418 Richmond Rd, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 2EB Directionshttps://www.yell.com/biz/a-cena-twickenham-2926155/#view=map
Serving seasonal, fresh, authentic Italian cuisine since 2001
Just over the Richmond Bridge in East Twickenham, A Cena is a fantastic independent restaurant that has been a popular haunt for locals for nearly 15 years. Our menus are a true reflection of what is fresh, best and in season. The wine list is extensive ranging from small boutique vineyards to some of the most well know wine makers in Italy. You don't need to visit A Cena just for the food, we have a great bar area with superb cocktails to try.
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Excellent Food, elegant surroundings5
Fresh strawberries in my Bellini cocktail with champagne (or sparkling wine) - divine drink. Delicious bread with poppyseeds provided to wipe up a large plate of oil was good. However, I don't like five other people dipping bread they've chewed in 'my' oil. For a table of six I'd prefer two smaller plates of oil - that would halve the germs you're sharing and limit the chance or spreading swine flu from five to two. Better still give a tiny saucer of oil for each person.
My main course of fried duck - sounds less healthy than oven roast but it was as soft as steak, fillet steak.
Two of the men chose the steak but they were not as thrilled as I was. If you choose steak in an Italian restaurant - no comment.
The menu changes regularly and the desserts we had were not those in Sue's pictures. I opted for chocolate dessert with raspberries and others liked it. I preferred the other choice of almond torte (higher than a tart, more like a one level sponge cake) - very almondy, lovely.
My left side companion asked for peppermint tea which came up in a small jug containing fresh mint leaves (the proof is in my picture). She had enough for half a cup for each of us. I had already asked for a single espresso which was served with brown sugar lumps.
If you are wondering about budget, the prosecco wine at £25 a bottle was the same price as most of their whites and roses. But you could look for the one rose wine which cost £19. I thought the real strawberry cocktail was good value, better than a bottle of wine which anybody can buy cheaper in a supermarket and they go to the trouble of mixing it.
It's a family owned business, just the one branch. The male server was unsmiling and could not suggest anything to suit a ten-year-old girl who wanted plain food. However, he called a young woman who was bright and jolly and suggested the pasta in tomato sauce. Staff obviously don't normally expect to vary the menu nor to cater for guests to bring children, even parents off the plane at Heathrow, bringing well-behaved shy, sleepy, jet-lagged offspring.
Understated but elegant surroundings and well-dressed, well-spoken people, women with model girl and bride's mother hair dos. After pubs where patrons use four-letter words, it's a pleasant change to feel like you're invited to a Buckingham Palace party.
I agree with Sue about the noise - it was hard to hear everybody at the opposite side of a large round table - it was even a struggle, whilst talking to the person on my left, to try to overhear the conversation on my right.
Size - weird! The back room extension is larger and appears more spacious because of mirrors. These create a strange optical illusion. Looking in the left mirror I could see a bookshelf. Looking right, no bookshelves! Where were they? The left mirror was reflecting the right mirror which reflected bookshelves hidden beyond the room divider in front of the kitchen door.
From North West London, drive south from Heathrow through Feltenham past Marble Hill House and the restaurant is just near the bridge across the Thames. At night you can drive across and see the illuminated White Cross Inn and more shops.
A Cena has a modest double shop front (a local friend had passed it many times and never noticed it) but it stretches back. A find. We chose it because of the great customer reviews on the internet. Hurray!
One of the best for food and atmosphere5
Still loving A Cena5
We dined with some visiting family and they loved it too. Even on the Aussie Peso they found the (slightly more expensive than average) food great value considering the quality and taste.
To start we shared the following dishes - the Lamb Sweetbreads with balsamic and brown butter; the Roasted red & golden beetroot with parmesan and rocket; and the Scallops with roasted tomatoes and beans. All were equally excellent and the plates were quickly cleaned.
Main course was also very good - we had the Braised Pork Shoulder with Chianti Classico, red wine vinegar, bay and black pepper corns and broadbeans; and the Slow roasted Soave Rabbit on bruschetta with spring greens. I had the pork and so enjoyed it, it was simply presented and let the top quality ingredients shine.
We pushed on to dessert, opting for the Chocolate tartufo with honeycomb; and the Apple Tart with vanilla ice cream. Of course I had the tartufo and loved the crunchy honeycomb accompaniment.
My only complaint from our recent visit was that it was too noisy. Perhaps it was just the table we were sitting at, as I don't remember this problem from previous visits. Anyway, we will definitely be back. Soon.
Best Italian for many, many miles4
Great service and a wonderful menu (it's not cheap):
But it IS good. I've been a number of times and it's very consistent (sit in the window seats and you get jealous glances from those in the know who walk past). That's probably gushing enough, but if you want a great Italian meal followed by a scenic walk along the river this is the place for you.
Authentic Italian in Twickenham5
A Cena has a fabulous cosy atmosphere, just perfect for the winters evening we visited. It is moodily lit, with tasteful décor and a relaxed yet classy vibe. Service through out the evening was professional and the food lived up to the rumours we had heard - it was excellent.
Whilst perusing the menu and catching up on gossip we enjoyed a glass of Proseco and some Italian breads with olive oil.
Starters all sounded great so we couldn't resist. We ordered the Wild Boar Salami; the Risotto Amarone della Valpolicella; the Artichoke Fritti with lemon; and the Pan fried Scallops with Anchovy & Rosemary Sauce. We all had a taste of each and no one was disappointed.
Main courses were even better - the Grilled Ribeye Steak with Tarragon butter, Creamed Spinach & "Patatine Fritte" (aka chips!) was fantastic. Also excellent was the Pot-Roast Guinea Fowl with Marsala, Braised Leg Meat, Chestnuts, Savoy Cabbage & Potato - it just melted in your mouth.
Somehow we managed to squeeze in some desserts....the White Chocolate Mousse; and the Chocolate & Coffee Cassata which was rich and mmm - good! We really enjoyed are evening at A Cena and will definitely be returning.