By Peter Milligan | Photos courtesy of Thaiverse

If you’re familiar with the Northern Virginia Thai restaurant scene, you’ve likely noticed that they are all very similar.

Panang curry.

Panang curry.

Thaiverse, currently located in the town of Lovettsville, Virginia, is not cut from that same mold. They are unique. They are authentic.

They are a true dining destination… and they are coming to Middleburg. Set to open this spring on the corner of Federal and Madison streets in the location formerly held by the French Hound restaurant, Thaiverse offers genuine Thai dishes cooked up by Piya Cameron, the chef and co-owner.

Born and raised in Thailand, Chef Piya honed her craft in kitchens all over the world including the United Kingdom, where she met her husband and co-owner James Cameron. (We would love to tell you much more of James and Piya’s story, but strongly recommend coming in to hear it from them. They are one-of-a-kind characters.)

Chef Piya Cameron, a true master of authentic Thai creations.

Chef Piya Cameron, a true master of authentic Thai creations.

Together, Piya and James have been operating their Lovettsville location since December 2015 and have enjoyed much success and local acclaim. They look to bring that same buzz to Middleburg — with a few key changes.

“Owning a restaurant in a small community like Middleburg is all about looking after people,”
-James

While the Lovettsville location offers a fine selection of wines and standard beer options, James looks to expand the beverage program at the Middleburg location and plans to partner with local vineyards and breweries to offer a plethora of hometown beverage options.

The Camerons will also offer both indoor and outdoor seating at the Middleburg location, with the hopes of an outdoor patio for an enjoyable place to relax and feast on Piya’s bevy of Thai specialties.

Chicken satay.

Chicken satay.

Speaking of which, here is a small preview of what’s to come at Thaiverse Middleburg:

Tom Yum Soup — While this writer is typically a die-hard spring roll fan, Piya’s kicked-up version of the traditional soup cannot come more highly recommended. While chilies give the soup a warmth and occasional sweat-inducing kick, it’s the pleasant (and highly authentic) sourness and slight sweetness that keeps you coming back for more. Fresh, crisp veggies certainly don’t hurt either.

Pad Thai — While this is the Thai equivalent to ordering steak and potatoes at any American restaurant, this “standard” is anything but at Thaiverse. Although we have become used to the sweet and sour flavor of typical pad thai, Piya’s version returns to the traditional spiciness of the authentic dish. It is truly addicting.

Sticky Toffee Pudding — Yep, you read that right. James, who is a born and bred Scotsman, brings his culinary influence to dessert, and it is a show stopper. Dates offer a natural sweetness and delightful chewiness to a truly decadent bread pudding-like cake, and a nutty, ooey gooey, sticky toffee sauce serves as an admirable sidekick. While it’s often served with vanilla ice cream, we were treated to toasted coconut.

Thai fish cakes.

Thai fish cakes.

It is this culinary spin that gives James and Piya’s restaurant its name. Thaiverse is all about offering truly delicious and truly authentic Thai cuisine, while providing diverse options that represent the couple’s journey together. And James said he’s looking forward to bringing that vision to Middleburg.

“Owning a restaurant in a small community like Middleburg is all about looking after people,” said James. “That means fresh ingredients, quality food and a great experience. We’re looking to make Thaiverse not just a place where people go to eat good Thai food, but a real destination.” ML

Thaiverse, 19 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville, VA 20180

703-628-2444 | thaiverse.com