If you ever go to Vietnam Restaurant on Route 15 in Essex, Vermont, you'll find yourself in one of those rare moments when understatement is your best dinner companion. Where simplistic elements and uncomplicated combinations guide the cuisine to new plateaus of flavor. You can jump out of your skin of expectation and truly enjoy a pure and delicious meal. For under $10 a plate. The staff is friendly. Not overbearing. Genuine.
The only thing, I might add, that is not understated is the fabulous printed plastic dinnerware in saturated florals of blues, pinks and yellows. In any other setting, I might call it kitschy or gaudy. But at Vietnam, it's endearing and special.
We went there on Saturday night on a double date with Mark and Kathleen. For starters, I ordered my favorite dish, the Shrimp Imperial Roll with hoisin dipping sauce. After that, it was all by numbers (I think my main course was #39).