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“food=good, menu= indecipherable” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ava Gene's

Ava Gene's
3377 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
971.229.0571
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Ranked #57 of 3,687 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“food=good, menu= indecipherable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

Thank god the waiter, who was great, took the time to translate each and every item on the menu. We ended up having a good meal despite the fact that the menu is short on choices without meat

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    68
    25
    14
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
portland, oregon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great new Portland restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

We were not disappointed in the food or service or ambience. My pasta was the favorite of the many dishes we ordered, but we enjoyed the cheese plate, the artichoke (just like in Rome), the main course lamb dish, the three salads selections and the wine You can enjoy small plates as there are many choices!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
portland, oregon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“great food, horrible noise!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

What a shame to have one's dining experience ruined by something that so easily could be rectified. I see from other's reviews, they felt similarly, so why can't this restaurant "get it"? For starters, the service was quite good. One thing of note that was pretty unprofessional, was the waitperson who also acted as greeter, had hotpants on behind her apron, so from the front she looked dignified and appropriate, but from the back, she looked like she was in a strip joint. I noticed when she was taking someone's order, she was bent over towards the table placing the order, with her behind in the folk's table to the right...pretty strange for an upscale restaurant. I can't say enough about the food, which of course was why I was there. It was stellar. But could I hold a conversation with the folks I was with? Not a chance. Jimi Hendrix as background music? I think not. Loud rock and roll with screaming guitars? Why? I talked to the hostess and she shook her head like she had gotten this complaint before, but her explanation was that it's a "Portland take"...that they chose this music to be "upbeat and lively". Well, without music there, it's hard enough to hear, but with this horrible music that makes it not only impossible to hear, but doesn't lend itself to eating....made it really unpleasant. Really unfortunate, because, as I said the food was superb--like being in Italy. I hope they take heed. Don't play music that has words or is over the din...stick to some jazz or something upbeat without being obnoxious. One thing they could do is adjust the music so that the bar area is louder perhaps, but tone it down where people are eating and trying to visit. This isn't the only restaurant in Portland where this is a problem--it seems a trend and I wish restaurants would understand how important background music and noise is to a pleasant dining experience.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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portland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Delicious!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

I'm not sure where to start... let's see, the mouth watering Salumi & Formaggio plate, our wonderful server, Colleen... or perhaps it was it the Giardini? Everything they put on front of me made my taste buds burst with joy! Lol... I get a little excited when I find an amazing restaurant in the city that I live in that I have not been to before! I cannot wait to go back!! I Had the ravioli for dinner, mmm fresh pasta! They did everything right from the phone call to make a reservation to the gelato for dessert! Do yourself a favor & GO!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Stellar addition to SE Division St.!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We had a wonderful meal Easter weekend at this fabulous restaurant! We read all the phenomenal reviews both by critics and diners and just had to visit. I can see why people are loving this place! It was delicious! Let's start with the cocktail menu. A compact list of dreamy concoctions that makes it difficult to choose. The "Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall" was unforgettable. The perfect aperitif! Happy to see Punt E Mes put to exceptional use in this drink. My dining partner had the Chambery Cassis, a refreshing drink for a warm evening. Our server did an outstanding job of assisting in cocktail choices as he did throughout our meal. The entire staff is knowledgeable and willing and happy to answer questions.

Do not miss the burrata! It was out of this world! Served with crispy bread used as the perfect vehicle for this buttery goodness. Our neighboring table took our recommendation and agreed wholeheartedly! Be sure to try assorted Pane and Giardini. You can even select three items from the Giardini list to serve as your entree. A great choice for vegetarians (like my dining partner). The pane selections are ideal for all diners. Bean lovers need to try the one with Borlotti beans and rosemary. I can still taste the richness and freshness of those beans.

I had to try the pasta as for me good pasta is truly a gauge of the authenticity of a restaurant. The Ravioli alla Boscaiola tasted like a walk in the woods. Simply perfect. The pasta was just tender enough and the portion was ideal. Save room for dessert, as well. Great selections for every appetite.

The only issue we experienced was the heat in the room. It was the first very warm weekend in PDX and I don't believe they were prepared. The staff was doing all they could to accommodate, but air was not circulating in the room and the fire in the kitchen really throws off the heat. I enjoy sitting near the kitchen while dining, but this put me in the "hot seat". I was grateful to have a sweater that I could remove, but others were not as lucky. The team working the floor was very attentive and aware of the issues and doing all they could for the diners. I'm sure this has been addressed. Kudos to an exceptional front of house team!

Can't wait to come back!!!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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