Delicious Thai Cuisine at the Top of Vermont| 11.30.19
Best Features: Wonderful Food, Awesome Sushi, Beautiful Atmosphere, Authentic, Friendly Service
The Downside: Service Is Slow, Beer and Wine Selection Minimal
Mountain Rating 7/10
Dusit Thai restaurant in Newport, VT is a local favorite. For an area that once had little for ethic cuisine, this little gem took over Main Street.
A beautiful atmosphere makes the restaurant relaxing and peaceful. Tasteful decor that includes rich reds, golden yellows, and a few stray yet elegant elephants add to the ambiance. Tables along the wall are outfitted with bench seating and lined with decorative Eastern inspired pillows to finish off the look.
On this visit I was excited to see that some remodeling has taken place in the middle section of the restaurant. The hostess stand and bar area had been rearrange and on the left side of the space a smaller dining area had been constructed. This little alcove is set off by long vertical bars that create a secluded feeling while keeping the space light and airy.
For dinner, we dove in and experience a few new things on the menu. The owner has spent the last year or so really promoting bubble tea, a treat that I’ve never encountered before. This beverage comes in a few different flavors, but mainly consists of an iced Thai tea with cream and tapioca pearls. I was pleasantly surprised. The flavor was very sweet as you would expect of an iced tea, but because of the cream, it it was much more like drinking a hot tea that someone threw ice in – the tapioca pearls definitely threw me a bit of a curve ball.
Having never tried this beverage before, I didn’t know what to expect. Sipping tea through the straw, you suddenly find a pearl in your mouth. When you bite down the “bubble” has a chewy texture but little of its own flavor, and so takes on the flavor of the tea – and so, its like a bubble popping in your mouth. There is nothing I can compare to this bubble tea. It did taste delicious, but was a little on the more adventurous culinary side. I would recommend trying it as it’s one of those unique cultural experiences one shouldn’t forego.
For dinner that night, we were out with friends so we got to try a few new items. My husband started by ordering a dish with spicy eggplant and seafood. For the table we ordered a seaweed salad, drunken mushrooms, beef jerky, and spring rolls. For entrees I ordered the fried rice with scallops, and our friends ordered a curry soup.
The drunken mussels are absolutely delicious, there’s so much flavor and lots of garlic, but they are ridiculously spicy.
It is a dish that often a few people at the table will enjoy while the other half of us are unable to eat them (I have tried a few times, but my palate can’t take the heat).
That night, I was the most impressed by the eggplant dish. I’ve never had eggplant in Asian Cuisine before. It was sauteed well, and the vegetables still had plenty of texture. Again, the spices were a bit much for me, but my husband – who enjoy spicy food – found it tasty and not at all overpowering. The seafood, as always was well-cooked and well-seasoned. The rest of the dish consisted of a myriad of vegetables.
Now, I had never tried the seaweed salad, so I had to give it a taste. The seaweed was unexpectedly crunchy and when mixed with a number of vegetable such as carrots, radish, tomato, green beans and peas it was refreshing, light, and a perfect side to all the other delicious dishes. Dressed with a tangy concoction, the contrasting flavors brought the vegetables to life.
The fried spring rolls and beef jerky are our staple go to appetizers here. Both are delicious, and the dipping sauces bring a slight heat that is cut by a contrasting sweetness. This adds layered flavor to the experience.
I’m always a fan of Thai fried rice. There’s just something sweeter about it then, say, the fried rice you get at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant. There’s a creamy quality to it, and then you add in the fried egg, fresh scallops perfectly cooked, throw in sauteed vegetables and you have a dish that is both delicious and filling.
Our friends ordered a curry, but with them being fans of heat, this dish was hotter than I was wiling to try. According to the rest of the table, the dish was tasty with a nice slow burn. Though spicy, it wasn’t overpowering. I have tried a number of items off this menu, and have been happy with all of them, so I expect this dish was just as delicious as the other diners expressed.
We often come in for sushi, but on this visit stuck to heavier entrees and a number of sides.
Located in downtown Newport, Dusit Thai is also a convenient place to swing in for lunch. I have stopped by numerous times to grab a snack (sushi or the spring rolls are my favorite quick bites), while running errands and have even had lunch meetings with clients here.
If you haven’t stopped in, or if you didn’t know about this culinary gem, add it to your list of places to visit this winter!
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