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“Second Try the Charm...”
Review of Cena

Cena
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Ranked #189 of 2,399 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Second Try the Charm...”
Reviewed June 23, 2013 via mobile

We tried to visit Cena last month and they had over booked and the only option was to eat at the bar. That's fine if you're at Outback but when fine dining. So we left for Pene Rustica.
Then out of the blue I received a call from Stanley, the manager of Cena, apologizing about what happened to our reservation and offered us dinner and drinks on them. We accepted and I'm glad we did. The food was fantastic as was the service. I highly recommend this resturant.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank The-Engineerboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    45
    24
    6
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Fantastic meal”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Highlights: Oxtail gnocchi, asparagus risotto, tiramisu. All excellent. $5 house wine that was fantastic. Definitely be back!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank aloafman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
100 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Having a reservation means nothing here”
Reviewed June 5, 2013 via mobile

My husband I were looking forward to an anniversary dinner here after reading a review in TBT. Unfortunately, having a reservation means nothing to the staff. We made a reservation a few days ahead and confirmed when Cena called us that day. When we arrived on time we were told they had overbooked and we could have a free drink and eat at the crowded bar. When we asked if we could get the next available table, they said nothing would be available for 2 hours- even though we saw another couple who had just finished their entrees. Rather than eat at the bar- cramped in next to the kitchen entrance- we left and enjoyed meal at Pane Rustica.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Belmarmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“That was an amazing meal!”
Reviewed May 23, 2013 via mobile

Looking for a nearby place to eat we came upon Cena yesterday. 90 minutes later we were speechless. The beef carpaccio was delicious, the Caesar salad perfect in every way, and the shrimp and scallops over angel hair pasta (which was the main
course) outstanding. However, the tiramisu blew us away! Thank you, Cena -- can't wait to go back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chesterdiamond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
95 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Top Quality, Big City REAL Italian”
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Four of us had dinner at Cena last night and it we agreed it was our best new restaurant find in years. Chef Michael is bringing his considerable talent to the Channelside District and it's worth the drive (we came from Saint Petersburg - and will go again!).

We started with a sparkling Lambrusco and I liked it so much I stuck with it all the way through dinner. The menu is set up (as well as portioned and priced) to allow you to enjoy dinner as the Italians do - with multiple courses, including appetizer and 'primi' (pasta or risotto) before the main entrée. The Mushroom Arancini with truffle fondue were flavorful, and a lovely blend of texture - crispy on the outside with creamy, delicious risotto inside. The wait staff and kitchen were accommodating; I had an arugula salad with fig jam and gorgonzola which was sort of a combination of the house salad and the salad that goes with the Beef Carpaccio descriptions I saw on the menu - no problem.

Jason recommended the Branzini (aka Mediterranean sea bass) over escarole and white beans, which was outstanding. I stole bites of my companions' desserts and can attest to them all being excellent: the Chocolate Marsala cake, the Boccancini con Crema (I didn't really understand that one from the description, but it was lovely on the plate) and Jason's recommendation (again, spot on) - Tiramisu, which was a non-traditional presentation that brought a bit of texture to a normally mushy dessert - and all the flavor you could possibly ask for.

We finished dinner thinking of all the friends we have who live in Tampa we need to tell about this great new restaurant. Check it out while you can still get a table, I don't think it will stay that way for long!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ACBM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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