Ava Gene's
Ava Gene's

Ava Gene's

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://avagenes.com/
  • Phone: 9712290571x
  • 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!
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Ava Gene's reviews from OpenTable diners
326 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelEnergetic
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (264)special occasion (222)neighborhood gem (150)hot spot (137)notable wine list (134)romantic (106)good for groups (25)vibrant bar scene (19)late-night find (16)great for brunch (4)great for lunch (3)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Wine list needs work. Food is great. Wider spectrum of wines needed
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Salt Anyone?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I had looked forward to dining at Ava Genes but came away disappointed. The wine list is extensive and so I asked our wait person for a recommendation for less than $50. She suggested two and we chose one and when we got the bill, the wine was $60. (Slightly annoying). But my biggest problem was the food--my kale salad was way overdressed with vinegar. The olive oil amount was fine and the cheese and bread crumbs were a very nice addition. We ordered three different pasta dishes, all cooked to perfection but way over salted. One friend had to send his back because it was too salty to eat. It was replaced with another pasta dish that had a little less salt and which he was able to eat. We like salt but this was way too much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantasitico!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Everything about our experience at Ava Gene's was smooth. We were seated immediately (we had reservations, of course). Our server was friendly and knowledgeable -- like, I believed he could go back and cook our food, he knew so much about the preparations of each dish. The food was great! We started with the affettat,i and wowza--that was the most tender prosciutto I've ever had. We also had a pane w/eggplant & ricotta salata, a deliciously unique blend of flavors & textures. My husband has a great cavatelli, and I had the culotte -- a tender, flavorful piece of meat that transcended what we usually think of as "steak." Sure, prices are high, but you know that going in. Just eat at home & save for a few nights. It's worth it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Salad days with beautiful breads
    foodfadist
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    The salads and "bread" are beyond delicious. I want to return and feast just on those, whatever their composition. The pastas and entrees are also excellent, but not as extraordinary as the salads and breads. Everything (except the noise level) is delightful. The noise level is typical of contemporary restaurants--too high. A friend of ours says of this fad that "it must be how younger people know they're having a good time." We are from a "quieter" generation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect evening
    emmettdigger
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We went to Ava Gene's for our anniversary. It was one of the best 5 meals I've ever had. Literally. We sat at the chef's counter and got to watch all our food (and everyone else's) being made. It was hot but well worth it. We did a five course sampling, starting with the potato croquettes, then cured meats followed by two amazing vegetable dishes. We shared a pasta and an entree, both of which were out of this world. The service was perfect - attentive, knowledgeable, friendly, approachable. Ava Gene's is a well oiled machine with each staff person playing his or her part to make the dining experience wonderful for the diner. We left feeling incredibly satisfied.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Great food, top-notched service. The pasta dishes are outstanding. The noise level is unbearable: tough to carry a conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent!
    samanmax
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    One of the items we had, the osso bucco, was in particular amazing. They told us it would take 45 min - 1 hour to prepare, so definitely order it as soon as you arrive. Drinks were great too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • exceeded expectations
    Beavblazer
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We had high expectations because of all of the accolades Ava Gene's has received over the past year, and they were exceeded. Decor/Ambiance is great. Low lighting, nice fixtures. It's a little noisy because of the small size of the room, relative to how many people are visiting at any given time. Seating might be a little tight for some as you're very close to your neighboring tables, but I didn't have any issues with this. The food was amazing and the service was top notch. The staff is very efficient but we also didn't feel rushed at all. A+
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best meal of the year
    MeeshPDX
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    After hearing the buzz for months, I finally made it in to Ava Gene's. It was worth the wait. We shared a series of courses, each one swoon-worthy. We started with tasty potato croquettes, followed by three salads from the giardini selections and selection of breads served with whipped ricotta. Those little salads rocked my world with big flavors and inventive ingredient combos, from melon with fish sauce, to red wheat with squid and mint, to celery with dates and almonds. While we could have stopped eating at that point, we had to try more. We finished the meal with tiny, butter-sauced agnolotti filled with sweet corn and ricotta, followed by succulent chicken with panzanella. Sadly, we had no room for dessert! I can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • best meal during my trip
    restaurantgroupieVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    amazing birthday dinner. ambience and service / recs were spot on, and the food was even better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Stig
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Some say that the staff only speaks to each other in Latin, and that Apple employs a number of corporate spies among them. All we know is, it was very delicious. The appetizers are very unique and very flavorful. The Stig's favorite was the Sheep's cheese bread. And he will eat here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Maybe my expectations were too high
    dangercookie
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Service and ambiance were great, and my husband's pasta was really good too. But my steak was chewy, I almost choked. Our appetizer bread was burnt black, i mean charred. And the polenta was really bland. This was our wedding anniversary, abs I was hoping for better after reading so much about this being one of Portland's best restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as last time
    MehpdxVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We like going to Ava genes every once in a while, although it's extremely pricey for what you actually get. Pastas in the past were a lot stronger. Mine was borderline cold and a little gummy. Server told my hubby that his pasta would pack a lot of flavor and we never quite found it. Veggie salads are usually consistent. Cannolis were old so they overstuffed them with filling to compensate. A lilt goes a long way if you get the cookie part right. I won't go back for a while.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • met the hype!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    we ordered the bread plate, three vegetable sides, and a pasta dish - and everything was wonderful. some things were exquisite. definitely a highlight of the portland trip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Veggies!
