Powered By OpenTable: Restaurant Reservations. Right this way.
Restaurant Reservations - Free • Instant • Confirmed
  • Ava Gene's

  • Online Reservations

Ava Gene's
Ava Gene's

Ava Gene's Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://avagenes.com/
  • Email: info@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
See all photos >
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Had another great meal here with my in-laws. They are from another foodie city and were blown away by how great the food scene here in PDX. We had 3 small plates and 3 entrees plus 3 desserts. For the four of us it worked out great. Highly recommend the salads."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Ava Gene's has risen to the top of my list - as my favorite restaurant in Portland. The service is impeccable and the food is outstanding. This last dinner we had an appetizer of green strawberries, ricotta cheese, honey and bee pollen on a cracker that was one of the best flavored dishes I think I have ever had! The 'salad' selection always has some unique combos that work perfectly together. This time we split a pasta and a main course - haven't ever had Pork Osso Bucco but it was scrumptious. The wine sommelier recommended a great wine in our price range - I can't say enough good things about Ava Genes!!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We had a fantastic evening at Ava Gene's. Going into the night, I was slightly concerned that my husband's dairy allergy would be an annoyance and that he wouldn't be able to enjoy his meal. That was not the case. Our server, Nicole, went out of her way to explain which menu items would still be authentic and taste great with the dairy removed. She was so incredibly accommodating. The food was delicious and her suggestion for a wine pairing was perfect. We will definitely go back again!"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Excellent salads, pasta overpriced and overrated and service nothing special."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Other than the exceptional food, well versed and charming server and great drinks this place is hard to get into at times but well worth the effort"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I am hard-pressed to come up words that aptly describe how well this young chef puts his dishes together. While I know nothing about his background, he appears to have somehow absorbed a lifetime of sophisticated Italian cooking and the techniques necessary to translate them to the plate in a simple, elegant fashion. I was simply astounded by his talents and the quality of his ingredients. A location in Portland does lend itself to that accessibility of the freshest from the farms, but that is only the first step on a long, wonderful trip in this restaurant."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "The Panes were excellent especially the sheep cheese with sour cherry and the Duck Liver on wheat sour dough bread. Great starter. Half orders of bread were very large even for 4 people. Ferro linguine was wonderful. Dessert cookies only OK as was the gelato (cream w coated pumpkin seeds). Noise level LOUD. I agree with previous review that said as noise rises so does music level. If you want to talk with companions, very hard to hear them. Servers were friendly and efficient."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Great meal, simple but big, surprising flavors. Very knowledgeable and attentive staff. Tasty booze too. Will be returning soon!"
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Ava Gene's food is outstanding. Unfortunately, the noise level is more than energetic; it is explosive. We spent the evening barely able to hear the person across from us. Would go back though for that delicious food. We decided we would just eat in silence."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This place was exceptional. Crisp service with great ambiance. Food was really good and portion size just right. While I've become used to long waits for food at Portland restaurants, this team paced things really. Deserves the Restaurant of the Year title in every way. A 10!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Great dinner with friends. The salad sampler was great- the fiddleheads and wheat salad was favorite. We each had a different pasta dish and shared with each other- all were great."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Great food!! Very interesting unique menu items that were excellent!! Overall great experience!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The tables for two are placed way too close together which was detrimental to the dining atmosphere. the pasta dish was excellent, the chocolate cake only so-so as the topping was sour and the cake wasn't complex enough to support the contrast. my friend and i agreed ava gene's would be worth another visit only if someone else were paying and if you were able to be seated at one of the bigger tables which have more space around them."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The food was absolutely superb. You must try the buratta! You will not be disappointed at Ava Gene's."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Yes, it is spendy, but I do not mind paying more if the food is something I will remember for years. They have some sort of magic in the kitchen, and I could not figure out how they did it. It was one of the 3 best I have ever had, just shy of Gordon Ramsey's."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I went to Ava Gene's based on the ranking Portland Monthly gave it. The food was amazing and the wine and Italian cocktail selection was great. The food was perfectly balance and not over-sauced like some Italian food can be. Everything from the appetizers to main course and dessert were phenomenal. The menu is a bit challenging at first glance because it's all in Italian but the staff are great at assisting you if you don't speak Italian."