Ava Gene's
Ava Gene's

Ava Gene's

  • 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!
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
308 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelEnergetic
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (269)special occasion (207)hot spot (149)neighborhood gem (148)notable wine list (126)romantic (100)good for groups (31)vibrant bar scene (25)late-night find (11)great for lunch (2)great for brunch (2)scenic view (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Fantastic Recommendation
    Dutch
    Dined on 11/25/2014
    I needed a good place to take my wife out too and my friend recommended Ava Gene's. It was overall fantastic. Lovely small location great service and food. The only thing I was disappointed about was I don't think my server knew her wine very well (not that I do). I asked specifically for a red fruity, not bitter, dry or acidic wine. But the first glass she gave me was exactly that. Even my second wasn't as good as other wines I have had. Thats nitpicking though. Food was amazing, service was great. I would totally recommend this place. Just know what wine you should get. Don't rely on the waiters.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was impeccable. Food was excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Food is interesting. The bread dishes are like appetizers. Everything is ala carte, so the bill can add up very quickly. The service is beyond compare. The pumpkin salad was my favorite, unique and flavorful. Portion sizes were smaller than expected for the price, but they make up for it in flavor and service. My only complaint was the $80 parking ticket we go on a side street where an non-visible sign said "no parking on this block".
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food A+, Service C+
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    The food and ambience were absolutely incredible, but our server was cold and kind of snooty. The other support staff seemed nice though
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Evening
    agalsnightout
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Ava Gene's did not disappoint in any way for a special dinner. Excellent service, every morsel delectable. Thank you Ava Genes, we will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top of the list!
    JJSH
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    We've been to Ava Gene's four times now over the last two years and the food, service, ambience, and music list have been perfect each time. The salads are soooooooo good, as is everyone else. We took a friend for her birthday and we kept telling her the salads were going to be good and she thought, "well, salad, how special can that be?" She found out how special. Plus all the other deliciousness. What's also great about AG's is the wonderful music that doesn't interfere with the conversation but occasionally you will stop and go, "oh I love this song". Ava Genes = a special experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • chrismboise
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Get rid of the $11 salad....... Plain green spring mixed with 1/32 teaspoon of dressing.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Authentic Italian
    Nancy
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The food was fabulous, truly authentic Italian down to the prosciutto and warm olives. It's expensive but worth it especially for a special occasion or romantic dinner. Neighborhood parking is tight so plan on giving yourself plenty of time to park, and make sure to make a reservation. Because the preparations are freshly made, plan on an extended dining experience, in other words, this is not fast food. Give yourself a few hours to enjoy the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Casual elegance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We were in town from Chicago and picked up a late reservation at Ava genes. All that was available. So worth it!! The burrata is seriously amazing and my favorite of the night. We tried something from every category of the menu. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience!
    feedme
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    The waiters here are amazing -- they know the menu and make great recommendations, and are very attentive. More than that, they seem to really enjoy their job! (Nicole is especially fabulous and fun!) The food is consistently tasty and imaginative. The salads are incredible, and sharing is a must (otherwise, your dinner companions will sit there looking longingly at your plate because everything looks so dang good!) Ava Gene's stays at the top of my "favorites" list!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but overly hyped
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    All of the small plates were delicious with interesting and different combinations of flavors. The pasta main course was good but the chicken special was overly salty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Geat Hot Spot
    BobGVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    Decent decor, tables generally very close. Food was outstanding and service was super. Noise level high. High energy, happening restaurant. Get a reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    Gerald
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Very masterfully executed italian food. Top of the top of the top. Bring a sweater
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable
    DES11VIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Worked hard two different evenings to get reservations on the recommendation of family members and locals. Not disappointed. Quality of the pastas we ordered was good. Wine suggestion was appropriate. We prefer a bit quieter scene, but we enjoyed the visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious but loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The food and service were delightful but it was so darn loud. My husband and I had to lean in to hear each other and the couple next to us moved to sit next to one another. We'll return because it is quite special, but only after purchasing hearing aids.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic Food, but too loud
    JaneD
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We booked our reservations months in advance, and still needed to eat at 5:00 to get in on our anniversary, which fell on a Saturday. The food was everything our friends promised. Your encouraged to share, so you get to taste lots of things. Some of it was almost unbelievably good. There was a golden and red beet salad with avocado and horse radish that was just about the best thing I have ever tasted. But we couldn't hear each other. Finally I moved to his side of the table so we could talk. This put me right next to our table-neighbor but they were good-natured, and said they were having the same problem. The woman had sensory integration disorder and said she could never come again. We didn't stay for dessert due to the noise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too much hype
    goodcookie
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Noisy. Ambiance OK. Server was friendly and helpful. The trouble basically was that this restaurant has been over-hyped as being the cutting edge in food, and we were looking forward to trying it with our out-of- town son who is a chef. We didn't find that so. There were no dishes we found to be outstanding. Some flavors did not seem to meld well, as in the salad. Other dishes were dry and could have used a sauce. We'll probably skip this place when we look for Italian style food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A "Grazer's" Delight!
    Ursula
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Ava Gene's has a happy buzz about it. All ages enjoying the food and ambiance! The wait staff is GREAT! All know their stuff, and they work as a team so you may order from one waiter and receive your dishes from another. All very hospitable and friendly. The chefs specialize in small dishes. A lot of unusual veggie preparations, and it's fun to order several and share. The wine list is good and the staff knows the characteristics of each. Definitely one of Portland's "hot spots" of the moment, but deservedly so.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Simplest Food Was the Best
    2seekingmemorablefood
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    It took us a long time to get reservations at this popular restaurant. Yes. it was lively and noisy. The menu was a bit of a challenge. The glossary on it was helpful. The servers were helpful and attentive. Some of the signature vegetable dishes didn't measure up because there were were prepared with too many ingredients and the vegetables didn't shine through. We did especially like the polenta, the pork ragu and the panna cotti.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor time management
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Made a reservation for my dinner with my husband. We arrived on time and they didn't have our table ready. Hostess said 5-10 min and waited 25. She didn't even apologize or come over and say anything to us the entire time. Meanwhile some other walk ins got seated because they had connections. Frustrating experience. They don't even have chair to sit on while you wait so we waited in the doorway for 25min!! Food was good. Pasta too salty and slightly undercooked for me.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice. Great food.
