Most everything is a blur from the home-made chocolate chip cookies with sea salt that were presented with the check, but I’ll do my best to remember…

My girlfriend Liz and I walked in to Ten 01 and were immediately greeted with a smile from our host, who sat us at a romantic window-side table, a perfect vantage point to observe the bustling Pearl District as it passed by. It was then that we were introduced to our culinary tour guide for the evening, Chris. Chris told us about the specials as if he were trying to contain excitement, but I had already spied my starting point, the Beef Carpaccio. My beautiful date, decided on the Braised Romaine Salad with Prosciutto. The beef was smoked to perfection still retaining its cold natural state, but tasting as if the animal had been raised over smoldering mesquite chips. The salad, an explosion of flavors, was a beautifully executed balancing act of textures and tastes.

For the main course, we argued about ordering differently to be sure we tried more than one item from the menu. I immediately picked the Braised Lamb Shank with White Bean Cassoulet, and Liz the Australian Wagyu Beef (something akin to Kobe beef from Japan, only from down-under). Both were extraordinary, perfectly cooked and seasoned, and with each bite I was reminded why we are so lucky to live in such a culinary mecca as Portland. We finished our meal by sharing the Peanut Butter Bread Pudding with Pretzel Bark and Malted Milk Ice Cream. I’m sure they were going to name this dessert something else, but as Heaven, Love, and Nirvana were only slightly less descriptive, they apparently had to settle for a literal translation.

Then my world was shocked. Instead of mints with the check, we were handed what can only be described as the GREATEST COOKIE EVER! I’d gladly pay the check again for a few dozen more of those bad boys! Kudos to the staff at Ten 01, and Portland in general, for supporting such a great example of culinary art, service, and attention to detail. This Pearl District gem is a must! And ask to be seated in Chris’ section…you’ll be glad you did.

Bryan Flannery is a California native but moved to Oregon in 1999 and has had a deep love affair with it ever since. Bryan is a self-described foodie and has been eating his way through the different regions of the state, and the eclectic neighborhoods of Portland bit by bit. When he’s not eating and drinking, he fronts his band (the Portland favorite), Bryan Flannery Band. Bryan says his perfect Oregon moment, “Was when my band played mainstage at the Bite of Oregon. Food and Music?! Yes, please!”

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