Montien in the Theater District is more elegant than the Chinatown Competition nearby.
Pale peach walls and a curvaceous, dark wood bar frame the tiny space, with pretty piants around the room and cozyseatstucked into aicoves along one wall.
Thai cuisine is the focus, but there's also a sushi bar in the back.
Appetizers included irresistible chicken satay, sticking out of an orange on skewers, with the most tender grilled meat and salty-sweet peanut asuce. Crispy curry puffs formed miniature flaky pastry footballs packed with spiced mashed potatoes and onions, served with sweet-sour cucumber sauce for dipping.
For entrees, the pad Thai worked peanuts and succulent shrimp and chicken into a soft tangle of tangy noodlrs with egg, chiles, and garlic. The Red Sea dish flooded rich, fiery red curry and sweet basil across extravagant seafood like shrimp, scallops, squid, and fish.
Finishing up, the mango with sticky rice contrasted cool, ripe fruit with warm, creamy coconut rice so that the combo melted in the mouth.
Portions are big enough to share, and sides like pineapple fried rice round out the meal.
Service disappeared during the par-theater rush, but they got everyone out in time for the show.
Cleanliness was decent, although the silverware and the table weren't completely fresh.
Seven-dollar appetizers get a round of applause, along with entrees at $10 to $21
Montien is a fast, blavorful place before curtain call, located on Stuart Street in the Theater District. There's a second location in Inman Square, Combridge.
83 PHANTOM APPROVED
See Video Clip
29th Annual Best of Boston Issue
August 2002, page 166
The Best of Boston 2002
Montien The city’s most delicious proof that life exists beyond Pad Thai is found within these neon-lit walls. Authentic and exceptionally fresh dishes dominate chef-owner Tony Suktheva’s Thai menu (ask for it specifically, or odds are you’ll be handed the Americanized version), and they’ve earned him a rabid following. It’s well deserved. Straight from Bangkok dishes like Kai jeaw goong-sub (omelet with shrimp and chili) and Larb gai (super-spicy minced chicken) sing with the region’s sharp flavors: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chili. The red curry is smooth, sweet, and teeming with gorgeous veggies. Oh! And for the record: There is Pad Thai, and it’s superb. (63 Stuart Street, Boston, 617-338-5600)
NEW ENGLAND’S MAGAZINE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Volume 5, edition 2
February 2001, page 24
Our guide to wining, dining, and food, glorious food
By Peter Smith
SPICES AND COMFORT: MONTIEN, BOSTON
Though many dislike winter, I enjoy savage cold because it enhances the pleasure of arriving at a warm destination. On one recent frigid evening I found sanctuary in Montien, a charming Thai restaurant in the Theatre District.
Montien would be a cozy enclave in any type of weather; now, after enduring the pitiless vituperation of the north wind, I found it heavenly. Forced to communicate in grunts until my face defrosted, I emerged from a cold-induced stupor and managed to express my desire for a table to the charming young man who greeted me. He showed me a booth. The booths at Montien are perhaps better described as alcoves: walled on three sides. They are intimate enclosures that would suit romantic purposes well.
Here one might whisper sweet nothings on St. Valentine’s Day without being overheard by one’s neighbors. (Being alone, I whispered no sweet nothings to anybody and was thus unable to test my hypothesis; but the restaurant seemed festooned with amorous couples, and I overheard nobody’s discourse, romantic or otherwise.) Ella Fitzgerald, in a bittersweet and mellow mood, sand softly through discreetly placed speakers. A small oil lamp flickered merrily on the table; an elegant glass vase bore a neat arrangement of flora. Pure warmth and comfort melted all over me.
The drinking of soup, the hotter the better, was a physical and moral imperative. Montien has the usual varieties of Thai soup: tom yum goong (hot-and-sour broth with lemon grass and lime juice plus shrimp, mushroom, and chili peppers); tom yum sea food (a sibling of the goong fellow that differs in having fish and squid as well); and tom kha kai (coconut milk broth with lemon grass and lemon juice plus chicken and spices). Of main courses Montien has many. There are the customary rice-noodle dishes, including the famous staple pad thai and padse iew (comprising wide, curly noodles, Chinese broccoli, and egg bits in soy sauce) There are also some curry concoctions and many seafood dishes. Within moments the deal was done: a bow of tom yum goong, and order of pad thai with extra spices, and a bottle of Singha beer, an excellent Thai beverage (calling itself “malt liquor”) that approximates good European lager.
