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“Don't miss this one”

A Cena Ristorante y Enoteca
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Ranked #109 of 4,249 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Sellwood - Moreland Improvement League
Cross street: SE Lambert St.
Transit: Several on 13th Street
Description: A Cena is Italian for come to supper. This is exactly what we are inviting you to do at A Cena Ristorante located right here in Portland. When you come to A Cena, you will instantly be transported to a small villa in Italy. We are committed to providing our guests with an experience that will not be quickly forgotten. At a Cena, we share a love for simply cooked meals enjoyed with friends and family. All of our dishes are made with fresh ingredients from local Portland area farmers. We also hand make all of our pastas and cured meats, and daily prepared breads. A Cena offers a robust, well-matched wine list for every meal along with a seasoned and personable staff. All of these elements combined allows us to offer our guests at a Cena a fine-dining experience with the comfort and warmth of an Italian country kitchen.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
77 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Don't miss this one”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

Yes, maybe the decor is a bit dated, but, personally, I go to a restaurant for the food and service, both of which were impeccable. I started with the finocchio appetizer, a light and tasty salad. My friend had the Romano. We each tasted the other's dishes and I simply loved hers. It's my choice next time we go. She had the wild boar Bolognese taglatelli and I had a pasta/mushroom/sausage/cream sauce special, along with the day's special veggie--a sweetened baked squash with sage that made my mouth water. Her desert was tiramisu (i didn't try it, so can't comment) and mine was a delicious semifreddo, a frozen chocolate mousse with warmed cherries and whipped cream. We could not have begged for better food. And the service was wonderful. The waiter was attentive without hovering. The only glitch in the evening came when I was served my after dinner coffee, sans cream and sugar. But when I asked for it he brought it in seconds. With the food and service I received I WILL return to A Cena in the near future.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank keelx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    116
    45
    8
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
115 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Slightly overrated!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

I always believe you need to give a place at least 2 trys before making an informed review. The first time I went for dinner with friends, it seemed like we had great service since my friends were 'regulars' - . The food was good, not great, but interesting.
I decided to return a few weeks later for a birthday celebration. I was not impressed at all - we went on a 'slower' evening thinking we would get great service and wonderful food.
Our server was extremely arrogant, not to mention unattentive. We asked for coffee at the end of our meal, only to be ignored for a good half hour. We asked repeatedly from another server to ask ours to return. When I went to the restroom, I saw him with a small group of people in the bar area having a great time.
He never asked how our meal was, if there was anything else he could do for us, nothing, NADA, zip.
And the food...
well, undercooked Salmon has never been a favorite of mine. And 4 scallops on a plate for $32 - is a bit much!
Sorry A Cena - but it's the truth and I think I'll pass on another visit.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank reagangirl70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“There are better places in town”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2012 via mobile

Found food and service we're slow. The waiter was almost aggressive. Food was average and not great for what prior reviews said. I would not go there again

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bewoop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melrose, Florida
Level Contributor
133 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Good food and friendly service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

My husband and I ate here a few nights ago. The restaurant is cozy and could use some updating of its decor. None of the art work went together-a very eclectic collection.

But the most important things- the waiter was very friendly and attentive. Our food was very good. I had the veal chop with eggplant Parmesan and artichokes. The portions were huge- I had enough left over for another meal. My husband had the pasta with lobster. It was very good, but he woud have liked a bit more lobster in it. Very good limoncello. I definitely would recommend this place. It's not fancy, but very good food and service.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Belinda7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
142 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“the best Italian food we've had since our trip to Italy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

The first time we visited, my wife gave this place the ultimate compliment after taking a few bites of her main course: "This tastes exactly like the meals we had when we visited Italy." This place has quickly become our favorite Italian restaurant in Portland, just barely beating out Nostrana. The appetizers are wonderful and not overly filling - the Antipasto di Casa is great, as is the Caprese. A couple could order two of them and still have plenty of room for dinner. The chicken main course was incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful. Each of the pasta dishes we've had has been better than the last. The wine list has something for everyone. The only downside is that it gets very loud in the main dining area during busy hours, the concrete walls and floors don't really deaden any sound. If you go as a couple, ask to be seated in one of the alcove areas. The quarters are a little tighter, but you'll be able to enjoy a little more quiet.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rich M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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