Vinland, the upcoming hyper-local fine dining restaurant from David Levi, is aiming for a Nov. 1 opening. It will be the first restaurant in the U.S. to serve 100% local, organic food, meaning items that can't be grown, harvested or produced in Maine (like lemons, cane sugar and olive oil) will not appear on the menu. It may also be the first Maine restaurant to have its own manifesto.
The space, right off Congress Square, was basically a blank slate when Levi took it over. He gave us a peek last week. As you can see, there's plenty of work to be done, but Levi's vision of creating a "warm, inviting space" with a "clean, natural aesthetic" is starting to take shape. One of his first orders of business was to scrape the chipping, drab blue paint off the beautiful ceiling surrounding the skylight. It was then primed and painted gold.
Some other planned features, according to Levi:
· The hardwood floors will be refinished using a pickling technique (popular in old New England and Scandinavia, which are both big influences on the restaurant) that involves roughing them up and applying a thin white paint, which will allow the grain to show through.
· Table tops will be handmade by local woodworker Marc McCabe using yellow birch and walnut dredged from the bottom of Moosehead Lake.
· Chairs and stools of New England-sourced maple and leather are being produced by Saloom in Massachusetts.
· The bar will be crafted of white birch and finished with beeswax.
· Burlap-covered sound panels will be incorporated into the design to bring down the sound level.
Vinland plans to be open for dinner on Tuesday through Saturday, offer lunch three days a week, serve brunch on the weekend, and host a cooking class on Sunday.
· Vinland [Official Site]
· All Coverage of Vinland [~EMAINE~]
[Photos by Tom Minervino]