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  • Ava Gene's

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Ava Gene's
Ava Gene's

Ava Gene's Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://avagenes.com/
  • Phone: (971) 229-0571
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Joshua McFadden
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: SE 34th Avenue
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Ava Gene's
Ava Gene’s is a neighborhood place, located on Division Street in Southeast Portland. Our restaurant serves rustic cuisine, features an extensive wine list and offers cocktails focused on & inspired by the regions of Italy. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "The food is incredible, the service impeccable, the atmosphere energetic. The prices however are ridiculous for the portions of food you receive. $32 for a 4-ounce piece of salmon? That makes me feel like you took me out back and shoved a stick up my backside and then expected me to say "thanks". Really? $32 for a small piece of fish that they could not even cook correctly? Thanks for the experience but if I want to get f*#ked I will go somewhere else. By the way the "expeditor" (Chef?) was outside smoking with friends most of the shift while we were there so the food was probably not up to the quality one would expect."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Ava Gene's menu can take a little deciphering (luckily they include a glossary), but it's creative - and so satisfying to read. To date, I've never been able to just order one of the entrees, because so many of the appetizers, breads, cheese, salumi, vegetables, pasta plates and other side dishes are calling my name. I always end up ordering multiple small plates. My favorite option by far is to order the Tre Scelete dai Giardini - choosing three vegetable dishes from the "Gardens" portion of the menu; this place is doing truly beautiful things with vegetables. It's an easy place to bring omnivores and vegetarians and gluten-avoiders, though a little tougher (but not impossible) for the vegan set. Plus, there's cannoli."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "From drinks to food they do it well. Perfect, well balanced Martini. Knowledgable staff provided great assistance pairing a wine to my dinner. Favorite item: sautéed greens-outstanding."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "We were given a gift certificate and were hoping it would be a good meal. We realized it is super popular right now and we tend to stay away from the trendy flavor of the month restaurants. We were pleasantly surprised. Every dish starting with the salad and ending with dessert was perfect! The flavor, the freshness, and the presentation. The salad of fresh peas, mint, squid and hazelnuts was fantastic. We had fettuccine carbonara: the pasta was the best I've ever had! The steak was prepared exactly to the right doneness and the side of cauliflower was excellent. all accompanied with a glass of red wine that our waitress chose. Deep flavor. dessert was malted cherry gelato & cookies and panna cotta, very creamy. I loved this meal!"
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Lovely food in a vibrant and warm setting. Would recommend."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Unfortunately, we were disappointed ...the pasta was not al dente..it was hard...I am italian and cook a great deal...the sauce and flavor of the food was good but the pasta was not cooked appropriately.We made reservations because your restaurant had a review that you were the best in Pdx. And I wanted to take my mother in law for a special birthday dinner. My husband and my mother in law did not finish but I asked for boxes to go because it's not polite to not finish your meal. I gave you the fair rating Sincerely, Rose C Secrest-Sarver"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "It's unfortunate that I will not return due to the horrible service that we received and on a Wednesday night! Our server served drinks and appetizers to a table that was seated after us. It took 20 minutes for our server to take our order. It wasn't very busy either! Food was good, but high priced for the portion size."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "The food was so incredibly flavorful and the menu is set up to provide the opportunity to try a variety of dishes. We had a cheese plate, charcuterie plate, three small salads, spiced olives, and a pasta entree that was delicious. Ava Gene's sets itself apart from other restaurants with the exquisite mixture of complementary flavors in all their menu items. Exceptional service and a warm and friendly atmosphere are always present while enjoying a meal at Ava Gene's."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Food was great! The service was OK it took a long time to get our drink orders to us and get the meal started but once they did the food was great! Waitress wasn't overly helpful. They couldn't expand our reservation from 4 to 5 to accommodate a late joining guest."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Our extremely pleasant waiter let us take our time ordering as we had a lot of catching up to do. The food was delivered in nice fashion, not to fast, not too slow, between courses. Overall an excellent experience."