Drinks & Dining

Date Spot Of The Week: Le Colonial

New York Smash Magazine  

Le Colonial Bahn Mi ($13)

For our appetizer, we savored the Bahn Mi ($13), an order of two scrumptious Vietnamese mini-sandwiches, each with a layer of foie gras.

Le Colonial, an upscale French Vietnamese restaurant, is at the center of bustling Midtown Manhattan, but you’d never know it. From the moment we stepped inside, the city sounds disappeared; Not a honk, nor a siren could be heard. The memory of whatever we had been engaged in prior began to fade from consciousness, as the elegant two level French-inspired townhouse took us farther and farther away.

As we learned, Le Colonial is a place to get away from it all and be one-on-one without distractions. It’s an atmosphere that sets the mood — the perfect date spot.

The restaurant underwent a sweeping renovation, which reached completion last month. Both the first and second floors were redecorated and modernized, while maintaining an enchanting old-world charm. On the second floor, you’ll find an unexpectedly sexy bar and lounge. The dimly-lit setting has lots of cozy nooks for canoodling, plus, a mahogany bar with exotic cocktails (our favorites: Autumns Kiss and Saigon’s Delight).

Head Chef Ronald Wingwee Hsu (formerly of Le Bernardin) is the mastermind behind Le Colonial’s delectable Vietnamese cuisine, which he calls “authentic with a personalized and updated twist.”

Impeccably-designed plates and exotic flavors are perfect for enjoying with a special someone. To see photos of our four-course date night meal at Le Colonial, scroll down.

Date Night Tips

Where to sit: Edgar Vaudeville of Le Colonial recommends reserving table 39, if you want to sit next to your date and have a view of the dining room. Corner tables 12 and 38 are very cozy — ideal for a second date. The more laid-back round tables 1, 2, 3 or 5 are good options for a first date.

 Le Colonial Restaurant New York Goi Ga Salad

Le Colonial Goi Ga salad: Poached chicken, green papaya, star fruit carpaccio, chili lime vinaigrette ($13)

We shared this refreshing Goi Ga salad ($13) with poached chicken, green papaya, star fruit carpaccio and chili lime vinaigrette.

Le Colonial Restaurant New York Vit Quay Duck

Le Colonial Vit Quay: Five spices, roasted duck, shredded jicama, tamarind ginger sauce ($31)

For our third course, we had the Vit Quay, a duck so tender and flavorful, it tastes like a delicacy. The Vit Quay takes the longest to prepare out of anything on the menu, Chef Hsu told New York Smash. The duck meat undergoes a two-day preparation process before it is ready to be served.

Le Colonial Restaurant New York Chocolate Sriracha Cake

Le Colonial Chocolate Sriracha Cake with vanilla ice cream and an exciting touch of spiciness ($12)

For dessert, the Chocolate Sriracha Cake is a must-try. We were ooh-ing and ah-ing while experiencing the exotic taste of chocolate infused with a hint of spicy sriracha, adding the perfect amount of heat that even the most mild taste buds would relish. The chocolate is classically romantic, while a bit of spice ignites the senses. Paired with cooling vanilla ice cream, this melodious dessert deserves five-stars. We’ve been craving it ever since.

Le Colonial Restaurant and Lounge Cocktails New York

Le Colonial cocktails (from left to right): Autumns Kiss and Saigon’s Delight ($14 each)

After dinner, we headed upstairs to the bar and lounge for cocktails. Recently, Le Colonial introduced a new cocktail menu, created by world-class mixologists. We loved the fall and winter-themed cocktail, Autumns Kiss, an infusion of vodka, honey/apple, cinnamon and fresh lemon, and savored Saigon’s Delight (think of a Cosmopolitan’s cool cousin), a concoction of vodka, spiced pomegranate and fresh lime juice.