Based on the rich culinary traditions of the French and Italian Riviera, Nel Centro's menu is drawn largely from the cities of Nice and Genoa. The cuisine of the Riviera is fragrant, sensuous and inspired. Dining in downtown Portland, Oregon will never be the same.
Nel Centro (pronounced Nel-CHEN-tro - Italian, for in the center) brings Machado’s career full circle. He burst onto Portland’s food scene in 1991 at Pazzo, the wildly popular, groundbreaking Italian eatery he opened in the Hotel Vintage Plaza in downtown Portland. After six years as Executive Chef at Pazzo, he launched Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar, the much acclaimed Mediterranean inspired restaurant for The Heathman Group. In 2002, to long lines and outstanding reviews, Machado opened his first restaurant, Lauro Kitchen, on Portland’s Eastside. In the fall of 2005, again to wide-spread praise, Machado opened Vindalho, a modern and stylish take on food from the Indian sub-continent – Spice Route cuisine.
Machado’s downtown bona fides – earned in the kitchens of Pazzo and Southpark – have evolved and expanded. In his two Eastside restaurants he’s created a distinct culinary sensibility – sophisticated food, friendly, knowledgeable service with neighborhood vibes and prices. The concept, in full flower at Lauro Kitchen and Vindalho, has reinvigorated the neighborhood bistro and this dining model is now headed west, across the bridge. It’s a short trip, but Machado has thrown long. His hope is that Nel Centro, his new venture at the Hotel Modera, will re-energize Portland’s boutique hotel food scene; a scene that he had a hand in creating in the 1990's.
ONE SERVING OF CULTURE, PLEASE
For Machado food is culture. Food is how people celebrate art and life, time and place. Traditional cuisines emerge from diverse social networks, commerce, even conflict. Food is history. Nel Centro – built on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, with a European tradition of craftsmanship and restraint – celebrates one of the world’s most authentic and inspired cuisines.