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Everything was great from the Specialty Drinks, Appetizers, and 1st course! The primary entree (Beef) for me was fabulous, unfortunately my companion's entree was an Italian Cheese creamy pasta selection ( The Name of the course eludes me at this time) was slightly bitter and the taste for both of us seemed a little on the spoiled side! Not familiar with this particular cheese personally it may have been just not to our liking. Nevertheless, the Staff respected our opinion and accommodated the situation and thus saving the evening back into a pleasant one. I will be going back!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Atmosphere great, food good but over priced, and wait staff was attentive. However, they do not stick to their reservation policy as well as they should. When you make a reservation for two, you better not assume that you can ask your friend to join you for a drink. This makes the crowded dining space difficult for other patrons that may be there for special occasions and business dinners. Management didn't know how to manage the situation-- which is a shame. When you wait two months for a table you expect good food AND good service!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "It doesn't get any better than Ava Gene. The wine list is OUTSTANDING -- the only thing better is the food. Osso Buco was fabulous and, back to that ravioli -- truly lighter than air and simply delicious. I shouldn't have been generous and offered to share. Duck liver bruschetta was a meal in itself -- I did NOT share -- cherries and marsala with duck liver. What could be better? Ava Gene's never disappoints and just keeps on being the best."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "I'm a mom to a 21 month old, so I don't get to enjoy the foodie scene as much as I used to....this was a very special treat! Our server was very attentive, and she was able to recommend the perfect drinks for both of us. She also helped us order the "just right" amount of food. Our salad had such an interesting complexity to it...a nice crunch with the soft and a hint of mint that just tied it all together. Highly recommend the triangle pasta! I literally wanted to sneak back and steal a vat of the pasta, that's not to say that the portion wasn't satisfying...I just could have eaten a whole lot more and been really sorry about it later...and the pesto was so surprising...it was very light. Halibut and short rib were spectacular in my book."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "A jewel of a restaurant, Ave Gene's is a favorite of ours. Some of the best Italian food in town. Great service, well appointed wines, delicious food, creative and confident. We love Ava Gene's!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "all it's cracked up to be - the wine, food, and service were divine!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We ordered a lot of dishes on the menu. The server was very helpful and helped us select based on our dietary and taste preferences. While the portion sizes were somewhat small, everything was delicious."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Ava Gene lived up to the hype. Bon Appetit says this SE Portland, Oregon restaurant is its 5th highest rated restaurant in the country. We can see why! The food is sublime. We shared portions family style among 4 of us and each bite was as delicious as the next. Par that with the ambience of the rustic, modern yet warm interior, and it is a perfect combination sure to please the most discerning diner. It was a hoping scene, even on a Sunday night. Five stars!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "This restaurant was very good. I had a reservation for about 3 weeks before I was able to eat there. I think the food was great but, the portions were really small for the pricepoint. The service at the bar was a bit lacking but, the server we had in the dining room was wonderful. I would suggest this restaurant for special occasions."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "What a wonderful place. Fantastic food and service!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We were excited to eat here and I would go back but I won't be running back. Our food ranged from good to very good and excellent depending on what dish you chose. My second course of Wagyu Culotte was delicious, one of the best dishes I've had in a long time. However, duck liver pane was overcooked. You expect a little more consistency for a place you wait 1.5 months for. Also our service was lacking at times. It started off well, but hey brought dessert out before coffee and it was about a 15 minute wait for coffee then. Table was kept clean, drinks re-filled and silverware kept up to date so runners and other table staff were great but our main server wasn't as good again for a place we waited so long to attend and paid a lot for."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "We are familiar with the restaurant scene in Portland because we dine out a lot.. I am perplexed as to why I wasn't thrilled with Ava Gene's. So many other people think it's fantastic. The salad was very exciting, but our pasta entrees were deadly dull, and quite small. We might try it again, but only if invited by friends. The service was 10+ though. I'll keep this review short because I want to save my energy for positive reviews."