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“Four Times, For Perfect Meals”

Serena Sicilian Influenced Cucina
Ranked #275 of 1,455 Restaurants in Raleigh
Price range: $9 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Bar, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: 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
Raleigh, nc
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Four Times, For Perfect Meals”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

My wife and I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! We spotted it on a trip to the supermarket and decided to try it that weekend. We both had the Gorgonzola Chicken Sandwich ... that is now our favorite sandwich in all of Raleigh. The next time we brought friends. We all had one of the pasta dishes; my Garlic and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) was great ... my mother was from Italy and it's hard to find perfectly cooked pasta, but Serena's chef did it. Everyone else loved theirs as well. Next time we brought other friends. Same reaction ... everyone loved it, and we decided this would become one of our return spots.

Last night we went again, this time with a third couple. Not only was the food as good, our friends from the second visit were there! We had the tiramisu for dessert. Again perfection. I consider myself pretty much of a snob when it comes to tiramisu. It's my favorite dessert, bar none, when it is done right. Most restaurants serve adequate tiramisu; Serena's serves fantastic tiramisu.

Enough about food. we love the atmosphere. it's a reasonably quiet restaurant even when it's full; which makes for easy dinner conservation. Makes you want to linger. The decor is very pleasant. I'm no decorator, but I'd call it comfortable modern chic. The wait staff is very friendly, observant and accommodating. The menu is diverse.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jack Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    26
    14
    2
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best Italian I've had in N. Raleigh”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

I've been to Serena 3 times since the new location opened and all three times my expectations were exceeded. From the basics to the more complex dishes all were excellent. My favorite entrees are the homemade gnocci with the Tony Endicott Marinara and the spaghetti with garlic and evoo sauce and chopped scallops. I have also tasted the vodka sauce and it was also delicious. The homeade soups and salad dressings are also very tasty and the service is also prompt and attentive. There are many italian places in the area but this is the only one that I've loved enough for repeat visits!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank luckeeesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level 6 Contributor
163 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“ Good Eats”
Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile

We visited this restaurant on Sunday night and the place was busy. The service is excellent and I recommend a glass Cypress Chardonnay to start off. They offer a sample of the their daily soup and flatbread, which hit the spot with their taste.

Everything is Al A Carte and you can pick your pasta and toppings. The portions are huge and fillings. I had rigatoni and vegetables. The sauce was delicious. There was more pasta than vegetables. My wife had egg plant parmesan and her portion was big and she could only eat a small bit of the dish. My son added chicken to his vodka sauce pasta, which he also could not finish.

Though we could not finish our meals, we were able to eat grandma's tiramisu.

Helpful?
Thank travelforfun2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Adequate”
Reviewed October 5, 2013

I was certainly under-whelmed by my first visit. Granted, I did not have pasta and that may be a specialty. The minestrone was a tasty broth with large chunks of carrots and celery and one chick pea. The salad was usual romaine - if you want extras, you have to order a la carte. They had a very limited selection of pizza, with only meats and nothing for my vegetarian friend. I hope this is I the early stages (8 months) and will improve. Certainly payed for more than I got. The wait staff was very chatty and came on too strong, telling us how awesome and out-of-this-world everything was. They tried too hard to please; I just can't handle "perky."

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MzJaneP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
541 reviews
197 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 296 helpful votes
“My new favorite Italian restaurant”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This new restaurant stands out from many of the other Italian restaurants in the area. While it looks fairly ordinary from the outside, the decor inside is comfortable and modern. The menu has a lot of variety. I enjoyed the option to customize pasta entrees. It was difficult to decide what to order as there were so many delicious choices. Prices were very reasonable, especially as portions were so large. In fact, each entree could feed three to four people. Service was excellent- lots of personal attention. Most importantly, every dish was wonderful. Leftovers were great as well. The only area I can point out for improvement is to offer more dessert options, but this was not a big concern as I was already very full by then. I look forward to returning soon.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kat0425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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