Road-Trip Restaurant: Siam

August 13 2012, 10:30 AM

When my travels took me to Telluride recently, never did I think I would stumble upon a restaurant such as Siam. This culinary treasure sits right in town and features a menu of traditional and contemporary Thai eats stretching nearly a dozen pages.

No matter which side of the menu you choose from, the dishes steer-clear of the common pitfalls: too sweet, unrefined, or gloppy. If you prefer classic combinations, order the peanut stir-fry (pra ram) with chicken, which gets a nice tropical boost from the small hunks of pineapple. Or go fusion with choo chi ahi for seared ahi with curried peanut sauce and a hint of wasabi.

Either way, begin with the (giggle-inducing) nipple platter appetizer. Yes, that's how it's written on the menu. The filling plate (pictured) includes two crispy egg rolls filled with veggies and clear noodles; two crab rangoons with crab meat, cream cheese, and scallions wrapped in fried wontons; two chicken satay skewers; two tempura shrimp; and two crab-and-chicken dumplings that can be ordered fried or steamed. (I recommend steamed to counter the rest of the fried items.) When the starter arrives, eat the shrimp first and dunk them in the full-bodied peanut sauce.

Tip: If you manage to save some room for dessert, the Sweet Life on Telluride's main drag is a must. The old-timey ice cream parlor sets the stage for a menu of cupcakes and ice cream. Order the PMS—if you can get past the name—and dig into a brownie smothered with chocolate ice cream, hot fudge, crushed Reese's Pieces, and whipped cream.

Siam, 200 S. Davis St., Telluride, 970-728-6886

The Sweet Life, 115 W. Colorado Ave., Telluride, 970-728-8789