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This was my first visit after much hubbub. I was impressed. Great ambiance, attentive and warm service, and excellent food (and presentation). I took my mother who was in from out of town and we had a wonderful, luxury experience. The space is gorgeous and all the little element of service added up to great experience. I'll be back. Worth the hype."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "With all the hype surrounding this restaurant I expected it to be much better. We arrived at 6:30 for our reservation that was at least a month in advance. We ordered drinks and apps first. After our drinks arrived we placed our entree order ( by 7:15). Our drinks and apps came in a timely manor but we did not get the entrees until at least 8:30. The food was not impressive. We ordered the lamb chops (which was 2 pieces and maybe 3 ounces of meat). That one entree goes for $30. And to be honest, not the best flavor or texture. By the time we were all finished with our meal it was almost 10. I was not intending to spend my entire evening sitting and waiting for mediocre and overpriced food. I do not think I will be back."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "My friends and I had a reservation for 5:30 and not at 5:00 as the gentleman at the front desk implied. As soon as I arrived (right at 5:30) he informed me that we would need to be gone by 7:30 as the table was booked. Excuse me? Is that a way to greet guests? It really did not set the right tone with us and our poor waiter felt the vibe from us. This is an interesting restaurant as the description of the food does not match how excellent the food really is! Some of the ingredients listed on the menu sound strange, but the actual food is amazing! The other not so nice part of this restaurant is the insistence upon playing loud music that does not match the "special occasion" level of this restaurant. Others have mentioned this issue as well"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Yes, Ava Gene's is hot. Yes, it was on Bon Appetit's top 10 list. Yes, it's tough to get a reservation. Just go. It's worth it. Get the taleggio cheese melted with pork spread (the roasted cipollini onions make all the difference). Didn't love the bee pollen/spring onion appetizer, just a bit too subtle for me, especially after the crock of strong-flavored taleggio. And if I had one minor beef with Ava Gene's, it would be that: the service is a little hovering. And if they pay that close attention, then they should bring out the starters in order of most subtle to more robust (we ordered all at the same time but things came out of the kitchen kind of randomly). Still, it's a minor beef. Ava Gene's really does live up to the hype."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "Came down from Seattle with reccomendation, lived up to every expectation."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Extensive menu with great food, rich flavors. The chef really knows how to produce the right blend of flavors."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Everything was ok, but our waitress disappeared at the end of our meal so we had to go find our own coats at the front, which was strange. Actually 3-4 different people came to our table to buss plates, take various orders etc. Just not as friendly of an environment as it used to be. And the pasta was just slightly above average rather than the out of this world pasta that they used to serve. Oh well."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "This is a restaurant worth a return visit as there are way too many tasty dishes to try in one visit. The strength of this eatery are all of the starters, pastas, and inventive salads. The entrees slip a bit and need to be improved. This would make the entire meal an excellent one not just a very good one."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Didn't live up to the hype: Service: only ok. gave us time at the beginning but servers delivering food didn't know who ordered what. We seemed to have a few interruptions during the meal but when we were finished our plates sat on the table for at least 10 minutes before being cleared (despite wait staff walking by numerous times - I'm assuming they saw the empty plates). Drinks: we had good wines by the glass and a nice bottle. pre-dinner cocktails not very good. Food: short ribs were dry (no where near as good as you can find elsewhere in PDX), pasta was gummy (and one dish was a bit oversalted). Other dishes fine-- just not anywhere near what we expected to see from a restaurant of the year. Didn't stay for dessert."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Citrus salad was great , veggie app was the best part of the meal. It wasn't bad just not worth the $$ and wait list of a month to get in!"
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "My wife and I enjoyed Ava Gene's very much, the beet salad appetizer and the cauliflower frite with tuna aioli were both superb, I enjoyed a lamb neck ragu past very much though my wife felt her pasta with pancetta and florrettes was oversalted? I didn't think so but perhaps a matter of taste. Service was above reproach...all in all we would return for sure and be a bit more adventurous in our selections."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "The menu is genius and every detail is yummy and beautiful. Course 1- bourbon cocktails and pane with wild lilies, truffle honey, bee pollen, ricotta, carta di musica Course 2- 3 salads. One winter citrus, dates, almond, chilies, whipped ricotta. One red wheat, brussels sprouts, salami, provolone piccante, pistachio. One carrots, anchovy, cashew pesto (my favorite). Course 3- Meatball Fettuccine and Osso Bucco Course 4- Cannolo, orange, pistachio Two of our salads were oversalted. That's my only complaint."
    Dined on 3/3/2014