    datenightfoodie
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    If you come here for one reason (besides it is one of Portland's top restaurants) it is the veggies. We got the veggie trio where we selected three of our choice and we never would have thought celery could be sooooo wonderful. If you get anything - be sure to get some of their veggie creations!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good but doesn't warrant the price
    Louise
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Service very slow. No wonder it takes weeks to get a reservation! Food was okay, but way overpriced for what it was. Music was so l loud we couldn't hear each other talk. Will not be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Jack
    musicjack7
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    The food was superb. Slow bar service. Great wine. Very good wait staff. Seating is quite close to other guests. Not intimate or conducive for special occasions. Charming design of space. Very cool lighting. Use of mirrors and fine art is wonderful. Terrible acoustics which swallows the music they are playing. Music apparently picked to suit staff not clientele. Fix seating by eliminating a few tables, moving existing tables farther apart, adapt space acoustically, play cool music - any genre except rock - and this becomes a 5 star place. Wrote managment with this exact same feedback = no response. Thus the OpenTable review.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistent high quality
    CitygirlVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Food is excellent; portions moderate size; service very good and attentive; atmosphere is casual. Only complaint is the the noise factor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well-deserved accolades
    Ellen
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    AvaGene's, on two visits, combines inventive cooking with well-informed staff to offer a first rate meal. But why does the restaurant need to be so noisy? A lack of sound-absorbing materials combined with loud rock music has diners shouting to hear each other and staff straining their voices. Please, tamp down the decibels.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointed
    lula
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    The food was mediocre and it is was disappointing that you could not have a drink and wait in the bar area as that was reserved for walk-ins. The decor was great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Such a wonderful experience, exceptional service and food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meatball Night is a Must!
    DandK
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Came here for our 1 year wedding anniversary and could not have asked for a better dining experience. All the food surprised me in very fine tuned way with combinations of flavors and textures. We split everything we ordered but I could have have the whole serving of meatballs and burratta myself. Can't wait to come back again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pricey but so good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The food was delicious, though a touch peppery. Expensive, but worth every penny.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What an experience!!
    FoodLover01
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The restaurant was awesome, the food was absolutely to die for!!! and the service first class. The waitress was extremely knowledgable on the entire menu. She made wonderful recommendations and we enjoyed everything about our visit and meal at Ava Gene's. I can not wait to go back. One of the best meals ever for both my husband and myself. Would recommend this restaurant to everyone!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Must try!
    EnglishbelleVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We had a great meal in an excellent location. The bread with toy box tomatoes was to die for & the pastas perfectly balanced & totally yummy. The service was seamless & the cocktails original -
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ArtstudioinNortheast
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I've dined twice at Ava Genes and both were great. The food and service are outstanding. The only drawbacks were the noise level, they might want to add some fabric to absorb sound, and they had no air conditioning, the heat from the open wood burning oven was a bit much. Both of us left sweaty. Not sure why they don't have air, the ceiling is open, they should have added when they remodeled.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding!!
    BillyK
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    My wife and I travelled to Portland and had our daughter from Santa Monica meet us there for the weekend. On our first night out we went to Ava Gene's. WOW was it a great dining experience. We dined at the bar (which is always our preference) and worked our ay through the menu sharing multiple appetizers, several entrées, and a few bottles of wine. Everything was wonderful; the service, food and wine recommendations and the ambiance. We highly recommend Ava Gene's to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best meal of my LIFE!
