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
335 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (278)special occasion (216)neighborhood gem (154)hot spot (145)notable wine list (142)romantic (105)good for groups (25)vibrant bar scene (22)late-night find (13)great for brunch (3)kid-friendly (2)great for lunch (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    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.
  • Tasty!
    Jefe39
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Food was fantastic. Wine list unbelievably vast. Noise level too high for comfort or conversation. Waited an hour for main course. Although may be best food in town probably will not return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Meal I've had in Portland
    Kimy201
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Celebrated my birthday with my husband at Ava Gene's. It was hands down the best meal I've had in Portland! The menu changes so often I'm not going to review the items we enjoyed, but from start to finish it was all excellent. We arrived at 6:40 for a 7:00pm reservation and were seated right away. Our waitress was so kind and patiently answered all of our questions and gave very helpful suggestions. All the staff was so efficient and helpful. I hope to celebrate many more special occasions at Ava Gene's!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Restaurant in America
    ronjm
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    That's not hyperbole and I say it only after much thought. I've eaten in the best restaurants in America. Ava Gene's is the best. Every dish is delicious and surprising. The food is consistently exquisite and so too is the professional waitstaff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Phenomenal!
    Daylily
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    I had been hoping to get to Ava Gene's the next time we had a Portland get-away and we were fortunate to get a reservation once our travel plans were decided. What an amazing meal! Every dish was a winner at our table of 4 and our server was simply remarkable. We highly recommend this restaurant, and if you are fortunate enough to have Nicole as your server, your experience will be one to remember.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • habs11
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Food was amazing, especially the pumpkin/brown butter salad. Our hostess/waitress Nicole was awesome and really helped us thru the menu and had a terrific personality. Great night out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mixed blessing
    sepraj
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    The pumpkin salad is spectacular. The other dishes was had were also fit for foodies, with the exception of the berry gelato, which was a bit dull. The service was outstanding. However, the noise level, for both of us, was very uncomfortable. The acoustic environment in the restaurant is lively to begin with. Then the restaurant's "background music" was far too loud, so the customers had to "talk over it." We breathed a a sigh of relief when we stepped outside to the relative quiet of traffic noise. If they must play music inside, it should be very soft. I bet the decibel level would drop dramatically, even with a packed house.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bravo!
    DelectableDan
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Ava Gene's is always a great time. The cuisine and service cannot be improved. My only advice would be to lower the level of the music. On my most recent night maybe six Beatles songs played in a row. Great for Beatles fans but not anyone else. Some classic, period music or perhaps even Italian music would make the ambience perfect. Executive Chef Joshua McFadden is a star and I will return again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great meal!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    2nd time at Ava Gene's, both times I've had fabulous a meal and great service. Can't wait Till my next trip to Portland to diner there again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always spot-on.
    Susan
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Excellent food, super professional service, superb wine recommendation... Ava Gene's always exceeds our expectations for special nights out. It's our go-to for any special event.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pricing
    mwod
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The food was Way over priced for what you got and I will not go back. The tables are too close together but, the food and service was good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun experience
    Preisz1
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The food was wonderful, and our server was very helpful with suggestions. But overall the service was slow. We had to skip dessert to get home to the sitter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    emeyer2040
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    We had excellent service and food. The waiter guided us through selection and made some great recommendations. We will definitely go back. Burratta was to die for
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    I have heard multiple great reviews about this place. However, it did not meet my or my husband's expectations. Maybe it was an off night? Our waiter did not seem very knowledgeable about the cocktail selections. He also did not honor our request to have the salads prepared with the oil/dressing on the side (mentioned the Chef's wouldn't be happy with that). Well, we weren't happy with that : ) We will not be coming back or suggesting this to people. Overpriced for not that great of food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    Ryan
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    The food was outstanding. The server was knowledgeable, helpful and charming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding food, lacking service
    blueinpdx
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Food was great. But the real problem was the service level did not match the overall experience we were looking for. We saw our server a total of 4 times, and the food runners either spoke too fast or too quietly. We knew going in that the food was going to be the highlight, but servers allowed to wear sleeveless tops sets a completely different tone than what we hoped for.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excelente food
    celinatr
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    We went to Ava Gene's with our children to celebrate our 37th marriage anniversary Never been ther before. It did no disappointed me. Food and service can't be better. Noise level is high.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • tad disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    This restaurant was highly recommended by a trusted friend. Unfortunately, only one memorable dish. Pork loin was sadly overcooked and dry.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hoping for better
    foodlover
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    Hello. I have read a lot of great reviews but after dining there I was left impressed by their reputation but hoping maybe they missed it just on our table. Our Fritto artichoke appetizer was a bit dry from being overcooked. Our salads were overdressed but still delicious. Next we had the Linguine which was dry and the Monday meatballs which were good but again just good. We had made up or minds that if we liked the pasta we would order the pork entree...but we decided to stop after the pasta. I will give Ava Gene's another try as I know things happen but to spend $165.00 on dinner for two and leave disappointed is a little frustrating.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • The wait was worth it.
