Chef Joshua McFadden leads his team in the operation of one of Portland’s best restaurants, Ava Gene’s. Located on Division Street, Ava Gene’s is a mecca for any foodie obsessed with local, regional and quality ingredients spun into international specialties. The space draws you inside from the street with a stunning marble bar and tables lined with excited diners – all here to take-part in ritualistic dining only appreciated by those who truly know “the best”.
Ava Gene’s offers diners their take on traditional Roman food with ingredients sourced from local farms and ranchers. Careful attention has been paid to the well-curated menu of sharing plates which enliven visitors with their bountiful flavors. In one evening, you might taste homemade beads – from focaccia to nduja – as well as amish butter polenta, chinook salmon with morrels, snap peas and ramps, rigatoni with chicken ragu and spigarello, and more. The menu is extensive, and each dish expertly assembled.
My favorite part of the menu is the cocktail list with what seems to be science experiments gone extraordinarily right. There are aged, vintage and hard-to-find spirits which help concoct the beverages. Local herbs and fruits are often used to add depth and flavor – each one a masterpiece in both taste and beauty.
Ava Gene’s makes an impression – this is a fact. You cannot miss dinner in this very special spot in Portland.