I sat back and prepared myself for a decadent prandial orgy.
There can be no better comestible on a frigid winter night than tom yum goong, and Montien’s edition of this noble soup is among the best that I have ever tasted. The broth us pleasingly spicy , a condition assisted by two or three chilli peppers. Well –pared shrimp, tucked neatly knots, lurk at the bottom. The Singha beer neatly complemented the spices and gave relief whenever I ate a chili pepper. I now moved on to the pad thai , which arrived a few moments after my empty soup bowl was whisked away. Fairly lengthy rice noodles, a gentle beige color, were flavored with chopped peanut, scallion, bits of egg, and fish sauce, while I had chosen tofu chunks as an accompaniment, chicken and shrimp are obtainable as well. Though I would have liked the dish to be spicier than it was, the ensemble tasted, on the whole, better than standard-issue pad thai.
Delaying my return to the bitter objurgation of the north wind, I lingered for as long as l could without actually asking whether the kitchen staff needed any help. But when I did depart I felt braced by Montien’s spices and comfort. I shell return perhaps, next time, even with somebody to whom I may whisper sweet nothings.
Boston Sunday Herald
New England Living
September 6,1998, Page 41
Think globally, eat locally
By Mat Schaffer
When you dine at a Thai restaurant, are you served the same food as the Thai family across the room? Not necessarily. Many ethnic menu to most customers, believing it more accessible and pleasing to “American“ palates.
If you want a more genuine ethnic dining experience, ask the waiter or owner for recommendations, or lean over and ask that couple at the next table what they’re having. Or do as we did, and invite a knowledgeable friend to dinner. You’re guaranteed a delicious adventure.
When the Thai karaoke kicks in after 10 on weekend nights at Montien restaurant, you’d swear you were in Bangkok, not Boston’s Theater District. That’s why Buntueng “Sam” Chindapanich come here to relax after work. A restaurant manager, Chindapanich orders off the Thai manu – traditional delicacies like sai-krok-e-san, grilled pork sausages you eat with alternating bites of peanut, fresh chili pepper and ginger; som-tom, green papaya salad and sticky rice (roll the rice into tiny balls to scoop up some salad); and tod mun, minced fish cakes.
Kang-som-talay, a citrusy, spicy soup of poached shellfish served in a metal hot pot, comes to the table erupting tongues of flame. Kai-jeaw-moo-sub is a delicious pork-stuffed omelet; Moo-krob-pad-med-prik-thai-on is a curried stir-fry of crispy pork, basil leaves and chili paste.
Chindapanich says that “in Bangkok there’s a food vendor on every corner. We eat four or five meals daily- Thai people live to eat!”
Boston Sunday Herald
August 5, 2001
By Matt Schaffer
When Montien chef-owner Tony Suktheva talks about making red curry paste from scratch, he talks about the power of the earth to heal. He explains that garlic is good for the heart and, galangal will keep you fit. Red onion, red pepper, lemongrass and lemon peel, he confides, all have healthful properties as well.
Fortunately, the same benefits of homemade red curry paste can be found in the canned version- readily available at Asian markets. That makes preparing Suktheva’s renowned red curry chicken a snap for Thai-food-loving home cooks.
“This is typical of the curries we have backing Bangkok” Suktheva say. “It’s not too hot and not too spicy so everyone in the family can eat it.”
Feel free to substitute other vegetables (Suktheva suggersts egg-plant, green peas or string beans) for the bamboo shoots. Be certain your kitchen is vented – pan-frying the curry paste releases fumes. And make sure you serve the curry with plenty of steamed jasmine rice, the way it’s done back in Thailand.
“People love the real Thai dishes we serve at Montien,” says Suktheva. “They come back for more and they bring their friends.”
MONTIEN RED CURRY CHICHEN
4T. vegetable oil
1 can Thai red curry paste (available at Asian markets)
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
3T. Thai fish sauce (available at Asian market)
5 kaffir lime leaves (available at Asian market)
2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 small can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced Basil leaves
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil. Pan-Fry the red curry paste for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, the fish sauce, the kaffir lime leaves, sugar and salt. Bring to a rolling simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sliced chicken and drained bamboo shoots. Cook until the chicken is done, 4-5 minutes, Divide among four plates. Garnish with the green and red bell pepper slices and the basil leaves. Makes 4 servings.