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“Good food, but not great for easy conversation”
Review of Ava Gene's

Ava Gene's
Ranked #52 of 4,652 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 9 November 2017

We went to Ava Gene's, my choice for my birthday dinner in early October. I had read/heard that they were a great choice for people who choose vegetarian foods. I did enjoy my bulgar pasta with wild mushrooms. It was very tasty. My husband had the pasta dish with a fish in it, he like my choice better. Really I thought they would have more options to choose from for a vegetarian, but there was not much.
It was also quite close quarters to other tables and the window/wall. It was dark too so I had to hold my menu next to a small candle to read it (should have thought of my cellphone flashlight like people next to us did). It was also a bit loud and made it difficult to carry on a conversation. Our server was good and very helpful in considering choices on the menu. It is not an inexpensive restaurant, so prepare to spend a bit. I do think they should have more vegetarian choices and dessert choices, but it seems some restaurants prefer to offer a smaller variety in order to concentrate on getting the food prepared well.

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Thank Dana97219
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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35 - 39 of 311 reviews

Reviewed 8 November 2017

Ava Gene's has had a reputation in Portland for awhile now and I have to say that it is well deserved. Our experience was excellent in every regard. The service started with an polite and professional greeting and went from there. The server was very knowledgeable and was able to answer every question about potential allergens without having to "ask the chef" and was able to direct us to items that would not be issues. He guided us through the ordering experience and we enjoyed everything that he recommended. I asked for a recommendation on a wine (I was interested in Dolcetto) and their sommelier was very knowledgeable and was able to discuss his recommendation in detail. The food was absolutely on point, from the prosciutto and the garlic toast with borlotti beans (think warm garlicky hummus on crunchy toast!), the shrimp with barley linguini (really good), the Brussels sprouts and sprouted barley salad (awesome combination for a starter salad) to the lamb with porcini it was all amazingly prepared and served. The service through out was well executed, with clearing and resetting between every course done promptly and unobtrusively. Everything was done very well and this restaurant has definitely earned it reputation

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Thank CoastalFoodie11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2017

My wife and I, while visiting Portland, Oregon, decided to have dinner one night at Ava Gene's. It's rare that one experiences tasting a taste, a flavor, that you've never tasted before. That's what happened when we had the salad with Mountain Rose apples. (I never knew the inside of an apple could be that color.) The salad was fantastic, the main course, a lamb dish, was also exceptional, and the dessert was out of this world. Who would expect such a phenomenal meal at a little place on SouthEast Division Street? Then, if you have the room in your stomach, wander across the street to Lauretta Jean's for some more dessert!

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Thank MacroMicro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2017

The four of us were immediately impressed with our waiter. He was knowledgeable without any hint of condescension. The menu has a lot of Italian words so we asked a lot of questions. For all of us, the left side of the menu was where all the tasty bits were. The salumi is amazing, the fritti out of this world and the salads - we shared two - were the highlight of our meal. The bar drinks and wine list kept us happy. The right side of the menu left us puzzled. The Sunday Sugo was very good, but the two entrees we shared, lamb and tuna ... well lets just say neither one got finished. Lamb shoulder was gamey and chewy and as other reviewer noted the veggies on the plate were superfluous. That said, I could have eaten an entire plate of the green parched wheat the lamb was served on! I couldn't make it past a couple of bites of tuna. It just didn't work after all the fantastic salads. Texture and taste were off. Although we doggy-bagged the lamb and tuna, by morning they were in the trash. We will be back. What this place is really about is the small plates. The entrees whiffed.

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Thank Jonathan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2017

Dinner at Ava Gene's was certainly a five star culinary experience. The food was sensational and the service professional and attentive. I loved the ambience of the place. I most certainly would give this establishment the highest of recommendations. We had the calamari, parmigiano, with black pepper, and the chicken liver, pancetta, sage for starters. I had the Pork Ribs which is a specialty on Thursdays. My son had the house made, milled, and extruded spaghetti with eggplant, tomato, oregano, & fiore sardo. It was simply SO good!

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Thank Dianne O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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