My oh Mai: New downtown dining option to offer authentic Thai cuisine in mountain setting
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Downtown Steamboat Springs’ newest dining option is set to open Tuesday and will offer authentic Thai foods, including curry dishes, crispy cashew chicken and a savory eggplant, when it opens its doors at 435 Lincoln Ave.
“We are expanding,” said Ekawat Sunti, who is opening Mai Thai. He will continue to run the Talay Thai restaurant he opened two years ago at 2300 Mount Werner Circle in the Steamboat Grand’s retail space. “I’m really excited to open downtown. The issue on the mountain is that, when there is snow, business is good, but when there is no snow, business goes down quite a bit.”
Sunti said he is excited about the year-round activity created by events in the downtown area, combined with the fact people like to walk along Lincoln Avenue. He thinks those things will give him more exposure.
“I have good food, and now we have good visibility,” he said. “The first time I ever came to Steamboat Springs, I ate at Low County Kitchen with my wife, and I remember thinking this is a great location and that, if I had a chance, I would like to be here.”
When Low Country Kitchen moved off of Lincoln Avenue a year ago, Sunti reached out to the owner of the building to see if he could open his second restaurant at that location.
Sunti used to own Thai restaurants in Loveland and Longmont, but a couple of years ago, he decided he wanted to move his family to Steamboat to live at least part of the year. He opened Talay Thai in November 2017.
Talay Thai’s doors will remain open, but he hopes to bring a different feel, with the same great food, to his downtown location.
“I’m trying to make the new restaurant more unique,” Sunti said. “I will make the food look really beautiful, and I’ve already redone the dinning room to create more ambiance. The menu size is a little bit smaller because I will make sure that every dish goes out just the way I want it.”
Menu options will include red, green, yellow, Massaman, Panang and avocado curries. Entrées will include Ka Pao chicken, lemongrass chicken, pineapple fired rice, garlic butter shrimp, summer fire beef and grilled salmon Chu Chi.
Mai Thai will also serve Thai classic pho bo and wonton noodle soups as well as Thai and basil fried rice. Desserts will include mango and sweet sticky rice, fried ice cream and black rice pudding. Beverages include Thai spiced teas, iced coffee and green tea as well as Mai Thai iced tea and mango juice.
There will also be a full bar offering adult beverages and cocktails including pigeonwings flowers, lemongrass and a variety of Mai Thai drinks.
Both Mai Thai and Talay Thai open at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Sunti said the mountain location closes at 9 p.m., but he is undecided on when the downtown location will close.
The new location will also offer a lunch special. He will offer two entrées each day, along with soup and an egg roll, for $9.95. He said the two entrees will rotate every day.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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