Bodhi Thai Restaurant
Making Any Occasion A Special One
by Jackie Perrone
Dining out can be a quickie snack, a run-of-the-mill meal, or maybe a stumbling effort to try something different and hope for the best.
Or you can make a reservation at Bodhi Thai in Lexington, and enjoy the guarantee of a festive meal with great food, in an upscale environment. Chef Nivit Tipvaree and general manager, Tim Brown have created a venue of exotic choices, superb service, and a memorable experience for all. They have aspirations, and all energies are directed toward realizing their dreams: five stars and world-class honors for their Lexington restaurant. Shooting for the stars, to be sure.
“We are dedicated to be the best,” is how Brown sums it up. “Our chef-owner is the son of highly accomplished, skilled chefs, and earned his own top-level education in culinary arts. We are here to provide everything that makes a wonderful dining experience. So far it’s been totally satisfying, in the two years we have been on Lexington’s Main Street. We look forward to a great future here.”
Chef Nivit was born in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, and mastered the local cuisine at his parents’ side. Upon immigrating to the U.S. he studied in the prestigious Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management program at the University of South Carolina, then graduated from the International Culinary School of the Arts Institute of Charlotte, NC. He likes to call his life’s work “Art on the Plate.” It has to taste good, of course; equally important, it will be beautifully presented; and the third urgent requirement, service must be impeccable. These are the signposts which guide every presentation at Bodhi Thai. A sure path to top recognition in the restaurant world.
Like the pattern in the United States, Thai cuisine differs in the North and in the South of Thailand. Bodhi offers both, with an emphasis on Bangkok tradition. Think Pad Thai, eggs shirred in a wrap, along with choices of meat, noodles, seafood, and authentic sauces. There’s a salad which starts with crayfish and includes seven other fresh garden items, topped with a bacon vinaigrette dressing. Brown modestly rates the Chilean sea bass as “best in the world.” They have a surf-and-turf combination along with what Brown calls “antique appetizers,” – is your palate watering yet? Kao Tom Soup, Papaya Salad, Ginger and Mushroom Sir Fry- you’ll not find these at your local beanery. The list goes on.
Brown presides over Bodhi Thai and confesses to a lifelong addiction to Southeast Asian cuisine and culture. His degree is in International Business, and his passion is bringing Southeast Asia to Americans. Here’s what he says about the building where Bodhi has settled in:
“We are in the heart of Lexington’s Main Street. This building is 107 years old, one of the few structures on Main Street to survive the 1916 fire that devastated Lexington’s downtown. It has housed banks and an insurance agency, and we are proud to make it our home now. Chef Nivit expressed a desire for black-and-gold décor, and I designed the renovations to create a sophisticated atmosphere. The wall at the entrance is 24-karat gold leaf and the chandeliers were brought here from Indonesia. We use a European set-up which supports conversation among diners.”
Delicious food is not the only hallmark at Bodhi. Some evenings feature top quality music, which may be operatic, jazz, guitar or any one of other genres. The Nivit-Brown team stays in touch with local musicians and enjoys presenting them on special evenings.
Brown calls it “Making Memories.” You may call it delicious, and a step up for the Midlands dining scene. Either way, Bodhi Thai is here to enhance our lives and invigorate our taste buds.