Chef/restaurateur David Levi has announced the closing of Vinland, his nationally known 100 percent local restaurant on Congress Street in Portland.

He made the announcement Friday on Facebook in a characteristically cerebral, yet moving, note that ranged from Wendell Berry to the definition of “commencement.” The restaurant has been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Vinland could not withstand the long quarantine required for the COVID-19 pandemic, the disproportionate impact on the fine dining sector of the food industry, and the overall downturn in the economy, the last of which may reverberate for years. This is plain and simple,” he wrote. “It’s a reality that was not lost on me as I cooked and served the last Vinland meals on March 15th, but one which settled in and calcified, slowly, over the ensuing months. I’d hoped for a reopening even as I failed to see the viable path. The path, for us, didn’t exist.”

Vinland joins other fine-dining restaurants in Portland, including Piccolo and Drifters Wife, that have permanently shuttered because of the impacts of the pandemic.

In pre-pandemic days, Vinland owner and chef David Levi paused to say a prayer, thanking the lobsters that he was about to cook, for giving their lives for food. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Vinland opened in December 2013 and was much celebrated locally and nationally for its refined, purist approach to local eating. Levi went all in; he not only cooked with local parsnips and such, he also eschewed such kitchen standards as olive oil and lemons, finding wild local ingredients he could substitute for them. Famously, the bathroom walls of the Scandinavian-esque restaurant were adorned with poetry, a subject Levi had studied in college.

“We held steadfast to our core commitment: 100% local ingredients in every dish, all ethically sourced from small farms and the wild,” Levi wrote in his Facebook post. “This ambitious little dream worked because we made it work. It worked because we had a community of guests, farmers, foragers, fishermen, and food artisans who made it work. I will be grateful to them until the day I die.”

As of March, Vinland had two (mostly) full-time and two part-time employees.

Levi also mentioned in his Facebook announcement that he and his wife are expecting a second child, a daughter, and that he plans more “Vinland meals … just not at Vinland, and not six nights a week.”

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