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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Mon–Thu 11:30am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:30am–10:30pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Pearl District
1001 NW Couch St.
Portland, OR
(503) 226-3463
This trendy restaurant has re-emerged as one of the Pearl’s star tables

This restaurant’s striking appearance precedes it. In places, the ceiling soars three floors, with dramatic light fixtures drawing the eye skyward. Endless lattices of windows overlook the street, and the dining room is open and airy. We also applaud the creative and attractive use of recyclable materials. Cork is used to keep the noise level reasonable, even with a full house. The walls are all tans and yellows, very neutral and easy on the eyes.

Like many upmarket Portland restaurants, the kitchen at Ten01 has had its ups and downs in recent memory. Happily, though, the latest trend has been up and up. Innovative platings like sockeye salmon with summer beans, cauliflower purée, red sorrel, cherry tomato, and black olive oil have shown great finesse. A salad of delicious heirloom tomatoes and Ancient Heritage feta with Banyuls vinaigrette drew out the late-summer sweetness from the fruit and balanced it expertly with the cheese’s salt. And roast chicken, the litmus test of a professional kitchen, has come out perfectly cooked and seasoned, earthy from chanterelle, richly matched with a bed of creamy polenta.

We’ve also really enjoyed our recent lunches at Ten01, when the kitchen breathes a bit more easily, and turns out simpler things at simpler prices (including a bargain three-course prix-fixe). A sensational chicken-liver mousse, for instance—made with sherry and served in a glass, with the consistency of parfait—paired beautifully with slices of expertly grilled baguette and the lilting sweetness of fig jam. A roast-pork sandwich with celery-root slaw has also demonstrated great balance.

More disappointing has been a tartare of pine nuts, cocoa nibs, amarena cherry, juniper, and arbequina olive oil; it was a sweet, chunky, unrefined, preparation that seemed less than the sum of its parts. Risotto with summer squash, zucchini, and grana padano has also withered in its own shadow, underseasoned and overcooked.

For us, the bar scene is much more fun than the main dining room. Cocktails can come improperly muddled and insipid, but the wine list offers a tour of exciting, well-made, sometimes culty bargains from the Old World (along with some less thrilling options from the New World). There is a broad range of half bottles and verticals, and markups are pretty reasonable.

In short, it’s a pleasure to report that the high dinner prices are once again justified at what has long been one of the city’s most high-profile restaurants.

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