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Fantastic meal on our only night in Portland. Great food and extremely knowledgeable staff. Very cool Italian wine list with all kinds of goodies"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "We had an amazing time! Food and wine were great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We had heard great things about this restaurant and mostly it lived up to its reputation. The service and atmosphere were top notch. The salads and cheese dishes we ordered were truly delectable. Our only slight disappointment was the meat/fish course. The salmon with zucchini I ordered was good, but nothing really special. The same was true of my husband's lamb shoulder. In retrospect we wish we had ordered one of the pasta dishes. All in all, however, it was a most enjoyable dining experience."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We had to wait months to get a Saturday reservation but it was worth it. Incredible food in every course. Service at a perfect pace. Book ahead for your special night and it will be well worth the wait."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food tasted great but the portions were very small for the price that you pay. We got the salmon for $35 and there were six bites of it at the most. The ambiance in the restaurant was very pleasant. I also liked the idea of the bar they had in front of the kitchen for walk-ins."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Compared to so many other wonderful restaurants to choose from in Portland Ava Gene's was really disappointing. The food was good but paying $35 for a tiny sliver of salmon with barely any vegetables and a sprinkling of garden flowers was too much. Waitress seemed distracted and never took the trouble to explain the overly complicated menu. Maybe we just ordered wrong but I'll pass next time."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food is packed with intense flavors but the menus were not easy to read. The after dinner drinks were numerous but no one at the table could decipher what any of them were. We called our waiter over and described what we wanted. He quickly supplied us with what we were looking for, but the experience was slightly pretentious. One other suggestion. The portions were unusually large. One friend ordered the three salads for an entree and it was enough to serve the whole table. Another order a stew that was enough to feed two people. The wait staff should inform customers of the size of portions. Nonetheless I would highly recommend the restaurant."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Small portions, overpriced, noisy and really not worth it. Not sure why it’s recognized as one of Portland’s best restaurants there are many others that are better!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Yes, Martha Stewart was there 2 weeks before. Yes, in 2013, this restaurant was voted #1 in Portland and #5 in the nation. NO, we were not ready for the creativity of the dishes and how flavorful everything was. The entire menu was emblematic for seasonal Portland. It made a local proud and make the visitors eager to return. The service was informative and unrushed. It was just right, and each one of our party of three had a different favorite. Highlights included the burrata with homemade bread, wood fired salmon, and grilled romanesco. Most restaurants can be conservative when it comes to vegetables, but this was possibly the best selection of accessible and delicious veggies. Small parking lot, so arrive early to avoid street parking."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Had a nice rabbit ragu with orchietti that was not as chunky like I've had before. Interesting dish of fava beans with mint mixed into a pesto. Nice meal along with great company."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Four of us had a wonderful meal at Ava Gene's! We were greeted immediately and taken to our table by the window. The food was outstanding and we loved the dressings on the unique ingredients in the salads. The salmon was done to perfection and we will go back soon!!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Our wait person's service was not worthy of the restaurant. The lamb was tough. Nice space for a meal and we had fun."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Ava Gene's was picked by Portland Magazine as the "Best Restaurant in Portland" and that's a huge title to live up to. Whatever they did well to get that title has been obviously compromised by success. Greeting was impersonal, seating pro forma. The music was deafening. No, we did not want the first table next to the maitre'd stand even though the place was empty. Our service was a fabulous and personal UNTIL it got busy. The food, much of which came from elsewhere, was good but uneven; salty. A radiatore with rabbit ragu should have been gutsy and flavorful, not bland. Once it came time for after-dinner coffee and dessert service things got really ragged. No check, no after-dinner drink, no napkins. They need to regroup."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "The pane selections are wonderful, as are the salads. Very unexpected but deliciouse combinations of food. And the meatballs were absolutely out of this world. I would love to try their desert selections but so far have never had room!"
