Permanently Closed - Vinland- Portland
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"...the future of New England food" (Wall Street Journal, 5/23/14)
"He trained everywhere you might expect, first cutting meat with Dario Cecchini in Italy, then staging at Fäviken in Sweden and Noma in Copenhagen." (New York Magazine's Grub Street, 6/19/13)
"...a meal in which everything builds on itself to leave you perfectly satisfied, yet energized... 5/5 stars" (Portland Press Herald. 7/27/2014)
"a serious star... the city's leading contemporary restaurant... This is the place Portland needed to crystalize its gastronomic ambitions once and for all" (Financial Times of London, 10/25/14)
Second visit. Great for those that love localavore experiences. Inventive food with nice wine pairings.
Excellent food prepared with care from local ingredients.
Excellent dinner on a very quiet evening. Sat at the kitchen counter and chatted with the chef and staff all night about food and other topics. Very enjoyable. Food was excellent and fascinating.
Amazingly creative dishes. Also, try the dirty martini made with mushroom liquid, they call it a Knickerbocker.
Can't wait to come back! Great food. Very interesting menu. We had a 6 course Valentines tasting menu, with 2 different items in each course. Each course was memorable. Save room for the parsnip ginger custard - had it not been on the tasting menu, I would have passed it over. I only wish the serving size was twice as big.
Our server (the only one) did a great job but we were standing for a bit before told it was open seating even with a reservation(we didn't know). It really was a great meal, the plating was fantastic.
You have to know what you're getting into. The restaurant sources all of their ingredients from the state of Maine. (Olive trees don't grow in Maine, so there is no olive oil.) Also, the ingredients are seasonal. This is a challenge the Vinland set for itself and the chef regularly meets the challenge.
The food looks appealing and the restaurant has a casual and minimalist decor. We were happy with the meal and the service. We thought it was reasonably priced.
Delicious farm to table concept. Not only was the food delicious, local, and inspiring; it also felt wholesome on the inside.
As always, David’s menu is eclectic and each dish is extraordinarily executed. The flavor of the squash soup was very delicate, as was the turnip purée under the day boat scallops.
My partner had the radicchio first course, and the flavors there were also very subtle and delicious (it was also a plate full!). As always the muscle dish was really done well. The quality of the shellfish coupled with David’s prep and broth was as always perfect.
For dessert, we had the usual parsnip custard (no surprise, always a nice way to end a meal here) and the apple crostini (new to us) was incredible. I will order again if it is on the menu the next visit!
Everything was great except for the prices they have, I want much more volume of food. I had to grab a slice of pizza afterward cause I was still hungry.
Vinland is an intimate restaurant with superb locally sourced food (the butter-poached lobster was sublime!) and impeccable service. It was recommended as one of the best places in Portland, where the competition is stiff. We were not disappointed!
The concept of no gluten, locally sourced, and organic food was perfect. We left feeling good despite a large amount of food, so yes it was healthy. The service was very friendly but not too intrusive. We will go back every time we are in Portland. Knowing you can go out to dinner and feel like you ate very healthy and you feel it, is great and too bad there are not more restaurants like this.
The food is spectacular. The staff is very knowledgeable and made some lovely wine suggestions to pair with our meal. A must do in Portland!
Excellent experience! Food was creative and well executed. I do love the “local and organic” aspects as well as limiting gluten.
Excellent cuisine, excellent menu, excellent service
Maybe I would recommend it. A few points. I am not a massively huge fan of local food, but I am definitely a fan, so that was great. As for organic, I may have suffered from chemicals consumed in my 73 years - a two time cancer survivor - both handily addressed through timely surgery - but I do firmly believe we are consuming lots of toxins, and they are having an impact on our earth and our health.
We LOVED the slow pace. Unfortunately the 4 of us were headed for the theater, but the time we spent was very relaxed, intimate and enjoyable. If I come again, I will stay in a hotel, and settle in for the 2-hour mealtime.
The service was outstanding. Everything was clearly explained, our server, Robin, is professional , Knowledgeable, and had a good sense of who we were.
I must say, after learning that my Lamb had been cooked Sous Vide, I had very high expectations. Perhaps it was the lack of salt, but it was also not as tender as I was expecting.
So as for a recommendation, I would not recommend it to most of my friends because they would not appreciate it; but, for the right person, this is definitely the right place.
Overall, it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever had!! The food was just so fantastic! The sous vide lamb was to die for! Our server was also fantastic but they were understaffed it seemed because service was slow. They gave us a free aperitif for our trouble which was super nice. We were in very close proximity to the next table and they were kind of loud. We ended up having a nice chat with them so it worked out but I could see how it could go the other way too. I can’t wait to go back!!
