Durham >Food & Dining > Serena Restaurant & Bar
Owner is dishonest, and takes advantage of good people. Overcharges for venue, and adds additional charges the day of event. Good food, but underhanded management.
Great Gourmet Food...Great Service!.
I am in the RTP for business on a regular basis and Serena's is the only place I go. The menu is authentic Italian/Sicilian and the food is outstanding. A full line of local brews on tap, along with a good bottle selection and top shelf liquor. Very good deserts as well and even fresh espresso to accompany them.
This restaurant is privately owned by a very nice couple....just trying to make a name for themselves. Always very accommodating, with a staff that's great as well. So I'm not sure what provoked the last two reviewers situations.....Possibly the reviewers? All I can say is that I've always had a great experience at Serena whenever I'm in town.
One word of warning....If you are looking for the Olive Garden or similar, then don't go to Serena. You will be totally bummed because the food has much, much more flavor than that!!! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
So if you live in Durham or visiting the RTP, then be sure to give Serena a try and tell them that KY Jeff sent you!
More thumbs down Manager needs people skills!. Apparently this establishment has not taken the Sept. 25 2011 criticism from resident r below seriously. We were in the area to attend the CASL Soccer Tournament and went to this restaurant the evening of Saturday December 3. We arrived a few minutes after the rest of our party (4 other people) had already ordered, and ordered a microbrew for me and a soda for my son, and our dinners. The rest of our party got their meals a few minutes later. We assumed our meals woud soon follow. Meanwhile a large party ordered about 10 minutes after we did. When that party started to get their meals 30 minutes later I respectfully asked the waiter about the status of our meals. A few minutes later the manager came out and said that they had "a computer glitch" and that our meals would be out in a few minutes. I was fine with that and accepted his offer of a beer on the house. Then he kept talking and said that there was a mistake with the order and that they had to re-enter it. So which was it, a glitch or a mistake? Then he said "look me in the eye sir and tell me you have not made a mistake?" and just kept being rude and making excuses. What??!!! I guess that answered what had really happened to our order! If he had just kept his mouth shut all would have been fine. The waiter then said that it would be 20 minutes for our order to arrive. Since our party had already finished their meals and we had been sitting for over 40 minutes at that point, and our meals were still 20 minutes out, I cancelled our order. When I did, I received more rude behavior from the manager. At that point I told him "look, I'm done here, please go away. We will go to the McDonalds down the street". A few minutes later the waiter presented me with the bill for $4.95 for my beer! Outrageous! Good beer though.
Not So Much ......Thumbs down. Serena's is the worst restaurant I have encountered in the RTP area thus far. I am new to the area and I felt the food tasted plain, music was too loud and obnoxious for a dining setting, and the ambiance was overall poor. Nothing special or exciting about this place. A waste of gas! Most importantly the staff and the restaurant owner are rude, insulting with terrible customer service skills. To the owner " Don't become irate with your customer's when your establishment is not up to par with your competition" I also went for a special event and Serena's owner falsely advertised the start time then started an hour late! No apologies from the owner just attitude about his mistake! Final thoughts 1 star!! thumbs down!!!
Best Italian joint in the RTP!.
If you haven't been to Serena's or stood in line waiting to get in than you're definitely missing out! This place has amazing food from scratch and a variety to choose from that will fit anyone's palate!
I would recommend making a reservation of parties 8 or more! They have subs, sandwiches, pastas, and baked dishes to please!!!!
The food was excellent. We ordered four tapas and ended up ordering two more! Everything tasted great! And the house merlot was great as well.
The waiter was friendly, knowledgeable, and did not pressure us to finish and leave.
All in all, this was a very pleasant dining experience and we'll be going there again!
Great place for Tapas in RTP.
My fiancee and I visited Serena last Friday. We'd never been there before, but were interested in trying someplace new, instead of visiting one of the places we go to again and again.
We arrived around 7:30pm. I was nervous about going there at that time, figuring that was prime time for dinner, especially on a weekend, and I was expecting it to be crowded. We were surprised to find that it wasn't crowded at all. There was one table with a party of maybe ten seated at it, and then a few guys at the bar. Other than that, it was empty. I saw that other comments noted that Serena can get very busy, so I guess it was just a weird night when we were there.
My fiancee and I both ordered a cocktail. He got a jack and coke, and I got one of their signature cocktails. I don't remember what exactly it was called, but it involved fresh strawberries, lychee, and vodka, and it was one of the best cocktails I've ever had. It was also a huge glass. It was a $9 drink, but considering how large the glass was, it was well worth it to me.
For our meal, we split several tapas. I enjoyed everything. We had the proscuitto and fontina cheese croquettes, which I thought was delicious. My fiancee is more of a foodie than I am though, and he said that he thought that the croquettes had been frozen previously and simply heated before being served to us. Either way, I loved them. He wasn't as keen on them as I was. We also had the grilled asparagus with chipotle vinigrette (a bit on the spicy side), roasted red peppers with fontina cheese and mushrooms (I love anything that involves cheese), and a side of french fries. The amount of food was perfect for us to split, and we even had room for dessert. For dessert we had that night's special, which was an apple tart with ice cream. It tasted home made and was a great autumn treat.
We will probably go back to Serena sometime soon to try out some of the other tapas. I'm so happy there is a tapa place close by now, instead of having to drive all the way to Raleigh just for a decent small plates menu. I definitely recommend Serena!
One of the best in the triangle. Serena is a wonderful place to eat. Great menu and great food prepared with care and pride. The service is very good but not too stuffy or fake. We have been here several times and are never disappointed. The only downside is that Serena can become very crowded and loud, but that goes hand in hand with a popular place.
Fun bar/restaurant with good food. I've been to Serena's several times, both for lunch and after work for drinks and appetizers. Good service, nice drink variety and good food. The decor is kind of sparse, with both high and low tables, and I would consider this first to be a bar over a restaurant, but the food is good and not the standard far you would find at a bar. Good sandwiches and soups.
Great RTP Lunch Location. Great menu and great food. A perfect place to meet for lunch if you want something just a little different than the usual!
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