    LaurieB
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I had been wanting to dine at Ava Gene's ever since I read about them in Bon Appetit's 2013 Best Restaurants edition, and knowing that I would be in Portland well in advance, was able to secure a reservation for a romantic Saturday night date night. Our server was very helpful in guiding us through the menu, helping us choose our selections and recommending a wine that was a perfect accompaniment. Each item was beautifully prepared and presented. The noise level was a little too loud, to the point of interfering with communicating with our server and each other. Despite that, the food was so good, and the overall experience was so enjoyable, we would definitely return to and recommend Ava Gene's to our friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food.
    cluv
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We've been here several times and have yet to get past the first half of the menu because its so good. Seriously--no pasta, no mains--just the apps and veggies. We are certainly not vegetarians but have been so happy with all the starters that we don't feel the need to eat anything on the second half of the menu. The veggie combos are spot on and everything is fresh and in season. DELICIOUS. We always leave pleasantly full… four courses (we always get the panna cotta for dessert… its fantastic), coffee and a cool bottle of bubbly for about $100 (two people). Yes, I said BOTTLE not glass of bubbly… the wine list is concise but very thoughtful with some cool wines. It does get loud when busy so go early to avoid the busy/loud times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of the best dining experiences
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Our server was Karen, who was apparently "in training," however she was possibly the best server we have ever had. Her descriptions of each plate and detailed knowledge of the menu was an incredible experience alone, not to mention the food was beyond impeccable and the ambiance was lovely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Special Anniversary
    LorabellVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    The food was simply amazing!!!! It was our 26th Wedding Anniversary, and there was no acknowledgement whatsoever. That was disappointing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud music
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Chef had his playlist blaring and it was enough to give us all headaches. Super annoying guitar feedback and the staff prided themselves on playing rock music. Um, it is an Italian restaurant not a hipster bar. You cannot have a conversation and couldn't wait to leave.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great but noisy
    groovetasticVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    This was my fourth time eating at Ava Genes. The food and service was as wonderful as usual. But this visit the music was way louder than usual and it made it hard to talk and enjoy conversation with the meal. Other than that, it was a terrific experience and the service was amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Logolfgir
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Booked two months in advance, so was very interested to see what Ava Gene's was all about. Food was excellent, the pasta was cooked perfectly. Not sure it is worth all the hype, there are other great Italian places in Portland. Had a great wine list as well. Would definitely go back, but not sure I would try to book two months out. It is very small, so that may be part of the reason. Eating at the bar looked like it would be fun. Had one issue with service when our after dinner drinks appeared to have been forgotten and came after we had finished our dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic food-poor service!
    Pamm
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Oh the wonder you weave Ava Gene with your tantalizing dishes! How sad that the come from a harried, grumpy, non-attentive waiter, who also seems somewhat dismissive. Ava Gene, please please hire a more professional waitstaff-one who can serve your dishes in the manner that they were meant to be served!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic
    Beegirl
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Ava Gene's was the best meal I have had in Portland in a while, and I've been to a lot of places! Despite the 6 week wait to get in, this place was dynamite. I can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 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?
    Carla
    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.