Creative, exquisite cocktails; beautiful, delicious food; dining at Vinland is a wonderful experience.
We got up and left after 20 minutes with no greeting or acknowledgement from anyone. There were only 3 other tables and the waitress walked right by us multiple times. We couldn't even get our water glasses filled. Never been treated so poorly.
This is grossly inaccurate. I saw you come in abruptly leave a couple minutes later. Trying to cause harm to my business when you have not even tasted my food is simply wrong. And you have the gall to give us a "1/5" for food you've admittedly not eaten! An unrepentant lie. The fact that the one server on a quiet night had a few tasks before taking your order hardly gives you the right to attack people's livelihoods. I guess we're just insolent servants. You are what's wrong with this society.
I had higher hopes for Vinland. My biggest gripe is that the service, while pleasant, felt inattentive. The food was prepared creatively, but that's because of the kitchen philosophy which restricts any ingredients that are not local -- so no olive oil, lemons, spices, etc. (fortunately they made an exception for wine). These days everyone seems to be on the local bandwagon, so maybe it's their way of trying to stand out. However, I wish they just had a philosophy of just making truly good food, my meal would have been much better.
The food was excellent. Selection could have been better and the cost was high, but I suppose that's understandable for a locally sourced, small restaurant.
Ate here last night for our wedding anniversary as we had heard good things. The food did NOT disappoint: turnip soup was excellent, large chicken plate was cooked perfectly and the smoked eggplant was divine. However, there were a few issues unrelated to food quality. First, we ordered a cheese plate appetizer which never arrived. Second, our server was not attentive and was slow to offer a second round of drinks (my husband's cocktail glass was empty for at least fifteen minutes and she cleared plates away without seeming to notice). Third, one of the servers (not sure if it was ours or another employee who kept walking by) was not wearing deodorant and it was... noticeable. Fourth, we were seated at a table that was less than two feet from the bar and unfortunately one of the bar patrons was very loud and distracting as she talked to her friend; not the best ambiance for a romantic dinner. Finally, as we had read in prior reviews, the time between courses was exceptionally long. It took over thirty minutes after ordering for our soup to arrive (which is prepared cold) and another twenty minutes for the chicken and eggplant to follow. In the thirty minutes between being seated and getting soup, nothing was provided to the table besides drinks, not even their version of GF "bread" and butter. So though the food was prepared perfectly, we will likely not return based on ambiance, service and extended wait time.
Don’t go if you’re looking for an easy, big meal. Go because the food is incredible and it’s just FUN. It’s so organic, actual small bugs crawled out of the edible flowers on my chicken. The portions are small, but they’re AMAZING. Eating isn’t a means to an end at a restaurant like this, you go for the experience.
Very difficult getting served. Timing poor and explanations perfunctory at best. Made for an unsatisfying experience.
This was our first trip to Portland, and a little research had led me to make a reservation at Vinland. When we arrived at 6:30, there was only one other couple, but, by the time we left, several other groups had joined us. (Portland foodies are typically younger and enjoy dining later than we retirees do.) The tasting menu was a bit complicated, but the wait staff was attentive and helpful with de-encryption. Every course arrived with a lovely presentation -- the first, turnip soup with edible blossoms, spectacularly so -- and each was interesting and remarkably delicious in its own right, although we were hard-pressed to come up with a theme beyond, "Wow, that's really amazing!" The butter poached lobster and chicken with crispy skin are not to be missed. My only criticism -- and it's a minor one -- is that the chairs are not the most comfortable for seniors. Nevertheless, we will be back, whenever we are in Portland, and I will simply bring my own seat cushion.
Four of us had dinner at Vineland on a Sunday . Their signature old fashioned was fantastic and my wife got a recommended wine that she loved. We were all very pleased with the quality of the food, from salad and entrée through dessert. The service was very friendly AND very slow - it turned out to be a 3 hour dinner.
We enjoyed the five course tasting menu with wines. The food was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked. It did take close to three hours but we enjoyed the whole experience. We enjoyed the fondue, lobster, crispy chicken, steak tartare and a turmeric pudding.
One of the most creative, unique, friendly, and artistic restaurants in Portland. My sister and I both cook in restaurants and agree that it is the best dinner in town. They deserve to be booked full every night. Everything is local, organic, and gluten-free, what more could you ask for? After splitting 4 small plates and a dessert I felt satisfyingly full but not bloated or sickly full. Definitely don’t miss this place, it is a true diamond in the rough.
Unique, fresh ideas and flavors. The food was outstanding. Out server seemed to lose interest as the night progressed (were they down a server?). Expensive.
