Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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 Italian wine list and offers cocktails focused on & inspired by the regions of Italy. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Portland, OR 97202
Hours of Operation:
SE 34th Avenue
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wine
Ava Gene's Ratings and Reviews
One of the best of PDX restaurants. Consistently serving delicious meals and unique combinations of freshly sourced ingredients. The asparagus salad was superb! The prosciutto appetizer was exquisite, some of the best prosciutto I have ever experienced, and I've been all over Italy. Always enjoy lovely wines here too.
Another wonderful meal at Ava Genes.
Visited Ava Gene's from out of town with 2 friends and it was well worth the trip. The staff was very accommodating of my friend's dietary restraints and very friendly. We tasted the fritto misto, calamari, burrata, polenta, one of the pane options with beans and anchovies (this dish was a little too oily), some cocktails, and 3 pastas (cappelletti with veggies, tagliarini with white ragu, and linguine with clams). Everything was soooo good! Especially the burrata and the fried leeks in the fritto misto. At times we had to wait a long time for the server to come by and we'd have to wait a long time to get their attention. The restaurant was completely full though and it looked like a table next to us was having a fit about something that made our server very frazzled.
It was my first time to Portland and I was nervous because I was alone. Reading up on everything online every review said Ava Gene's was not to be missed. I booked a solo reservation and I'm so glad I did! It felt refined and classy, but not old or stuffy. I had a light meal - the asparagus and walnut salad was the best thing I've ever had. At the end they gave me a complimentary little panna cotta with a candle in it for my birthday. I had to try REALLY hard not to cry. It was wonderful. (Also the bathrooms are super cool and vintage-y)
As always the service was impeccable. The wait staff knows the menu and wine list inside and out. They spend time answering questions and making very helpful suggestions.
The food is creative, fresh and very PDX. The ambiance is romantic but also perfect for friends, family or business dinners.
When we booked, we noted it was our anniversary. They brought champagne -- on the house -- within minutes of seating us. Food was heavenly (halibut, perfectly cooked). Service was attentive and timely. I must say, it's a perfect choice for a romantic dinner. Thank you!!!
Service: 5 stars
Our server was prompt, pleasant, knowledgable, and articulate (my apologies to him for not remembering his name!), and when a couple of questions/concerns did arise, the GM was quick to show up at our table to address said issues. Stellar service
Food: 2 stars
I have zero qualms with spending some substantial dough on dining out (and it was particularly easy on this occasion because we had a $100 gift card), but when I do this my expectations are invariably set pretty high. We tried several (5) items on the menu, the best of which ranked at about 2 1/2 stars. Nothing stood out as super delicious or even really interesting, which for the price was a bit of a surprise. My wife and I have gone to Tasty and Sons several times for this exact reason: we get small portions of very delicious, very different foods which makes it worth the seemingly inordinate price tag. Not so Ava Genes, sorry to say.
Cocktails: 4 stars
The Negroni Old Fashioned was surprisingly good, and they made a very nice Vieux Carre.
Ambiance: 4 stars
Really enjoyable environment for nice, long conversations.
All in all, 3 stars seems to perfectly suit our experience. I wish I could rate this place higher as, again, the service was stupendous and the ambiance relaxed and enjoyable, but the ho-hum food just dragged it down.
We shared a very enjoyable evening with friends we hadn't seen in 10 years. Appetizers, salads, pasta entrees and canollis were all delicious but very small portions, especially considering the prices which are very high. Our waitress was wonderful, attentive and efficient.
Been wanting to come here for a while and finally got a reservation. No wonder they are always busy! We decided to order the family style menu and were definitely impressed. Tons of food to explore the entire menu...meat and cheese along with olives and calamari to start. Then a selection of 3 different salads. Hard to decide if the sprouted barley or asparagus one was better as both incredible. Then two different pastas that could each have been the best entree to order. Not done yet as we got a lamb shank with two sides as entree. The lamb was really flavorful but a bit under cooked. After being totally full we got tiramisu ice cream and espresso. The espresso was totally bitter and undrinkable but was too full to complain.
Hands down Andy is one of the best waiters in PDX and we had a great time on a Thursday night. Can't wait to comeback with friends and family.
Still my favorite restaurant in Portland. Food is fantastic, service is great. This time we ate the family style option ($70 per person) which was an amazing value. Starter, trio of salads, two pastas, a platter of the pork main dish and two sides, plus dessert and espresso. It was all delicious and more than we could eats.
Overall, I really do like Ava Gene's. A couple of issues during this visit though. The corner table by the window, on the east side of the space is just a bad table. I've sat there twice, and should've asked to be moved, but it was too booked. The table has poor lighting, feels disconnected from the restaurant, and is super drafty. Honestly, they should just eliminate it, or at least add the same lighting that hangs over the other tables. Just wasn't pleasant. Also, there were just 3 of us, and we got the tasting menu...do not do this...way too much food. I wish our waiter would've advised us better. The entree servings came out painfully slow, and the time between dishes was just ridiculously off. We sat down at 8:20 and didn't get out until 11. No apologies, or comping of any dish from our waiter - just poor business practice. And frankly, I expected more from Ava Gene's.
I will return, but NOT to that table, and ideally at the bar....just better service overall.
We were there to celebrate a birthday. The food was delicious although the portion sizes were quite small for the price. It was a beautiful day in Portland. However the ambience inside was dark and quite stuffy. Like, literally stuffy, as we would wait for someone to walk by for some breeze.
The service was the most outstanding thing about this restaurant. They were attentive and took care of every detail. They initially messed up on entree order but they quickly corrected it, added additional food for me so that my party would not have to wait to eat. They apologized many times. Basically, perfect service.
My third meal at Ava Gene's, first since a trip to Piedmont food & wine region of Italy. What a treasure. The dining experience is a trip to Barolo without the flight. Wines are top notch and represetative of the breadth of Italian fine wines, and the sommelier is the most informed I have every encountered. Menu is so diverse that you really do need a cocktail hour to fully assess whatto try to gain the most representative dining experience. Ding at Ava Gene is unique and wonderful.
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