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!
Hours of Operation:
SE 34th Avenue
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine
Ava Gene's Ratings and Reviews
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. ...
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I really wanted to love Ava Gene's but my husband and I left the restaurant disappointed. On a positive note, the staff is professional and hard working. Unfortunately, the restaurant while being a lovely space, is quite loud, which makes it difficult to converse with your dining mate. The service, while being attentive, was a bit slow at times. However, this is forgivable as the servers did what they could to create a pleasant dining experience. Some of the cocktails are overpriced. My husband ordered a $10 Manhattan served in a teeny tiny glass. Very underwhelming. On the other hand, my Mandarino cocktail was substantial and very tasty. With dinner we had a glass of "Suberli" red wine and a Vino Frizzante Spumanti, both excellent. We began our meal with the Little Gem salad which was nicely presented but it lacked flavor. The garlic bread was so-so. It would have been better if it had been more crisp. You'd be better off ordering one of the Pane selections from what I've read from other people's reviews. The highlight was the Fritti with veggies and lemon mayo. It was delicious. Originally we were going to order two pasta selections but decided to go with just one as we were getting full. We selected the evening special, Sugo. I'm not certain why this seemed to be the favorite dish of a few of the staff, as well as the person sitting next to us. It was salty and lackluster. I wish we had ordered the linguine with clams instead. For dessert we ordered the cannoli. Perhaps the way Ava Gene's serves it is traditional, but it's strange. I'm used to cannoli being light with a flaky shell. This was dense and pasty and the orange rind in the filling made it somewhat bitter. All in all, the food wasn't horrible, but it wasn't particularly memorable either. Maybe we didn't order the right thing, but then, for a restaurant of this caliber, shouldn't everything on the menu be excellent?
Best Italian food I've had since visitin ...
Best Italian food I've had since visiting Italy. I loved their homemade pasta and braciole.
We travel the world and even though this ...
We travel the world and even though this trip was only Seattle to Portland, Ava Gene's is literally my favorite restaurant in the world. The freshness, creativity, and the fab bar keeps are unmatched!
Ava Gene's is very popular, and after my ...
Ava Gene's is very popular, and after my second visit, I'm still not sure what all the hype is about. The food is good, but not great. The menu includes many unusual ingredients, but to the extent that you need to ask about almost every item to understand it. The vegetables are definitely the highlights, so if you go be sure to select at least 2 things from the Giardini list. The two-top tables are very close together and the noise level requires shouting at times, so I wouldn't recommend this for a special occasion date. Sometimes at popular places I try to eat early to get better service, but here they seem to have a lot of early reservations so the kitchen gets slammed. We were there for 45 minutes and on our second round of drinks before our bread plate even arrived.
The service was outstanding and the vibe ...
The service was outstanding and the vibe was very friendly. Didn't feel rushed at all. The food was outstanding! Loved the feel of the place. We were in Portland for the week on vacation and I would definitely make it a point to visit Ava Gene's whenever we are in the city.
The charcuterie, salads and pasta are qu ...
The charcuterie, salads and pasta are quite good. Service is friendly without hovering.
The food is so fresh and so artfully mad ...
The food is so fresh and so artfully made. We had really great service, she was particularly attentive to our teenage son helping him making menu choices he would like. We will be back
Great wait staff, by knowledgeable. Food ...
Great wait staff, by knowledgeable. Food was excellent, proper sized portions, and the prices are reasonable. The wine list was intimidating to a novice like myslef, but again the wait staff will set you straight. Pretty low key, romantic ambiance. It's not the largest place so they cram the tables together, so if you don't get a booth it won't be the most intimate experience. That said my wife and I were at one of the tables and even though we were in between two other groups it didn't bother us. I don't remember the names of every dish we had, but again everything was great. We ordered linguini and clams, a non-meat sauce pasta dish, their cooked greens, a cold green salad, this puff pastry dish that came with cured meat, and a couple glasses of wine. I also have to reiterate the reasonable price for such a nice, popular place...I was pleasantly surprised when I got our bill. Great date spot in the Southeast. We'll be back.
