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A Top Italian Food Destination – Ava Gene’s

A Portland Blog on Style, culture & fun

A Top Italian Food Destination – Ava Gene’s

A Top Italian Food Destination – Ava Gene’s

Now hearing about Ava Gene’s may not be “new news” to many that enjoy the Portland restaurant scene. Indeed, this powerful, culinary dream spot has been splashed in headlines not only in Portland, but in many a PDX travel guide and even Bon Appetit Magazine and the NY Times! Well, the hype is well-deserved, I can tell you that. From the incredibly creative and tasty takes on vegetables, to the subtly amazing treatment of pasta and proteins, Ava Gene’s will literally cause you to dream about food. It’s that good. And sure, it is on the pricier side, but this is one place you won’t leave feeling like you’ve been bilked. It’s worth it. Just be sure to get a reservation as the word is definitely out on this great, SE hotspot.


While the food can go toe-to-toe with any restaurant on the planet, the atmosphere allows for a casual comfort not often seen in a finer establishment. Non-pretentious and ultra-tasty…a fantastic combo. Image Courtesy: Avagenes.com


So Good it Doesn’t Have to Be Pretentious

Some restaurants charge you for fancy white table cloths and excellent valet parking. Others get a strange but somehow attractive rap (to some) for having a grumpy wait staff. I think the idea in that latter point is, “the food is so great here you will simply put up with the attitude…or some such.” Then, of course, there are clear exceptions to these rules. Ava Gene’s is one such locale. Not only is the wait staff extremely nice and accommodating, the atmosphere, while certainly high-end, is in no-way prohibitive to the casual dresser. It’s just a perfect mix of welcoming atmosphere and extremely good food. I think this combo is one reason Ava Gene’s has held onto its ultra-popular status after being named a top 5 new restaurant by Bon Appetit in 2013. Many would let such fame go to their head. Not here. The food and staff remain top notch.


A plate of delicious pasta and red wine makes me especially happy at Ava Gene’s. This is a very special place. Image Courtesy: Avagenes.com

My Menu Favorites

I wish I could boast at having visited Ava Gene’s more than twice. Well, I can’t…but I can say that in my two visits I’ve been sublimely happy with absolutely everything landing on my plate. I will be back for more and more. Yet I can at least report on what I have had, and expect nothing but positive superlatives!


Here is the dish that won my heart at Ava Gene’s 2x over: The barley tagliatelle, lamb and pork ragu, green garlic, carrot. Yes, I returned for this same dish a second time. I vow to go back and venture beyond… Image Courtesy: Avagenes.com


Useful Ava Gene’s Links

If you haven’t tried Ava Gene’s yet, be sure to go. And as noted, get your reservations early. If you’ve been before, well, perhaps seeing this article will prompt you again…although a return visit to this fine place really doesn’t need a reminder (your stomach will do that!). Below are some useful links to further explore this great spot:

Website: www.avagenes.com
Hours: Serving dinner nightly
Prices: $$$ Spendy, but worth it!
Menu: Here is a very tasty list of greatness!
Interview with the GM: Check this out here…it’s a GREAT read.
Location: 3377 Southeast Division Street, Portland, Oregon 97202
For Reservations: Get them here