Dig Into Drunken Noodles and Other Bangkok Faves at Dusit Thai in Newport | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Dig Into Drunken Noodles and Other Bangkok Faves at Dusit Thai in Newport


Dusit Thai Cuisine - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Dusit Thai Cuisine

It's hard to imagine a place more different from the steamy, bustling Thai capital of Bangkok than the quiet northern Vermont community of Newport, on the breezy shores of Lake Memphremagog. But the two locales happily collide in the cuisine at Dusit Thai, which includes fragrant basil- and lemongrass-scented curries and noodles.

Location Details Dusit Thai Cuisine
158 Main St.
Northeast Kingdom
Newport, VT
closed: Mon.
Thai and Pan-Asian

The restaurant's married co-owners, Panadda "Exzy" Saengsiri and Jintana "Jinny" Thananusak, brought recipes straight from their homeland. The women first came to Vermont in 2013 to visit friends in Middlebury and quickly fell in love with the peaceful, pastoral state. Upon hearing of a restaurant for sale in Newport, they decided to drive up to see it. "Jinny loves to cook and share Thai food," Saengsiri says of her spouse, the restaurant's main chef.

Despite a car accident on that first road trip, they knew Vermont was the place for them. "We never drove on snow before," Saengsiri recalls with a laugh, "but we like cold!" They were ready to escape Bangkok's hustle and bustle, she explains, and found Newport "not too quiet, not too busy, with very nice people."

Dusit Thai Cuisine - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Dusit Thai Cuisine

Dusit is the Thai word for "fourth heaven," and for many regulars, the elegantly appointed, high-ceilinged eatery and its approachably exotic menu meet that description. One young fan recently sent a card illustrated with elephants — referencing Dusit Thai's décor — and offered thanks for "the prettiest, calmest and BEST restaurant," along with praise for the fried spring rolls.

Filled with vegetables and clear noodles, the classic, crisp-skinned rolls are a perennial favorite, says Saengsiri. The restaurant sources authentic key ingredients such as kaffir lime leaves, galangal and lemongrass from afar for other popular dishes, including crunchy, bright som tam green papaya salad; lightly sweet, coconut-rich massaman curry; and pad kee mao, a tangle of wide noodles loaded with vegetables and diner's choice of protein. Pad kee mao means "drunken noodle," Saengsiri explains, because it customarily features lots of chile pepper, and "spicy food will wake you up."

Many of Dusit Thai's dishes can be ordered in varying degrees of spice, but Saengsiri cautions with a smile: "Our medium is not regular medium; it's Thai hot. Be careful!"

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2019.

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