Simply outstanding restaurant from the m ...
Simply outstanding restaurant from the materials that were chosen for the walls and seats to the servers' knowledge level and grace to the food, which is delicious
Our favorite restaurant. The food is alw ...
Our favorite restaurant. The food is always great, the service is always great, the wine and mixed drinks are always great. That is why it is our go to restaurant for any special occasion.
ok restaurant but there are so many rest ...
ok restaurant but there are so many restaurants in portland that i would recommend going somewhere else. food was ok but nothing to rave home about .
Everything was delicious. Generous porti ...
Everything was delicious. Generous portions. Diverse flavors
We go to Ava Gene's every time we visit ...
We go to Ava Gene's every time we visit Portland. It is one of our all time favorite restaurants, and we have never been disappointed. The ambience is intimate and charming, the service attentive but not intrusive, the food beautifully presented and innovative. Whether we go for a casual dinner with a friend, a romantic evening for two, or a celebratory dinner with a group, we relish every moment. And the cocktails are divine!
The food is always outstanding. The ser ...
The food is always outstanding. The service is always terrific. However, the portions are on the small side.
Superb food, casual, noisy, busy environ ...
Superb food, casual, noisy, busy environment in a vibrant neighborhood.
Went for Fiancées birthday with friends. ...
Went for Fiancées birthday with friends. Had the family style, turned into 3.5 hr event! Seemed like we had a little bit of everything on the menu and it was all great. Nice Italian wine selection to match the food. Hard to get reservations, plan ahead, way ahead!
I have been here before on a weeknight a ...
I have been here before on a weeknight and that was a much better experience. The food was great, but the service was lacking. We had a reservation which was honored on time at a decent table. We didn't have a main server - we have about 5 different people introduce themselves. We were at the table over 40 minutes before we had anything to eat or drink other than water. It took over 30 minutes to get cocktails after ordering them. I hope the tips are pooled!
Ava Gene's is a gem!
Everything is fantastic! The service is outstanding- friendly and knowledgable. The food is wonderful. There is an extensive wine list and the bartender made a mean negroni!
Food was underwhelming
We've been to Ava Gene's before and loved it. Everything but the stuffed pasta tasted imbalanced, especially the cucumber and eggplant salads. The vinegar was overwhelming. We want to eat food at a place like his that we generally could not replicate. We are not great cooks by any means, but we certainly could have made everything we tried that night. Disappointing.
Sat at chef's counter, enjoyed the show! ...
Sat at chef's counter, enjoyed the show! Particularly like gnocco!
Anniversary dinner. Service was excellent as they not only asked about allergies I have stored in my OpenTable account but followed up with chef to ensure food was prepared separately. Never rushed or hurried. Ample supply of water. great appetizers and european portions for main courses which we prefer to the American 'supersize' portions. Will be back. Bit loud as big open environment so those with hearing aids or hard of hearing will not be able to hear conversations.
It was fine but was expecting more.
There was so much hype around the restaurant. I think I was the unfortunate recipient of the new person on the team not having knowledge of the menu. A curious pairing of parsley, mint and peanuts made for an unfortunate salad. The pane was on the burnt side. The main dish pasta dish was good but not anything I would recommend at that price point.
Excellent, we will be back!
The beretta is amazing as is all of the fresh pasta dishes. The asparagus salad was the hit of the evening...I wish we would have ordered one for each of us. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the veggie side was flavorful and just enough. The wine list is all Italian and the wine steward really was helpful and really knows Italian wines...her recommendation did not disappoint. The server, I believe her name was Angie, was wonderful and knowledgeable.
Our foursome -- two foodies, two unadventurous eaters -- all had delicious dining experiences. Everything was tasty, but the veggie/salad offerings are where it's at! Definitely keep your focus on the left-hand side of the menu. The pastas were also flavorful (though the pasta itself isn't life-changing like it is at another high-end Italian place here in Portland). The meat/fish entrees were oversalted but still a treat. Service was great, though it got less attentive as the restaurant filled up. Our only major complaint was that the server failed to give us our leftovers (and of course we didn't realize that until we were already driving away)!
Awesome food and service!
My out-of-town guests and I enjoyed a beautiful dinner here on June 3rd! The food was imaginative and beautifully plated. Each dish was as delicious as the next. I highly recommend Ava Gene's for the wonderful local food and atmosphere! The host and servers were very friendly and knowledgeable. I can't wait to go back!
Love this place normally. Incredible men ...
Love this place normally. Incredible menu with fresh vegetable choices and great service. Pastas and meat courses normally are outstanding. However, this time. The menu was so bland and salads were weak and nothing special. Same strip steak and pasta was just ok. Real bummer.
You have to go here!
We had one of our top 10 meals of all times here! The waiter (I wish I knew his name) was amazingly knowledgeable of the menu, wine and a great server. Robert Irvine would have loved him! The food was absolutely fantastic!!!
Great contemporary Italian food but it i ...
Great contemporary Italian food but it is kind of loud and fairly dim lit. Very good home made pasta
The food is fantastic, the service in ON ...
The food is fantastic, the service in ON it. The I only thing was when I asked for a glass of red, they brought me an $18 glass of wine which I found out at the end. Granted, it's an expensive restaurant, but that was a bit much. Seriously though, an incredible restaurant with delicious food and whomever picks the music, has exquisite taste.
A bit disappointed
Am sorry to say, I was a bit disappointed. There were no waitstaff from Italy and there was a slight note of "Portlandia" pretentiousness about the young hipster waitstaffs' descriptions of the authenticity of the Roman dishes. To me, this was a very nice but "faux" Italian place. I much prefer Piazza Italia.
Very high quality food
Everything was delicious. We had panne with chicken livers and cherries ( great flavored), a farrow based pasta with clams that was excellent. The pasta was some of the best I've had. The roast chicken with artichokes, fava. Beans, and morels was deliscious Great service. Busy and vibrant room. Not recommended for parties with hearing impaired guests.
We had the family style dinner. While th ...
We had the family style dinner. While the salads and appetizers were good, the main course was a single really fatty rare short rib. My husband ate around the fat. I found it disgusting. The dessert was a mediocre Panna cotta. I love to cook and this was very disappointing dinner.
Great food and excellent service! Atten ...
Great food and excellent service! Attention to detail is evident. It feels very crowded and it is noisy, but I would return for a special occasion.
Everything we ordered was unique & delic ...
Everything we ordered was unique & delicious. Best panna cotta I've ever had.
I'd eaten there before and thought highly of the food the first time. However the food was not very good this time and not worth anywhere near the price given how many great restaurants there in in Portland and cheaper as well. Competent but nothing memorable. Very disappointed. What happened to them?
A wonderful dining experience all around! Everything we ordered was delicious, and the service was knowledgeable and super friendly. Cute, clean dining area. Highly recommended!
Wonderful wonderful from the time we ent ...
Wonderful wonderful from the time we entered until the time we left -outstanding dinning experience food, plate presentations and service all exceptional very unique food offerings from starters to main courses. Try the different offerings and share with Your table partners.
We had a fantastic time at Ava Gene's .. ...
We had a fantastic time at Ava Gene's ...ordered the chef's tasting so we wouldn't have to decide. We had several servers , all good, who suggested wine pairings. A lovely, unpretentious, and delicious restaurant in a fun neighborhood
Another great meal at Ava Gene's
We have eaten in many very good restaurants in the World but Ava Gene's is one of our favorites. Every time we have been there the food and service has been terrific. May 8th was Mothers Day and my wife's birthday. All was done perfectly.
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