The first time I went to Le Colonial was just before the turn of the 20th century at a friend’s master’s degree graduation party, held upstairs. The white tablecloths signaled it might be a more formal affair than expected, so I was relieved when directed upstairs where I was immediately transported to 1920s Saigon. The tables were shadowed by large palm tree fronds as I made my way to the back, where my friend and her family were gathered on rattan couches. We sipped cocktails and nibbled on appetizers and I returned several times over the years for various parties, events, lunches and dinners. I have always liked their take on French-Vietnamese food and also the seductive dining room and classic service that came with it.
During my most recent visit, Le Colonial was as charming as ever. We were so engrossed in conversation not realizing 4 1/2 hours had passed, until I glanced up to see we were the last ones left in the dining room. The valet parking attendant had even gone home (with my keys) so we had to wait for him to bring them back.
The next day, when I was looking online for old photos of Le Colonial, I stumbled upon the news that they will be relocating to a new building in 2019. While a fresh feel is always welcome, I’m a little sad that all those memories can’t be relocated to a new space.
Le Colonial | 937 N Rush St, Chicago IL | 312 255 0088