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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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Service was good even though we were seated 30 min after our reservation. Food was made with quality ingredients but lacked the creativity, portion size, and flavors to demand the price for the dishes. Music was way too loud and dinning area was uncomfortably warm."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Breads are delicious, a separate course (even the garlic bread), & enough for 2. Same for salads, pizza, and pasta. Sit at counter if you want to watch chefs work & really hustle. Unlike at other "in" restaurants in the city, food is cooked to order & is hot, not merely "plated" to look beautiful. If we lived in the area we'd be regulars--one of the best things I can say about a restaurant."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "All in all a nice experience specially the salad courses.The starters also were great.eggplant pane,gnocco fritto,were all great."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "A bit disappointed given all the hype about this restaurant. We had two pasta dishes that were not memorable. The Pacherri Lamb Ragu was very small and without much flavor. The Ricotta Cavatelli was simple and could be easily duplicated at home with minimal effort. Definately would not go back."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "I moved away from Portland, specificly the SE area a few years ago. Upon my return I knew I had just one night out with a very dear friend- we chose to go to Ava Gene's based on the review of some friends and fellow restaurant professionals. We were certainly not disappointed. Everything was stellar. The food was as brilliant as we had heard, the service was completely flawless. I keep wondering what magical vortex is surrounding Portland that affords the city such culinary and service professional talent, whatever it is it's working. This was a dining experience I will not soon forget. Divine."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "We had to wait, even with a reservation. This left us standing outside with no where to sit. The bar was full so it was difficult to obtain a drink. My husband and I both have tried many fine restaurants and we came based on the food alone. I would honestly give the food 4 stars. However, services was friendly but slow. It took forever to get the check. The wine selection and homemade pasta was delicious - the reason we found it so interesting as it was on the spicy side, which we enjoyed. It was a weeknight evening and packed - so a bit noisy. We would recommend it to others looking to try something a little different in flavor!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "The best place I have eaten in many years. Food interesting and tasty. Julia, our waitress was attentive without being disruptive. Very much an asset to AG's. Loved the details right down to the painted name on the great doors. This is definitely a place to go again and again and I have already recommended it to everyone I have visited with. Wish I could afford to go every week. I had read the recommendation in Bon Appetite last year and if there is a drawback it is how long it took to mesh my schedule with available reservations. Definitely worth the wait."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "A beautiful setting with very nice food, spoiled by very loud rock music! So, too expensive to want to go back for that experience."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "This was our first time at Ava Jean's - and it won't be our last! Two days later we are both still thinking about the food - beautifully presented and with a mixture of textures and flavor that was spectacular. We came to celebrate our 31st anniversary - it will be a special place to celebrate on many more occasions."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "It was the Merc's review of the Tuscan Cavalry salad that led me here in the first place, so of course we ordered that (amazing!), the ahi tuna, the burrata cheese plate, and one of their "breads." Everything was incredible, service was great, and the ambiance was cozy and lively. I can see why it's so hard to get a reservation here!"
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "The environs were clean, fresh and rustic. Busy, but not too loud. Pre-dinner drink; barkeep was a bit slow but the drinks were yummy. We got seated right on time. The waitress was friendly and attentive and very helpful with the menu and the wines. Our table neighbors highly recommended the "celery, almonds, dates, parmigiano-reggiano" appetizer, so we got it - agreed whole-heartedly - fantastic!! He order the linguine with seafood and I had the fettuccine with lamb and pork - both wonderful - full of flavor and satisfying. And the portions were right on - not too much and not too little. We had room for the garlic bread and another glass of wine (they do have some great wines). I'll be going back."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Loved this restaurant. The food was fresh and fabulous and so different from American "Italian" restaurants. I cannot stress enough how fresh the ingredients were and the service was perfect. We ordered the zucchini with pistachios which was served room temperature, just the way my Italian family serves vegetables. We also had linguini with clams and squid which was cooked to perfection and just below the point of the fish turning rubbery---still juicy, sweet and briny all at the same time. Also had "meatball Monday" cavatelli with meatballs in a pomodoro and unlike other restaurants the use of garlic was subdued in everything to give the ingredients their chance to shine without being overpowered. The spiced olives are DIVINE!"
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "It's obvious that a lot of effort has been put into the entire dining experience. The restaurant feels like you walked into a 3 star restaurant in NYC, with comparable prices. The details (and investment) obviously mattered in a way no other restaurant in Portland duplicates yet it retains a comfortable Portland vibe. The marble bars, serving stations and décor are tastefully elegant. The dinnerware is from Heath ceramics giving it a rougher and more relaxed experience. The ingredients are top-notch of what's available in town. The kitchen is currently firing on all cylinders and the steak is easily one of the best in town. Pastas are wonderfully toothy."
    Dined on 7/16/2014