    Pdxyummm
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    So fresh, unique and fun. The trip salad as a starter kicked the meal off and my mouth was exploding with so many unique flavors and such fresh ingredients. I made a reservation for another special occasion as soon as I got home!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • made our night special
    Elaine
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We were late for our reservation (due to several I-5 accidents!), but no problem. The staff welcomed us and had saved us a table. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly. It was our anniversary and several of the staff made a point to say happy anniversary to us which I thought was a wonderful touch. Most importantly, the food was incredible. My favorites were the pane (we tried one with kale) and salads (we tried three separate salads - each delicious). We ordered a pasta dish, which was good (did I taste burnt garlic on purpose?), but not my favorite dish. The previously stated dishes were just that incredible!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • can't wait to go back
    diane
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We focused on small plates instead of on main courses. Everything was inventive and delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • As good as we had heard!
    JaymiVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    The server was unbelievably knowledgeable about the food preparation. The service was very attentive without hovering. The food was spectacular. We were a table of 3 and started with their salad trio for the table. Beautifully presented in 3 ceramic bowls on a wooden rectangle, each salad was better than the last: (something like this but I'm probably mixing up the ingredients) cucumber and pear with gorgonzola and walnuts, tomato and peach with feta and pecans, celery and something. 2 of us had wonderful pasta dishes and the 3rd had the albacore tuna. All dishes were such interesting combinations of ingredients. The cannoli for dessert was the best we've ever had!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the splurge!
    Lizzy
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    My husband & I were traveling on holiday from Nashville & wanted to end our trip with a nice dinner. We'd heard about Ava Gene's through numerous magazines & wanted to try it out for ourselves. They no longer offer the chef's tasting menu, but we created our own by ordering items to share over several courses. It was amazing, particularly the house-made burrata! The meal was well-paced, the service attentive but appropriate, & the food was absolutely delicious. For people hesitant to try this place due to the pricing, sharing courses helps to make the meal a bit more affordable & you don't walk out feeling overstuffed. I'm so glad we chose to end our trip by eating here - definitely a memorable meal! And that's saying something in Portland.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Bon Voyage Dinner
    selectivedinerVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    My foodie friend had never been to Ava Gene's so I invited her for a farewell dinner. She is a vegetarian and had no problem enjoying the most gourmet meal she's had in her 16 years in Portland. We shared the incredible dark bread with sheep's cheese, pine nuts, and I don't know what else but it was heavenly. We also split an unusual combination of peaches, tomatoes, and basil, again an exquisite taste treat. My friend said that her pasta dish (spaghetti and tomatoes and cheese) was cooked to perfection. I had a tasty mixture of miniature radiator shaped pasta with chicken and meatballs mixed through it. We each had a glass of fine red wine. We were allowed to visit leisurely until we left. Can't wait til I can afford to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Innovative and Quality
    1111VIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Just about everything on this menu surprises you with its creativity and flavor. A great alternative to traditional red sauce joints.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Everything ordered was unique and outstanding. The food was to die for.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    EDFinVA
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The pasta was as good as the best pasta I had in Italy. The tomatoes were outstanding. We loved everything and can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum!
    Anne
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    There's always a bit of mystery when dining at a restaurant for the first time. And when the restaurant is getting lots of great reviews, you have to wonder if it meet the hype. Food was great, not a bit of snootiness. Makes me want to come back again & again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome food
    Evie
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We went for our wedding anniversary and the food was amazing. It was really loud though so not super romantic. The service was pretty slow and we did not really get checked on, had to wait quite a while to order a drink for example. I think there was something going on as the tables on either side had to wait for a very long time for their food and at least one of them got a complimentary cheese teasing as an apology so maybe our service was not typical for them. Food is so good that it did not really matter and when we did finally get service they were very nice. Because of how loud and crowded it is I would not recommend this for a romantic evening but it would be great for a dinner with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    The spaghetti pasta was too spicy for our friend. Otherwise it was delicious. We loved the vegetables.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    dabull
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    After all the hype, I expected so much more for my first visit. The sopressa, garlic bread, and wine were excellent. But the main course was mediocre. The lamb was a nice quantity but very chewy. The veggies were extremely bitter. So our experience was far from worth the pricey cost.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate