Le Colonial was our pick for Ernie's birthday dinner this year. I had heard such great things about this place from several people and finally decided to give it a try when I saw their gluten-free menu online.
I had apparently walked by this restaurant several times before and had never really noticed it. We were seated by the windows in the front. The insides had a very French Colonial feel to it with dark wooden panneling on the walls, extraordinarly high ceilings with detailed moulding. The wait-staff was dressed in traditional Asian Kung-Fu suits made of cloth rather than silk.
We heard this place was a Vietnamese-French fusion place. I'm not sure that it was anything more than Vietnamese food served in a French influenced decor with French wine on the list. Either way, we ordered a white wine from the Loir Valley to start.
As an appetizer, Ernie and I shared a salad #14 Goi Bun So. The grilled sea scallops were so delicious, fresh and juicy. The rest of the salad was just mesclun greens tossed with some rice noodles. I did like the vinagrette but the salad was pretty straight-forward.
For our main dish, we both ordered #40 Sup Do Bien. The menu says: "Bouillabaisse of coconut saffron lemongrass broth, lobster, mussels, shrimp, scallops, & whitefish, with vermicelli noodles & aromatic herbs" It was DELISH-ious! There was a hearty amount of seafood, at least 3 pieces of lobster and more yummy scallops. The soup was light but filling and I love adding the fresh cilantro to the hot soup.
While the food was great, and the final bill was worthy of a special occasion, I'm happy we experienced it but not sure I'd be returning anytime soon. There are lots of Vietnamese places north of us that would be significantly less costly and probably equally as delicious (though they may skimp on the quality and quantity of the seafood). I was also a bit turned off by the waitstaff and their seemingly snotty attitude towards us, like we weren't the upper echelon crowd that would normally dine there.
The best part of the meal was eaves-dropping on the couple next to us that had to be the most painful first date ever. The guy spent the majority of the time on his cell phone leisurely talking to his friends while the gal waited patiently with her hands folded in her lap. Then their food came, neither talked during the meal as they shoveled the food into their mouths. The guy asked for boxes to go and that was it!
937 N Rush Street