David Machado Closes Vindalho
August 13, 2013
Chef-restaurateur David Machado announced today that Vindalho had sold after eight years and will reopen soon as Ahi.
Published: October 2007
Vindalho’s seasonal, farm-fresh approach to the classic dishes of India explains why there’s so much buzz about this loftlike space in southeast Portland. Take the usually ordinary, potato-stuffed samosa: In the spring, chef de cuisine David Anderson makes these fried dumplings with Yukon Gold potatoes, hand-shelled fava beans, and English peas and serves them with chutney made from locally grown mint; in the winter, they’re stuffed with sweet potatoes. Or consider the Indian street snack of watermelon and black salt, reinterpreted as a salad of eastern Oregon’s Hermiston melons (available for only 30 days in high summer) sprinkled with sour-salty chaat masala, serrano chiles, and lime juice. It’s a unique melding of Northwest produce and Spice Route flavors, executed with a sure hand. 2038 S.E. Clinton St., Portland, OR (503-467-4550)
Willamette Week Restaurant Guide 2009
Indian fare is often a delight in its simplicity: It’s hard to order anything besides aloo channa and dal tarka when it’s done just right. Vindalho, tucked in the same laid-back Clinton Street intersection as the Night Light lounge, takes traditional spices like nutmeg, cloves and curry and gives them a modern kick. The menu is filled with forward-thinking Indian and central Asian food that looks to the West for inspiration. Most of it is quite tasty. The starters are all light and excellent, from the melon chaat salad embellished with spicy red onion and refreshing mint leaves to a chilled avocado soup that’ll make you swear off hot liquid dishes for months.
Order this: Kashmiri paneer, which trades tofu for tender bites of cheese with the slightest kick.
Best deal: Roasted corn and potato samosas, a plate of deep-fried pockety goodness.
I’ll pass: The Sri Lankan chicken curry is a little bland.
Published: June 10, 2009
If your knowledge of Indian cuisine begins and ends with dreary buffet steam tables loaded up with bright-orange tandoori chicken legs, it’s time to discover a fresh take on one of the world’s tastiest cuisines. The restaurant explores what it calls Spice Route cuisine, taking heirloom recipes from the Indian subcontinent, then using local ingredients and hard-to-find spices to create dishes loaded with nuance and interesting textures. Most dishes pop with flavor and texture, from the crispy pappadams — paper-thin lentil crackers — with homemade tamarind chutney that come gratis at the start of a meal, to fiery braised pork shoulder loaded with garlic and chiles.
Eat and drink: Don’t miss the tender lamb kofta starter ($8), with meatballs doused in a curried tomato-yogurt sauce. The paneer pakora ($8) — fritters of cheese and spinach — are perfectly fried, though the accompanying tomato chutney is overly sweet. Main dishes include tender, moist chicken tikka ($16) and a knockout pork vindalho ($17). Six specialty cocktails (all $8) match well with spicy masalas and curries, and the thoughtful wine list offers specific by-the-glass recommendations for different dishes.
Bargain bin: Happy hour deals include five dishes for $5; newsletters on the Web site sometimes include coupons for 20 percent discounts on specific nights
Reality check: On slow nights, the staff may outnumber diners, with servers having a tendency to hover.
101 Best Restaurants
Published: September/October 2008
Sometimes you want something different from a corner curry hut where the food comes in one style of heat – scorching – and the ambience shouts bingo parlor. Enter Vindalho: Upscale yet unstuffy and reasonable in both price and seasoning, it offers a modern take on Indian food that ranges around the country and beyond.
Recommended: Crispy-fried samosas with interesting stuffings (sweet potato, spring vegetables, fava beans); Pork Vindalho, tender and piquant from braising in vinegar; killer Goan-style mussels in coconut curry. Three chutney sampler hits: pear-ginger, mint-yogurt, red chile. The wine list by Dave Holstrom, aka Guy du Vin, smartly complements the cuisine’s cumin/coriander/fennel/fenugreek overtones; seek acidic European whites, fruity reds. Still, nothing’s more soothing than the rush of icy Kingfisher lager when a stray bit of chile lodges in your gullet.
Dishes We Crave
People make pilgrimages to this contemporary Indian outpost for bowls of gorgeous, fat mussels in a rich coconut curry broth amply marked by cumin, ginger and tamarind paste. Shredded coconut covers the blue-black shells like snowflakes and, best of all, the large white bowl is easily tilted for spooning up that killer sauce. Or, order a side of naan bread and get primitive: rip off pieces, sop up the juices and moan with pleasure.