Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Le Colonial

I can practically see Le Colonial from my window. It's right around the corner and I've probably walked by it dozens of times. It's not that I thought it wouldn't be good, but it's in the direction where I won't walk after a certain time on weekend nights (the Triangle. shudder.) and we don't do a whole lot of dining out during the week. So finally, fates collided and Peter and I both had an entire day off together. Actually now that I'm remembering the day, it wasn't the whole day, but most of it. Still pretty darn good.

We decided to have a lunch date, and even though he really wanted to take me to Urban Belly I didn't feel like getting the car out and then worrying about all the check engine lights and impending inspections and failed emissions tests going on in our vehicular life right now, because I haven't had a car since 2004 and really don't know all these things you're supposed to do and rules you're supposed to follow and tests you're supposed to have done. Feet and subways are a much easier way to get around. So we walked a block to Le Colonial and took them up on their lunch deal.

That, my friends, is pho. "Hearty oxtail soup with rice noodles, beef tenderloin slices, and aromatic herbs." What is an oxtail you ask? Or maybe you don't ask. But I did. Unlike sweetbreads, oxtail is exactly what you think it is. The tail of the cow. It's most often slow-cooked or braised, or used for a soup stock (as it was here). The broth was really tasty, and I added about half of the hot and sweet sauces they gave us. Maybe a little more of the hot. The red is the hot one, and the dark is the sweet.

For the next course we shared three things. Soft salad rolls of shrimp, rice vermicelli, lettuce, bean sprouts, & aromatic herbs in rice paper, with peanut plum dipping sauce:

A salad of grilled salmon with pineapple, grape tomatoes, cucumber, & pineapple vinaigrette:

That was all we got with the lunch special, but I also wanted to try the fried rice because one of my coworkers sometimes has it for lunch and raves about it. So we ordered a side of chicken fried rice, which ended up being more like a huge pile. Fine by me, we had plenty of leftovers to bring home.

Everything was really, really good. We finished all the dishes except the fried rice. I loved the salmon and pineapple salad. Anything with pineapple in it, especially if it's a little bit warm...yum.

So here's the lowdown. Le Colonial is a French-Vietnamese restaurant. It's a little on the fancy side, mostly because of the neighborhood and the clientele. I'm sure it's a scene on weekend nights, but for lunch it was just perfect. We even got an outdoor seat in the front of the restaurant. Their lunch deal is $12 for two courses (choices of a couple different soups, salads, and spring rolls). A pretty good deal, if you ask me.

Le Colonial
937 N. Rush St., Chicago IL 60611

1 comment:

  1. I've been there! I actually lived in that neighborhood...on Dearborn and Elm. And I also used to walk by it (sometimes drunk on my way to Le Passage lol) having no idea that it was French-inspired Vietnamese. I think metromix informed me of that lol...so i gave it a try. It was good!