Cai's Dim Sum Delivers Dumplings and More in Brattleboro | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Cai's Dim Sum Delivers Dumplings and More in Brattleboro 

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

A sign outside a sprawling gray Victorian in West Brattleboro reads "CX Silver Gallery." Below that: "Dim Sum."

Inside, Cai Xi (pronounced "tsai-shee") and Adam Silver, a quirky pair of empty nesters, serve dim sum in their first-floor art gallery. By far the most authentic Sichuan-style Chinese food in Vermont, it's available most days — with advance notice.

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

But diners will also pick up on a distinct Green Mountain flavor. That's because Cai blends the culinary traditions of her native city of Chongqing, China, with those of her adopted state of the last three decades.

So the sesame-scented, fork-tender bai zhan ji — poached chicken breast, sliced thin and served cold — comes with garlic-scape purée instead of the traditional scallion sauce. Likewise, dried cranberries add tartness to a tangle of spicy dan dan noodles — though cranberries were largely unknown in China until recent years.

"We use maple syrup, too, because we're Vermont people," Adam said, carrying a pot of Pu'er tea to the table one night. "That's our poetic license."

Location Details Cai's Dim Sum Teahouse
814 Western Ave.
Brattleboro/Okemo Valley
Brattleboro, VT
open 7 days
Chinese and Catering

Much of the meat and produce comes from the Brattleboro Farmers Market, where the couple sells handmade dumplings and other Chinese specialties most Saturdays spring through fall.

It's likely, then, that the pork tucked into the paper-thin xiao long bao once frolicked in a nearby field. The petite dumplings make a fine warm-up for a plate of mala tofu or fish, smothered in scorching red-chile sauce with peanuts and green onions, or a beef stir-fry heaped with pungent shishito peppers and sliced red onion.

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

If mouth-numbing heat isn't your jam, anything can be made mild or medium — but you'll need to request that when you order, which happens when you reserve your table. Most dishes are priced between $5 and $15 and portioned for a crowd, all the better for sampling a spectrum of flavors.

So bring an appetite — and as many friends as you can.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2017.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Related Locations

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Hannah Palmer Egan

About The Author

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan is a food and drink writer at Seven Days.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Category

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation