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“Awesome home-made pasta” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of A Cena Ristorante y Enoteca

A Cena Ristorante y Enoteca
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Ranked #112 of 4,238 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.
University Place, Washington
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Awesome home-made pasta”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2013

Happenin', cozy, neighborhood corner Italian restaurant. Can't recall or pronounce entree name, but pasta was stuffed with sweet corn, marscapone & pieces of fresh lobster, with light creamy sauce. Wow! Two size prices nice: individual ($19) or larger ($24) for sharing family style. Bon Apetit....

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank UPRobert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    115
    45
    8
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
North Carolina
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful dinner”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013 via mobile

Our last night in portland we ate at A Cena. We had the bruschetta with porcini mushrooms and Parmesan. It was so delicious and flavorful. We then had the corn and marscapone pasta with lobster. It was one of the best pastas I have ever eaten. It went perfect with my glass of mascato. Would love to eat here again next time in in portland.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank hazeleyez211_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaverton, Oregon
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very pleasant Italian dinner”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

My husband and I took my parents here for dinner last week after reading great reviews on Tripadvisor. I made reservations last minute and while I didn't get my ideal time, we were able to get in close to it, even when booking for a Saturday night on the Friday before.

Dinner started off great, fresh cheese grissini (breadsticks) and foccacia which were delicious. We followed that by sharing an antipasto plate. Everyone was able to find something they liked, I was particularly fond of the buttery green olives. We brought our own wine, which they happily opened for us.

We then had salads, a grilled romaine and blue cheese for my parents, my husband had a fennel salad and I had the casa which was greens, walnuts, shaved pear and grano padano. I can't speak for the other salads, which looked delicious, but my salad was great. The portion size was just right and the flavor combination of walnuts, cheese and pear is one of my favorites.

For entrees, my parents shared a sausage and mushroom pasta in the larger size. A word on ordering, they offer the pastas in two sizes: regular and half. The waitress told us the half was plenty for one person, which is probably true when going by actual, nutritional portion sizes, but quite small by restaurant standards. Having never been to a Cena before, my husband and I both ordered the small/half portion of tagliatelle with asparagus and spinach. It was delicious, but for this light, vegetable based pasta a bigger portion would have been better. The heavier, richer pastas like the lobster or the sausage would lend themselves to the smaller size portion much better, so just order accordingly.
We also shared a margherita pizza as a table and it was probably my favorite thing all night. The sauce had a vibrant tomato taste, the crust was perfectly thin and there was just enough char. Although the pastas were clearly freshly made and very good, I would go back just to eat pizza.

In the end, after sharing multiple courses we were too full for dessert (they were fairly standard Italian dessert choices: tiramisu, panna cotta, gelato, etc.)

I would definitely go back to a Cena.The atmosphere of the restaurant was lovely, service was good, they didn't let you have more than a sip of water before refilling your glass. Although at times they were a bit too attentive, to the point where it almost felt like they were rushing you out (e.g. asking you if you need a box when you are pretty obviously still eating, fork in hand). Overall though, a good Italian dining experience in Portland.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank YankeeInTheUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Lake, Michigan
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Only had a "snack" and cannot wait to return for dinner!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

We had some time to kill in the afternoon before a planned family dinner while visiting Portland and found this gem on Trip Advisor. We only had drinks, a pizza and the cheese appetizer. It was exquisite and I cannot wait to return for dinner on my next trip to Oregon.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank dlwmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
84 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Anniversary Heaven!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2013

My hubby and I choose this restaurant based on Trip Advisor reviews and once again were not led astray. We let them know it was our anniversary weekend and they saved a special little two top in front of the window just for us. Very romantic. In fact, at 8:00 on a Friday night it was the ONLY table available. The décor is charming and the server was wonderful. The food was amazing. Huge portions, at least the veal shank was, and very tasty. This restaurant is in the Sellwood neighborhood which looks to be as charming as the restaurant, and is about a 10 or so minute drive from downton Portland. Next time we head to Portland and are in the mood for some tasty Italian, no hesitations to dine here again.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank raindiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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