PORTLAND, Ore. (August 20, 2019) – Chef Joshua McFadden’s take on daytime dining is finally here, with Ava Gene’s beginning weekend brunch service on Saturday, August 31st, and continuing every Saturday and Sunday thereafter, from 9am-2pm (with a bonus brunch on Labor Day, September 2nd). The restaurant will take reservations for brunch service, while always leaving room for walk-in guests. To kick off the first brunch weekend, next door at Fora (Submarine Hospitality’s new event and private dining space), diners can sip on Brunch Punch and pastries and browse the “Sub Shop,” a pop-up mercantile. Local makers whose wares are enjoyed in the restaurants (plants, wine, ceramics, aprons and more), will be selling their goods for diners to take home (details and a full vendor list are below).
McFadden is as passionate about sustainably grown grains as he is about vegetables, which comes through in the brunch menu. Whole grains grace the menu in Farro Parmesan Pie, Salad Lyonnaise with wild rice, and Polenta with fresh corn, pepper butter, egg, smoked trout and scallions. On the sweet side, Pastry Chef Nora Mace and her team are baking up Nutella custard buns, layered Spumoni coffee cake that will change with the seasons, and Babka waffles to start. XVOO granola will be served with seasonal accompaniments, such as carrot yogurt, dates, lemon curd and bee pollen. Submarine Hospitality has hired Head Baker Daniel Greene to collaborate with McFadden on house baked English Muffins, breads (brioche, sourdough, filone), and pizza dough (for next door’s Cicoria, coming later this year). Daniel arrived at Ava Gene’s by way of Alice Waters’ Sustainable Food Project in Rome.
Favorite dishes from past special events and pop-ups will reappear on the brunch menu, such as carbonara (pasta for breakfast!) and Ava Geno’s Chicken Milanese, served with ‘Nduja gravy and poached eggs. A variety of fritattas will change seasonally, starting off with avocado, kale, pesto and pickled carrots, or tomatoes, bacon, bibb lettuce and hollandaise (a BLT in fritatta form). Ava Gene’s will debut a burger at brunch, with 30 day-aged beef from Laney Family Farms, on an English Muffin with cheddar, secret sauce and local iceberg lettuce.
Espresso and cold brew coffee will be central to brunch’s beverage menu, with traditional Italian espresso drinks (cappuccinos and shakeratos), as well as creative cocktails made from Stumptown’s espresso and cold brew. There will be a veggie-filled Bloody Mary, and seasonal fruit and vegetable juices. Wine Director Caryn Benke has hand picked wines-by-the glass and a short bottle list of selections that pair well with brunch dishes. There is a particular focus on Col Fondo and Pet-Nat styled sparkling wines from Italy, as well as some off dry styled sparkling wines, matching the sweetness of dishes like the babka waffles or the custard buns, and also provide a nice foil against brunch’s most popular condiment, hot sauce (made in house with fermented local peppers). Tea selections are by Smith Teamaker.
Seasonal fruit bowls at Ava Gene’s brunch, photo by AJ Meeker.
Reservations can be made online at AvaGene’s.com/reservations.
Hours: Saturday (8/31) and Sunday (9/1), 10am-2pm
Location: Fora (around the corner from Ava Gene’s on 34th Ave.)
Alexandria Cummings (ceramics – Saturday only)
Another Feather (jewelry)
Camille Shu (art prints)
Maak Lab (soaps, candles and more)
The Marigny (natural wine)
OLO (fragrance for the body and home)
Solabee (flowers and plants)
Tilit (aprons designed in collaboration with Joshua McFadden)
Baked goods from Ava Gene’s and Tusk
About Ava Gene’s
Ava Gene’s is a seasonal Roman-inspired restaurant from Executive Chef/Partner Joshua McFadden of Submarine Hospitality and his culinary team, with an emphasis on the best local produce and meats grown and raised by Pacific Northwest farmers and ranchers. Pastas are made from regional grains, hand-formed and house-extruded. A regional Italian wine list complements the spirit of the cuisine, annually recognized for its “laser focus” by Wine Enthusiast as one of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants since opening in 2013. A creative cocktail menu and extensive selection of amari and grappa are served from the marble bar. Ava Gene’s was named #5 Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appétit magazine shortly after opening, and has since been featured by Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Sunset, and The Wall Street Journal among others. McFadden’s James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, evoking the “aggressively seasonal” approach taken on the menu at Ava Gene’s, was released to critical acclaim in 2017. AvaGenes.com | @AvaGenes
About Submarine Hospitality
Founded by Joshua McFadden and Luke Dirks, Submarine Hospitality connects diners to a community of local chefs, servers, farmers, ranchers, artists, and designers. The group’s motto—“Locally Sourced. Aggressively Seasonal”—speaks to its desire to promote both ethical food systems and optimal flavor. The group believes that true hospitality derives from a collection of details—from the handcrafted ceramics to the locally-grown celtuse, from the custom candles to the customary greeting at the door. Each of Submarine’s projects exists to cultivate the creativity and knowledge our staff requires to realize these experiences of hospitality for every guest that walks through our doors. Current projects include Ava Gene’s, Tusk, and collaborations with the Hoxton, Portland.