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "They have hooked we me with delicious proscuitto, amazing salads, and when their squid ink pasta makes its appearance. Last meal the pacing of food was quite off but the nice staff comped drinks...always appreciated."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "The food was terrifiic and the feeling of Ava Gene's was relaxed and fun.We were never rushed.Our server suggested that the four of us share 3 salads and 4 main courses which was a great idea and let us try a number of dishes.The sheep's cheese pane was a favorite and the salads were great.We had the pole beans, cucumbers with squid and the radishes with feta. For our prima we had the rabbit ragu, paccheri lamb and pork, and the bay shrimp spaghetti which were all delicious. For our secondi we had the lamb which was also a real treat.The only downside was that the wine we ordered wasn't served until near the end of our meal even though we reminded her a number of times. We will be back, it was a fabulous dinner with lots more to try."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "First, Ava Gene's off-street parking is a big plus in that neighborhood. While waiting for the server, we were surprised to hear Led Zeppelin playing, rather loudly, and throughout our dinner the loud 70s rock seemed incongruent with the ambiance we anticipated. That was a miss. Our server was very nice and explained several dishes to us, as this was our first visit. Despite the $25 corkage fee, which seemed excessive, we elected to bring our own bottle. We each ordered an appetizer. My wife's was very good, mine was decent but I would not get it again. We split a salad and it was delicious. We each got pasta dishes and they were good, but not remarkable. All in all I'd say we enjoyed our visit and we'll likely come back, but not soon."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "We had just returned from Parma the bread basket of Italy and stopped here on the recommendation of my brother. The emphasis is southeast Italy. The apperitvo was great. We had the olives, affettati piccoli and selection of pane. Delicious and lovely presentation. The salmon was cooked to perfection. The greens were tough though and needed to be blanched and pressed before sauteeing."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Food, atmosphere and wait staff were great........................waiter started to be attentive but that did not remain as they became busier, we dined early but were disappointed in the lack of attention as the evening progressed..................still, over all, a very good experience."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Food was delicious. Atmosphere perfect! Staff incredible!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Every time I go to Ava Gene's I have a great evening and encounter a dish I never expected. Always amazing, fun, and inventive."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Perfect place for a date night or special occasion! Much of the menu is in Italian, but the servers are all so helpful and friendly and explain things/make suggestions. It is fancy, but not stuffy or intimidating. And the food is just incredible- the vegetables and the pastas are unlike any you've ever had, I promise. Love Ava Gene's."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Aesthetics good. Food exquisite. Waitress was informative. Too crowded/Loud"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Ordered pasta with butter and scallions. Got pasta with tons of mint and cheese. Turned it in for more pasta with what tasted like cheese whiz. The manager said it had cheese and then came back and said it didn't. The waitress slammed it down on the table and said it did not have cheese. I have studied Italian cooking, and I know what butter tastes like. Everyone was very rude. The only good is they finally decided to take my pasta off the bill. If you want good Italian food go to Gallo Nero. The food is excellent and the people are very friendy like they are in Italy."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "This is one of the most authentic Italian dining experiences (with Northwest influences) you can have in the US. The menu is extensive, allowing you to have a full multiple course meal, or mix and match. The wine list is extensive, with a good selection at reasonable either by the glass or bottle. The service is excellent: friendly, attentive, knowledgeable--and willing to give good advice on quantities of food to order. Go and enjoy,."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "The waitress wasn't kidding, you really should order off the salads/garden/veggie section heavily. Snap peas aren't done justice by the menu's favoring of simply listing ingredients "peas, peanuts raisins" makes it sound like trail mix, when what arrives is a vibrant dish, which knocked my co-diner's socks off. The asparagus sliced lengthwise on the bias with fresh cauliflower fairly powdered on it was refreshing and bright. The pastas were great too, the lamb and pork pacchieri was hearty without being too heavy, and the cavatelli with ricotta in the pasta dough, kale, and spicy sausage is a must. I was less impressed with the fried gnocco or mozzarella. The cannollo for dessert was perfect. Waitstaff was attentive. Noisy for the price."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "My husband and I celebrated our 45th anniversary at this highly acclaimed restaurant. We consider ourselves foodies and love to try new restaurants. I was extremely satisfied with my entire meal including the sugar snap pea salad, the perfect salmon and the delicious pistachio cake. My husband was equally pleased with the salad, but was disappointed with his pork chop. He knows that next time he would order a pasta dish. The restaurant is quite small, and, as a result, the tables are rather close together. This resulted in a rather noisy environment. Perhaps a week night with fewer customers would be quieter for a special occasion. The wait staff was well trained and very friendly-a definite plus!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "The salads were great, the pasta was good but not fabulous. But very good!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Excellent! We made a reservation for a month out before we left......"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Our party of four was treated like we were something special. Inventive Italian menu was excellent in terms of expectations set, and delivery. The hospitality and service were superb, and prices were reasonable. Look forward to my next visit - soon, I hope!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014