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“Interesting appetizers, lackluster main courses...”
Review of Le Colonial

Le Colonial
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Ranked #58 of 9,810 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: French, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Gold Coast
Cross street: Oak
Transit: Chicago El & Bus Route 22,36,151,156
Description: Le Colonial Is Celebrating 15 Years In Chicago’s Gold Coast Area On Rush Street. This Noted Up-scale French-vietnamese Restaurant Transports Guests To Another Time And Place, Vividly Recapturing The Beauty, Romance And Spirit Of 1920’s French Colonial Southeast Asia. The Second-floor Main Bar, Lounge, And Terrace Are Adorned With Plush Couches, Woven Rattan Chairs, And Potted Palms. Black And White Photos Of Turn Of The Century Life In Saigon Set The Stage For Your Next Event."le Colonial Is An Escapist's Paradise, A Cleverly Crafted Re-creation Of The Civilized Yet Exotic World Of French Indochina. Here In Its Tony Oak Street Environs, Le Colonial Has One Of The Loveliest Dining Rooms In The City -- And The Second Floor Lounge Is A Sultry, Seductive Cocktail Destination.”
Reviewed July 20, 2014

I come back to Le Colonial now and then because it is generally a very elegant place to be. The cuisine is not a true "French-Vietnamese" cuisine, although there are some borrowing and exchanging of ideas. Traditional French-Vietnamese cuisine (very loosely defined) would have included French dishes re-interpreted in the Vietnamese way, rather than Vietnamese dishes using French techniques (this would be the territory of nouvelle cuisine vietnamienne...). At Le Colonial, the cuisine is really Vietnamese with some amateurish creativity involved. The appetizers and the sides are generally quite good, including the pho. The main dishes, though, are really odd. They lack "oomph" in flavor, and the presentation is on the unsophisticated side. The sea bass as well as the steak and shrimp main courses appear a tad sloppy. The sea bass dish is not bad, the steak and shrimp a bit amateurish and not very well thought out. Some other dishes tasted more Chinese than Vietnamese.

But hey, food tradition has to evolve, and there will be hits and misses. But at the end of the day, it was a great evening, service was excellent, and the pseudo-indochine décor was pleasant. Highly recommend, but know that this is an interpretation of Vietnamese cuisine.

And speaking of interpretation of Vietnamese cuisine outside of Vietnam - Indochine 1929 in Hong Kong is the best! Same general colonial atmosphere and decor, but the food is much more sophisticated.

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2  Thank Dom V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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441 - 445 of 948 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2014 via mobile

Wonderful ambiance with lots of interesting Chicagoans. Varied menu. Enjoy each visit and definitely recommend it.

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Thank Talentisageless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2014

Very beautiful restaurant, with lovely colonial touches, somehow very calming and relaxing after the buzz of other places in the area. We have been twice now and both times the food has been excellent.

Thank manchester21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014 via mobile

Le Colonial is a real treat. Vietnamese food with a flair of excellence. Try the spring rolls and the chicken stir fry - amazing. Let not forget the service that exceptional. Thank you Terry for the great service and recommendations!

Thank RMGTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Our experience was top-notch. Reservations netted our party of 6 a good table and an excellent server. It's a white linen kind of place with a rich, colonial French Vietnamese ambience and menu. The food was excellent and very fresh. We were downstairs as a large private event had taken over the top floor, but we liked our seating. Service was attentive. Throughout the evening we felt very relaxed and well-taken care of. A member of our party was gluten free and the kitchen staff had no problem accomodating. Dishes that were memorable include: Bouillabaisse with coconut saffron broth, Ca Song - tuna tartare, Chao Tom - grilled shrimp wrapped around sugar cane.

Heartily recommended.

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Thank NotinIrvineanymore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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