    NoviceFoodie
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Tried five different items. Cheese selecting well thought out with interesting fennel seed donut. Prosciutto nicely done. Pumpkin in brown butter was fabulous. Linguine with clams, while not a unique dish, was the finest I have eaten. Culottes perfectly prepared. Wine list was extensive but a bit overpriced (I might have been biased because I had just returned from two weeks of wine tasting in Italy). $175 for two people inuding one $48 bottle of wine. Food and wine list were on par with many one-star Michelin restaurants in Europe. Ambience was too noisy and tables too tight to achieve one star rating. For foodies,excellent experience and I will certainly return for the food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Back to 11 out of 10
    1111VIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    I had a disappointing service experience my last visit with clients (Not Food!) but I'm happy to say everything was perfect this visit and the food was even better if that's possible! The food Quailty and preparation is among the best in the nation; it hits way above most NY restaurants and has none of the prevention. This is a must for any trip to PDX
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best restaurant ever!
    Yummy
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    I've been to a fair number of great restaurants but Ava Gene's just topped my list!! Incredible tastes and textures, perfect service and the panna cotta!! Whatever you do... Order the panna cotta!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • best2be
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    My wife and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary and enjoyed the entire night with the help of a great dinner at Ava Gene's. The food was especially good, if not great and the wines were equally wonderful. Our experience, as wonderful as it was, may have been even better if not for the poor service of our waitress. Everyone has an off day, so we did not let her attitude dent our celebration. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Does not disappoint
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The food here is fantastic, what makes the experience even better is that the service matches up. All of the servers recommendation were spot on and the sommelier took us through the wine list perfectly. Thank you for another great dinner!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfection all around
    Datenight
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Must try the burata and main course pork. Oh and the salads - phenomenal... Touched every taste bud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Martha made me do it
    Guido
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Loving all things Italian we were not disappointed. Our server was attentive. The high energy on a Thursday night was surprisingly nice. Food tasted fresh and portions were perfect. Great ambiance. We need to return to try more of the menu....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely all around!
    winedominatrix
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Amazing service, beautiful and delicious dishes, and a wonderfully curated wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • City girl
    CitygirlVIP
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Excellent food; unique selections; excellent service; an experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent birthday dinner
    EnjoyingPDXlocal
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed Ava Gene's for my birthday dinner. It was fantastic. I was a little worried that there wouldn't be enough veggie/fish options, but it was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice, but wouldn't go back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    food was good, but not worth the money. it was a one time deal for us. i have been to plenty of italian places that are cheaper and authentic for half the price.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • notyoung
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    The food was very good. Our server was so helpful and her suggestions were spot on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful food and wine
    tmpdx
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Large wine list, tasty cocktails, and some outstanding dishes. Loved our server - she brilliantly explained the menu and dishes when we had any questions. All of our food was good. We had a taste of three salads, enjoyed them all, but particularly loved 2 of the 3. We also ordered 3 pastas (there were 3 of us) and enjoyed those as well, but especially loved the nut ragu - and we're not vegetarians (we love our meat), but it was just so tasty and well done. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but not great
    travel24
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    My wife and I dined early on a weekday. I had the Monday Meatballs pasta dish which was good but too much salt and too rich. Wifey had a lovely steak. Pear salad and Carrot salads were both good.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Impeccable dining experience. Server was outstanding, gracious, professional.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous from start to finish
    Rolaidz
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Lived up to the hype - and advance reservation time. Service was spectacular and waitress' recommendations were spot on. Best Italian meal I've had in a while.
    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.
  • I wish I could give 6 stars
    ArthurJacobVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Yes, Ava Gene's was that stellar! We absolutely loved it. The burrata, pumpkin dead and hot pepper starter is making my mouth water as I write this now... Colleen (sp?) was one of the finest most accomplished server we have ever encountered, perfect timing, highly knowledgeable about the food and wines, as well as gracious despite a packed restaurant. we shared two salads that were extraordinarily creative and delicious. Shared cavatelli was equally excellent and authentic. Bravo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, But Very Expensive
    url254
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    The food, service and ambience were great. However this is probably the most expensive meal I've had in Portland to date. There are plenty of great restaurants in this city on par with Ava Genes that are better value.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overpriced
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Over priced....the pork chop was the most expensive thing on the menu and while very tendar had no flavor. Maybe I had high expectations but the food did not rise to the challenge.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meets the Hype
    Asobinin
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Due to the hype around this restaurant, and the length of time one must plan ahead to get a weekend evening reservation, my expectations were high. And, that is always a concern, because rarely will a restaurant meet that expectation. This restaurant met my expectations. Although pricey, their salads are a must for foodies. Amazing flavors, spicy, unexpected - and it all worked well to leave a memory. And that was just the salad! I had what I felt to be a safe meat pasta choice, but was blown away by its prep and flavors as well. My wife had the halibut and felt it was best she had ever had. The desserts were the least interesting, but were satisfactory enough to end the meal on a high note.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing
    Luckymaywood
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    2nd year in a row for my birthday. Last year, awesome. This year even better than last. Impeccable service, amazing food. Thanks so much. Will be back next year!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.