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Restaurants & Bars 1

DAT: Le Colonial

Bryan Gros | Jan 22, 2004 02:58 PM

Lisa and I went to Le Colonial on Monday for Dine About Town. Had not heard of it before, just picked it because entrees were in the high 20s. DAT was a good excuse to try. Supposedly vietnamese-inspired California food.

Only a couple tables full when we arrived, but it was 6:15 on a Monday! We were quickly seated and the menus sounded great, the winelist was extensive, with a good selection of half bottles. We were offered a choice of bottled water or tap water right away.

After a brief time the waiter told us of the specials. He recommended sharing things family style if we wanted, including an appetizer sampler of five different appetizers ($27 for two). We had to ask at this time about DAT, and he ran to get that menu. Hmmm. Appetizer choice of the fried spring rolls ($11) or something else. Entree choice of a fish or a prawn curry ($24). Dessert was flourless chocolate cake ($6 I think)

Lisa chose the DAT menu with the curry and I chose the hoisin spareribs ($11) and the roasted duck with galanga-something sauce ($26).

The spring rolls appeared quickly, followed by the ribs a few minutes later. Both placed in the center, with the assumption that we would share (and we wanted to). The spring rolls were really good, crispy and hot, but the inside was crunchy vegetables and a good balance of flavors. Nice rolled inside a lettuce leaf as suggested. The ribs were also great, probably fried, as they were crunchy, but good spicy dark hoisin sauce. Served with a big bunch of shredded carrots/onions/cabbage that was good at picking up the sauce. Portions were generous, with about six or seven good sized spring rolls and a nice pile of ribs.

The service was good, attentive, and paced well. The entrees came out together and were both also excellent. The curry was green, good balance of spice for our tastes, not particularly hot, but very fragrant. Quite a few prawns in there as well. The duck was served over green and yellow beans, which I grabbed first, and they were excellent--crispy slightly on the outside, but showing off the depth of the sauce. Don't know what was in it, other than the galanga and lemongrass. Good balance, spicy and flavorful, and went great with the crispy duck. I got a leg/thigh and a breast, medium rare. We took most of our entrees home, so got another meal out of it.

We split the dessert, which was also very well done, pretty standard runny chocolate cake with creme anglaise, served a bit warm. Overall the meal was excellent, the service also great. Prices seem a bit high, and for that reason not sure when I'll be back. But certainly glad I went. Place was pretty full by the time we left.

Total was $125 with a half bottle of Tattinger brut ($35) and tax and tip.

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