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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 WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/25/2014
  • "The food was delicious, though a touch peppery. Expensive, but worth every penny."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/25/2014
  • "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 -"
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "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!"
    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!"
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "We focused on small plates instead of on main courses. Everything was inventive and delicious."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "Just about everything on this menu surprises you with its creativity and flavor. A great alternative to traditional red sauce joints."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "Everything ordered was unique and outstanding. The food was to die for."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "The spaghetti pasta was too spicy for our friend. Otherwise it was delicious. We loved the vegetables."
    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."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Loved the food, however, loud music and constant social chatter between servers (we sat next to their station) made the evening somewhat stressful."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "All I can say that is not 100% about this place is that often the servers don't know as much about wine as I would like. However there is always a sommelier type person that will know the wine list very well. Otherwise, my favorite fine dining restaurant in Oregon if not also Washington and California."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "The chefs at Ava Gene's do *amazing* things with vegetables. The flavor combinations, the freshness, the creativity. It's all outstanding."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Really good food, although pricey. Service was excellent from beginning to end. We had a little bit of everything from all parts of the menu and it was all delicious. But, some of it was expensive. This was our first time at the restaurant and I had heard prior that it's some of the best food in PDX... it's good, but I wouldn't say the best."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "I'm not one to write reviews, but I must tell you I am continually impressed with Ava Gene's food, the presentation, and service. Most notably is the high quality food. Sometimes simple, but always great. You will pay a little more for a pasta dish, a salad, or a main here, but it is so worth it. Highly recommended. I will be returning"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We had a combined birthday and anniversary celebration. We choice the family style. Food was flawless. Service was flawless. It is hard to get a table here in a short notice but it is so worth the wait. This was our second time here and we can't wait to come back again"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Well, when you finally make it to the reservation you made two months previously you will not be disappointed. We've gone with friends a half dozen times and I'll say it's some of the best dishes Portland has to offer. We'll be back again in another three months (the time it takes to get a 6:30 rez)."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "The burrata with tomatillo, olives and pistachios ranks as one of the best things we've ever eaten. Everything was perfect, down to the amazing foccacia tasting of exquisite olive oil. The rest of the meal was very solid, as well-- I particularly liked the linguini with chantarelles and artichoke. But, the burrata. You must have it!"
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "This restaurant is so popular we made reservations well in advance and it was well worth the wait! The service was impeccable - the entire staff worked together seamlessly and made sure they were there when we needed them. The meal was everything I hoped it would be; fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared superbly. They were simple but the dishes were edited to perfection. Everything we had was fabulous! We will definitely go back as they lived up to their reputation, and then some."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Everything about our experience was amazing -- our server was very knowledgeable, friendly, and able to answer detailed questions about the wine list and the food preparation. She had wonderful suggestions about the menu,which met our expectations beautifully. Her knowledge of the wines was helpful, and the wine we chose from her favorites was perfect with our meal. We were particularly impressed with the "choreography" of the whole staff -- everyone scanning the room for what would be helpful to the patrons, and everyone doing what needed to be done -- effortlessly and seamlessly. Beautiful. Thanks to the whole staff for a memorable evening! We'll definitely be back."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Wow. This place was a great find. The service was warm and friendly although that seemed to be the theme for our stay in Portland. The food was prepared with so much care and was on point. My only complaint would be the temperature was unbearable (we sat closer to the kitchen where there is an open fire). Understand that it is summer as well but our wine was to the point of being hot which is unfortunate. Not to mention you sit rather close to your fellow diners. That being said I would still recommend Ava Gene's to anyone in a heartbeat."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "The food here is creative and exciting; lots of energy in this place!"
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "I got last minute reservations for two through open table.com and my friends were shocked. My date and I decided to let the waitress pick our menu and they did not disappoint. The meal was so delicious and memorable to me. I keep thinking about the kale salad with toasted bread crumbs. The whole thing was very very good."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Great food and great service. Unusual and fabulous preparations."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Would have been a great anniversary meal if they'd turn down the music. Who's the consultant who talks restaurants into being noiseboxes? This is well beyond "atmosphere," it's very difficult to have a conversation."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Wonderful, farm fresh foods in interesting combinations by a masterful and talented chef. We started with the aged cheddar cheese and the calabrese salami, both delicious. The fritti misto was perfectly done, and the basil dipping sauce was the perfect accompaniment. The pane with toy box tomatoes and sheeps milk cheese was out of this world. Finished with the cavatelli pasta with pomodoro for me and the fettucine with prosciutto and broccoli for him, both delightful. The staff are wonderful, very knowledgeable about the menu and happy to help with choices. Our third visit to Ava Genes and we have been delighted every time."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "This restaurant is a gem. We sat at the kitchen counter and watched all the dishes been prepared. They are clean efficient and use great ingredients. The descriptions in the menu under state the quality and flavours you will experience. Will most definitely return."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Perhaps we'd been oversold on Ava Greens. Four people who enjoy food were expecting great and we received acceptable. We ordered selections from most food groupings. Some of the flavor combinations just missed the mark, i.e., gooseberry + cheese. We all loved the cheese and meat flights. Overpriced for the meal we received. Waiter, though willing, seemed new or inexperienced; unable to suggest wine parings or describe wines. Perhaps because it was a Monday. We were pleased we had dinner with you because the restaurant has been well reviewed and was on our list. Probably shall not return unless we want a cocktail and a repeat of the cheese and meat boards."
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "The appetizers or first courses are fabulous. Loved them all. The service is excellent. The pasta was very good. I think I would skip the second courses. I would concentrate on the first courses and do a pasta dish. I would definitely go back."
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "Had a delicious meal at Ava Gene's; we shared a number of appetizers & small plates; the best was a divine gnocco with peaches appetizer. Also had a celery & date, kale and an avocado/zucchini salads. All were good; they could use a touch less olive oil in their dishes. Also had bread with eggplant & a farro pasta with chanterelles--would not order these dishes again. They were too skimpy with the chanterelles. We do wish they'd do something about the noise; it really detracts from the experience; poor acoustics and folks are packed in. We started going to Ava Gene's as soon as it opened; it wasn't as crowded & we made it our place for special gatherings--now, we can' hear one another half the time, so we need to find a new spot-shame."
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "Selected lamb as did a fellow table we agreed it was less than suitable ( mine was delivered cool). Waitress seemed less than keen on good service. Place seems stuck on itself."
    Dined on 7/28/2014