, 2015

Landed at RDU with a starving family and Open Table took us to this FANTASTIC eats. Menu was unique, clever and delish. Wine was yummy! Background music was great. Kids played a free arcade game while we waited for our meals and then the entire family played post meal (I won Astroids!). We'll be back again and again!

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2015

My hubby and I went here for Valentine's day and were not disappointed. It had a great ambiance. Some noise, but not too loud. Some of the tables were a little close together, but it didn't bug me. There are tables for groups or couples.

The food was delicious and came in huge portions. I made 4 meals out of mine. I love having leftovers. The food is slightly pricey, but not for the huge portions.

The great bonus for us is the gluten free options. They even have gluten free pasta. My hubby has Celiacs, so GF options were a must.

Overall, a great experience. We will definitely go again.

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4.0Dined on February 12, 2015

Ideal for a quick happy hour with work colleagues. Good for lunch as well.

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3.0Dined on January 23, 2015

Chicken Marsala tasted watered down and not much flavor.

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3.0Dined on January 9, 2015

The menu is very large and the dishes my wife and I ordered were very good. Our server was excellent too, helpful and knowledgeable about the menu; attentive without being intrusive. So, why mixed? Our hostess had never heard of Open Table. Since the last reservation we'd made through OT (at another restaurant) had been flagged as a "no show" because the server sat us without checking us in on the computer, I asked the hostess to make sure to check us in. Big mistake! Instead of being abel to sit, we had to stand for nearly twenty minutes while the hostess found the manager and he checked us in. The manager did apologize but it still seems silly that we had to stand around for so long in an almost empty restaurant just to avoid being a no show at a place we did eat at. Overall it seemed like the menu and wait staff were from a different, better place then the hostess and the very very plain dining room.

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4.0Dined on December 22, 2014

The decor doesn't seem to have a cohesive theme but the food was excellent. Portions were large so if you're not a big eater they are good for sharing. Wine list was okay, but the server wasn't knowledgeable and couldn't open our bottle.

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2014

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4.0Dined on November 12, 2014

We really enjoyed our dinner, but our waiter seemed to have better things to do than wait on us. The manager stepped in and made sure that we had everything we needed.

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2.0Dined on November 1, 2014

My sister and I ordered 4 antipasti: the meatballs (were okay), the grain faro and the beans (two separate items that were dressed exactly the same so it was like just one dish), and a warm spinach dish that was flavorless. We shared the gnocchi with grey goose sauce. Loved the sauce. I liked the gnocchi even though they were not "pillows," rather more like pellets.
We were greeted and waited on at first by the bartender who was excellent. Eventually another waiter took over who seemed overwhelmed by all the work and the level of our service dropped considerably. I bet this would be a great place for a sandwich at lunchtime. Not so much for a dinner.

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5.0Dined on November 1, 2014

I was looking for a new place to try for dinner and came across Serena's on Opentable. I've never heard of Serena's before but the description was appealing so we gave it a try, no expectations. My family had one of the best meals we've ever had at a restaurant in a long time. The waiter was excellent, very attentive and helpful - I wish I could remember his name. The menu is quite extensive and it was difficult to make a choice. We started off with calamari and moved onto our entrees. My son had lasagna, wife had an eggplant dish, daughter had an Alfredo pasta dish and I had the gnocchi. I created my own gnocchi dish with spinach, red peppers, sausage in a creamy marinara sauce top with mozzarella, it was to die for. Just as another reviewer pointed out, the gnocchi was smaller than I'm accustomed to, but it did not matter as it was so good. Serena's is now one of our favorite places and we look forward to going back.

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4.0Dined on October 30, 2014

We finally tried Serena after a friend kept telling us how wonderful it is. He was totally right!! The food was just delicious (especially the toppings tray for your pasta) and the service was outstanding. The staff could not have been nicer or more attentive. It may have been our first trip, but it will not be our last.

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5.0Dined on October 11, 2014

We were staying in a hotel not far from here. Decided to come here for dinner. It was great. Staff. Food. Everything was excellent. We would absolutely return when we are in the area again.

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3.0Dined on July 24, 2014

First the good. While Serena's menu is limited the food's preparation and taste was absolutely excellent. Kudo's to the chef! Now the bad. The noise level was so ridiculous due to an interior design that is specifically made NOT to absorb sound, and to an incredibly annoying selection of music consisting of thumping base, we could not hear each other speak without raising our voices. (And the restaurant was only one half full this week night). Add to the noise level the uncomfortable chairs, which are small with seats made of a slippery vinyl, the ambiance of the place gets, liberally speaking, 1 star. While Serena's food offering certainly meets the taste test, its noisy and uncomfortable environment nullifies any desire to return.

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4.0Dined on May 14, 2014

As a Sicilian, I have trouble with a waitress that tries to correct my pronunciation every time. The food was great, but the entrees came out just as soon as they brought the appetizer.

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