When you have a seat by candlelight on the outside patio you should prepare to be whisked away by the most extraordinary Thai cuisine this side of the Beltway. A family owned and operated establishment, Cattleya offers diners an exquisite experience. Once a small operation in D.C., Ulanee Methasate decided to move her business to Virginia four months ago, and what a wonderful decision.
Although appetizers at most Asian restaurants are typically overlooked, with the exception of a spring roll or soup, the appetizers at Cattleya are not to be missed. For starters, the Satay, often drenched in a dull, Skippyesque peanut sauce at other restaurants, is served with sauce on the side mixed with a bit of curry and also comes with a small dish of sweet and sour. The sweet and sour is not too thick or sweet and a garnish of fresh cucumber heightens the fabulous taste.
It is now my duty to urge patrons to order the Moo Yang, a grilled, marinated pork appetizer that is truly mouth watering. The pork is chargrilled for added flavor and arrives tender and sumptuous on the plate. Both are alive with the rich flavoring that one experiences with a home grill.
Cattleya does more than justice to curry lovers everywhere. Upon the server’s request, the Punang Nua, sliced beef in Punang nua, sliced beef in punang curry paste with coconut milk, arrives at the table with a side of rice. One will not find himself through an excess of sauce to find a shred of beef at Cattleya. The beef is tender and plentiful, as if the accompaniment of broccoli that it is served with. Another entree that is highly recommended is the Ka Pow, a choice of meat stirred with garlic and chili sauce. The dish is furnished with fresh green and red pepper as well as a nice compliment of fresh basil. Both ingredients infuse this dish that is reminiscent of Italian cooking, but the extra spice from the chili brings one right back to Thailand.