Thai Green Leaf is a palate pleaser

Monday was a great night to go out for dinner. Fewer other diners made it more quiet and relaxing, and the pleasing food at Thai Green Leaf only added to the experience.

Ceiling fans turned ever so slowly in the subtly-lit dining area. Walls painted sage green featured chair rails and wainscoting. Decor was attractively understated: white lights draped inside the front windows, a framed floral print hanging on a folding screen near the center of the room, and a small bar anchoring the rear of the space. Rather than Thai music, classical sounds played softly in the background.

As we looked over the menu, our waiter brought us a bowl of complimentary cucumbers. The narrow sections of fresh, peeled cucumber were served in a thin red sauce with a sweet and sour flavor. Quite good.

Our appetizer was steamed chicken dumplings ($5.95). The six crescent-shaped dumplings arrived hot, along with a ginger-based sauce for dipping. The soft dumplings were filled with finely-ground chicken with a nice, mild flavor, and the ginger sauce added a sweet followed by peppery accent on our palates.

The Green Leaf special ($13.95) offered chicken, shrimp and beef stir-fried with broccoli, carrots, green beans and mushrooms, accompanied by a small bowl of white rice. A choice of sauces was available, and I chose the brown sauce, which was of medium consistency and punctuated by soy sauce. The chicken, shrimp and beef were all quite tender and flavorful, and I appreciated that the beef wasn’t chewy as in similar dishes we’ve had elsewhere. We highly recommend this dish.

Also a winner was the garlic shrimp ($13.95), which tossed together the garlic-accented shrimp with shiitake mushrooms, scallions and bamboo shoots. It was also served with white rice. A guest was concerned that the shrimp might be overpowered with garlic, but that wasn’t the case. The sauce had a rich, pleasing flavor, and the shrimp medium to large in size.

The most adventurous among us tried the green curry ($11.95). The bowl held pieces of chicken and eggplant in the thick, creamy, pale green curry sauce also flavored with basil and coconut milk. The initial taste was sweet with a delayed, spicy kick. Also served with white rice, our older daughter found it different but good.

Our younger daughter, a big Thai tea fan, termed Green Leaf’s tea ($2.95) great. She also sampled the noodles with chicken ($9.95). The broad rice noodles were stir-fried with pieces of tender chicken and broccoli flowerets in a satisfying mild brown bean oyster gravy.

All entrees were large enough to require to-go boxes.

Before leaving, we shared a fried banana ($4.25). The banana was wrapped in a thin pastry shell, fried and topped with sesame seeds and honey. A cherry-topped dollop of whipped cream completed the sweet, meal-ending treat.