David’s Opus Ten welcomes guests in an intimate and private dining room (there are just 18-seats including a two-seat chefs table overlooking the kitchen). The summer menu features skillfully prepared dishes like ale braised pork butt in a smoky ginger bourbon BBQ sauce with a cornbread fritter, strawberry ketchup, and pickled pear and radish. The vegetarian tasting menu features an option that is just as delightful, serving up roasted goat cheese in place of the pork.

Curious about what Opus Ten has to offer? Chef David Turin shares the inside scoop on Portland’s only restaurant within a restaurant.

What should diners be prepared to experience at Opus Ten?
Dining at David’s Opus Ten is not an experience in avant-garde molecular gastronomy. Instead, from taste to taste you’ll find familiar flavors in presentations and textures that surprise and enhance. Each dish placed in front of you by a server, me or the executive chef is artistic yet never overdone. We do plenty of experimenting behind the scenes at Opus Ten, but the finished product that makes its way to your table is simply something we’re truly proud to present.

What exactly is dining at a “restaurant within a restaurant” like?
David’s Opus Ten is intimate – there are just 18 seats. That means from start to finish, our small service team is never overwhelmed and guests usually experience at least one course delivered to the table by the chef. With each course, our service team presents the dish with an in-depth explanation of what you’re about to taste. Our goal is to bring the meal to life and create an environment that raises the bar.

Who should be dining at Opus Ten?
Our aim is to bring in adventurous eaters who are interested in finding out more about their food, where it comes from, and why we pair it with the other ingredients that show up on your plate. We offer a prix fixe menu, so you have to trust us to serve up quality courses rather than picking and choosing from a menu like you would in most restaurants. We always use fresh, local ingredients but we present them in ways that surprise our guests with each bite. We take elements you’ve had before – and maybe some you haven’t – and create a dining experience that’s new, exciting, and specially designed for people who want to have fun with their food.

How does a prix fixe menu affect diners with dietary restrictions?
I like to say that Opus Ten is a restaurant where vegetarians can bring their carnivorous friends. We serve a totally vegetarian menu alongside our regular tasting menu each night and are happy to accommodate special dietary restrictions with advance notice. We’ve crafted entirely custom 7-course meals for individual diners in the past. This is an experience for everyone, and we want to make sure our guests get the most from their meal – even more so if they typically have a hard time dining out because of limitations on what they can eat.

What sort of price point should diners be prepared for when visiting David’s Opus Ten?
In major cities, menus at the caliber of Opus Ten can cost as much as $200 per person. Add in pricey wines and the expense jumps off the charts. That’s not the case at Opus Ten, where our goal is to make this new type of dining out experience affordable and accessible to adventurous diners who will truly appreciate it. Our 7-course tasting menus are priced at just $60 per person with optional wine pairings ranging from $35 to $55.

For those who’d like to enjoy a beverage while dining at David’s Opus Ten, what’s the best way to choose something that will pair well with the different courses?
As with our tasting menus, we ask you to put your trust in our skilled staff to provide recommendations for cocktails and wine at Opus Ten. Our cocktail offerings change routinely in order to feature the best ingredients and flavors of the season. We put as much thought into pairing the perfect wines with each course as we do into crafting the menu itself. The progressive pairings are designed to highlight each distinct dish over the course of your meal.

How did your personal path lead you to the creation of David’s Opus Ten?
This is my tenth restaurant. I spent a lot of time pinpointing exactly what I wanted to do with Opus Ten. When I was growing up, my father was always in the kitchen while my mother entertained guests. I obviously took an interest in food, but some of my mother’s influence definitely played a role in what Opus Ten has become. A visit to Opus Ten is more than just going out to eat; it’s very much experiential. We guide guests through a culinary journey and hope we give them the opportunity to look at their food in a new way.

22 Monument Square
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 773-4340
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Photos by Ted Axelrod