Disappointing. They were out of 2 of the 4 offered appetizers. They were out of the house made vermouth that was the basis for the majority of their offered specialty drinks. The halibut gravlax had not been cured. Merely a pile of stringy raw halibut with very little taste. For a small venue that touts local fare someone in the kitchen isn’t doing their job. I would not return and have not recommended it
Sorry to hear this. The halibut is cured gravlax style, with sea salt, maple, tarragon, dill, verbena, and juniper. The flavors are objectively strong, and it's seasoned aggressively, so I find the comment confusing. I apologize that we'd had a run on a couple of items. That is a rare occurrence which we try to avoid. As the chef/owner who works 100 hours/week, I don't think it's fair to say I'm not doing my job if we ever run out of anything. But I am sorry we didn't win you over.
Fabulous as always. Most interesting delicious inspirational restaurant ever been to with repeatedly creative and delicious meals. Can’t recommend more highly!
Thanks so much! Since this seems to be a singularly positive review, I'm wondering if you intended to give us just 3/5 stars, a very mediocre rating that hurts our average, which is 4.5. If you meant to give us 5/5, as your text suggests, we'd greatly appreciate it if you'd take a moment to correct the rating. Thanks for supporting Vinland and we hope to see you again soon.
My sister and I were on a road trip to Nova Scotia and staying overnight in Portland. Our brother recommended Vinland as he was there a few months back. We sat at the bar as recommender by brother. Very interesting to see the operation from that vantage point. Had the salad with the blue cheese vinaigrette. Excellent but the lettuce could have been washed better. A little sandy. Also had the cheese fondue appetizer, which was excellent. I had butter poached lobster which was wonderful. Sis had the steak which was delish. Don’t miss the parsnip pudding or the blueberry compote dessert. Both very very good. Also had a white wine, I forget the name, but was great and organic. A great meal!
Very surprising and daring food-combinations. It was like European fine dining with local produce. Fantastic
Excellent food and service. All locally sourced food and ketogenic diet, gluten free friendly.
We're mystified about the high praise others have written. From a starter featuring a cheese fondue that looked and tasted like lukewarm cheese-whiz (and what about those carrots, so poorly cut that some ends were wobbly and the tops were an inch thick?) to the dense and somewhat gritty rice biscuit that came with the lobster, we sensed a lack of pride and real investment. Perhaps we hit on an off night, but from the lack of other diners present in a city bustling with eager eaters, we are not alone in our experience. While it is great to know that everything is locally sourced and organic -- of which we were reminded at every turn -- this alone doesn't create a great dining experience.
Vinland has become my favorite restaurant in Portland over the past few years. I feel like the food is prepared with so much care and professional flair. The visual appearance of many of the dishes is really breathtaking at times.
The tastes are complex and so yummy. David Levi’s food is to die for and Tim’s drinks are equally yummy and provocative.
Made in Maine at it’s best.
My favorite restaurant in a city of exceptional food. This is food that expands your appreciation of the natural world and the special place that is Maine. Vinland gives meaning to the value of sourcing locally. Great sound track too.
Great for food allergies. We had the chicken which was delicious, nice wine list. The restaurant has a nice, relaxed atmosphere. The wait for the main course was a little over an hour which was just a bit too long for us on that particular evening. Otherwise, all was good.
Vinland, simply said, is sublime; elegant yet austere. I love this place and make a point to dine here on every visit to Portland. Chef Levi's talent is truly evident in his food and commitment to locally sourced product. Not only is a visit to Vinland always a lovely and surprising experience, it's like an education in sustainability. One of Chef Levi's great gifts is to live by example; to be able to convey that to others through providing an outstanding dining experience is an inspiration.
Vinland is fairly unique in that all the food comes from within 100 miles of the restaurant. It takes a creative chef to be able to cook only local produce and proteins from local sources. He does an admirable job of sticking to that ethic. The food is mostly excellent but the experience is somewhat diminished by the length of time it takes between courses. We ate on a Sunday night with only four or five tables occupied by twos and fours. There were three people running the restaurant - the chef and two servers. Our appetizer, main and dessert meal took over two hours with long pauses before and between courses.
The wine list consists of only organic wines although there was a reasonable selection. The issue with organic wines in my view is that you can get "off" wines occasionally due to natural yeasts and bacteria, as was the case with the first wine we ordered. There was no issue with returning it and the second choice bottle was fine.
I give the restaurant kudos for their locavore ethic and food quality and very pleasant servers but I sometimes felt I should have brought a book to read between courses.
Permanently Closed - Vinland- Portland is rated 4.8 stars by 379 OpenTable diners.