About us & the Chef

Take a look at the place and the people

Chef Michael Buttacavoli

Born in Huntington Long Island, and raised locally in New Port Richey, Chef Michael Buttacavoli grew up surrounded by authentic, family Italian cooking. Chef Michael spent his formative years as the Chef de Cuisine at Boca and SideBern’s. Following his tenure, he served as Executive Chef of the Fresh Harvest Buffet and the flagship restaurant, Council Oak, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Currently, Michael is the Executive Chef of the award winning restaurant, Cena. Cena is located in the heart of the vibrant Channel District of Tampa and serves modern, fresh and simple Italian cuisine in a contemporary and stylish setting. Cena means “dinner” or “supper” in Italian which coincides precisely with its dining hours from Wednesday to Sunday each week with the occasional special occasion brunch. Cena has been awarded the Golden Spoon by Florida Trend, Top 10 Restaurant in Tampa Bay as well as Best Pasta Restaurant by the Tampa Bay Times, and Best in the Bay by Creative Loafing.

When he’s not in the kitchen, Michael is spending time with his wife and three children. His natural passion for great food and Italian upbringing make the kitchen his home away from home.

Cena – “dinner” or “supper” in Italian.