Dazzling Italian restaurant Ava Gene’s is getting a new sibling. Cicoria, a family-friendly pizzeria with light, thin-crust pies and gelato, will open next door this summer, Portland Monthly first reported.
Taking over the former Holiday location once home to Roman Candle Baking, Cicoria will combine the Midwestern pizzerias of chef Joshua McFadden’s childhood in Wisconsin with the pizzerias he frequented while working in Rome. The pizzas will be unlike any other pie in town — naturally leavened “thin, crispy, tavern-style” pies accompanied by rotating, “unrealistically local” toppings. He also plans to serve a clam pizza inspired by his years at Franny’s in Brooklyn, as well as a sausage and pickled pepper pie.
Cicoria will be more than just pizza, however; McFadden says the spot will harken back to his childhood, especially the pizzerias with root beer floats and ice cream back in Wisconsin. The bar at Cicoria will serve a house-made root beer for kids and adults, as well as gelato. “We want it to be a more accessible pizzeria,” McFadden says. “It’s more of a neighborhood spot than Ava Gene’s... It’s really about being able to host more families.”
Cicoria is a part of a big remodel for the Ava Gene’s space, which will temporarily close the beloved Italian restaurant after service March 30. The two restaurants will share a much larger kitchen and the headquarters of Submarine Hospitality, McFadden and Luke Dirks’ restaurant group. Ava Gene’s will reopen in May with a revamped menu and potentially an expanded dessert menu. The restaurant will start serving weekend brunch in June, with dishes like breakfast carbonara and Borlotti bean pane.
• Ava Gene’s [Official]
• Submarine [Official]
• Joshua McFadden to Launch Cicoria, a Pizzeria, in the Former Holiday Space [PoMo]
• All previous Ava Gene’s coverage [EPDX]