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“Cool modern restaurant with amazing food and drinks!”

Coley's American Bistro
Ranked #50 of 396 Restaurants in Columbia
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We had one night in Columbia, so we walked nearly the entire District trying to find the best restaurant for dinner. Coley's was the first that caught our eye, and by the end of our loop, it still sounded the best. Considering what a great meal and experience we had here, we could have saved ourselves a lot of walking by just eating here in the first place!

We noticed the nice patio as we walked up but it was a touch warm so we opted to eat inside. The interior is sleek and modern looking, with wood floors and a cool color palette. Our seats were right in front of the floor to ceiling windows that look out toward the District, and lots of natural light.

Both ravenous, we ordered drinks and an appetizer, the beer cheese dip. This was perfect to take the edge off our hunger. Think a stadium-style soft pretzel crossed with a breadstick, accompanied by a thick, spreadable dip of cheese and scallions, but more subtle and nuanced than a typical gooey cheese dip. I enjoyed a refreshing sangria, while my wife had a bloody mary that seemed well-balanced and a touch spicy.

For entrees, I went with the roasted chicken with jus, while my wife had the pesto pasta. Both featured roasted chicken (as did many menu items), which was a good choice as it was incredibly delicious. The chicken was moist and juicy, with a crisp seasoned skin. The jus was amazing, with sweet caramelized onions and the what tasted like tangy sherry or marsala. I gladly cleared my plate of the chicken, mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus, mopping up every morsel of jus.

My wife offered a taste of her entree, and I enjoyed that too. The pesto was lively and fresh-tasting, nicely coating the spiral pasta. Tossed with green beans, tomatoes and olives, plus some more of that roasted chicken, this was a uniquely flavorful creation. And a hefty portion of it, too, as we took a box with almost half of the pasta home with us for a later tasty treat.

Finally, all of this superb food came at a shockingly reasonable price. I can't think of a lot of dinners out where my wife and I can have an appetizer, drinks and two entrees of this caliber for $40, but that was about where we ended the night. I've spent much more on far less impressive meals at other restaurants. Were I a Columbia resident, Coley's seems like a shoo-in for a favorite restaurant to return to again and again. As it is, we'll just have to remember our one trip there fondly and maybe plan another trip to central Missouri in the future.

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Thank Cyclone05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 - 75 of 77 reviews

Reviewed December 28, 2012

First time going there....didn't want to get TOO full, so I ordered the Salmon spinach salad with Honey-Bacon dressing. The menu claimed "fresh spinach" and it was SO fresh!! I was very impressed. The salmon was good to perfection and tasted perfect with nothing on it! But the honey-bacon dressing..was just incredible! It actually tasted like honey bacon, but it was somehow perfect with the salmon and the spinach. Plus, it was actually a satisfying salad-I wasn't hungry after eating it!! I also got mashed potatoes, which you could tell were homemade :)

Our water glasses were never empty, because the waiter always came and filled them promptly.
My boyfriend got the honey-citrus chicken wrap and it was the perfect balance and sweet & spicy! He also got the pepperjack mac&cheese, which also had a kick to it but was amazing.
First of MANY times we will go there! Very happy.
(Plus, the two of us entrees & sides [they are served a la carte] for UNDER $25!)

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Thank Anna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

While I hadn't heard anything about this place for the first year I lived here, I have now been several times. It seems that they are really not as well known as most other downtown restaurants. That can only be good for you, because I've never had to wait. Exceptional food and a great wine list. Will continue to frequent.

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Thank ckassotis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

This seriously could be my favorite restaurant in Columbia.
They have some kick [--] nachos (though I usually ask for extra cheese)!
I really enjoy the Cajun Chicken Philly and the Hoisin Pork chop.

They also have a martini club which is really cool. After 10 martinis you get a $10 gift certificate you can use on your next visit. How cool is that?
The coffee cake martini is my favorite.
This place is still a undiscovered gem in Columbia...so check it out while it isn't packed!

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Thank DvoManG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

My husband and I took a couple of guests to Coley's American Bistro in Columbia for dinner. We had never been there before, but the reviews we read sounded promising. The food tasted excellent and its presentation was good. My roasted chicken was tasty, but I received only three asparagus spears with my meal, which seemed stingy. My husband's 7 oz. beef tenderloin was served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. The steak was cooked just to his liking (medium rare). Our guests had the 4 oz. beef tenderloin and the chicken nachos. Both stated that their meal was superb. The only problem was that the service was awful. It took over thirty minutes to get our drinks and over an hour and a half to get our meals. When we asked for some bread to tide us over, we were given two small slices for a party of four. The tea and Pepsi were both flat and tasteless. The waitress did not bother to apologize for the long wait. It was also incredibly loud in the restaurant as there aren't any rugs or carpeting to dampen the sound of other restaurant patrons.

We will probably go back to Coley's because of the excellent food, but the service leaves much to be desired.

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

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