River Oaks District has continued to maintain its name as the place to eat, drink, and play with the recent opening of Le Colonial. Making its way to Houston this past August by way of New York City, Le Colonial is a pleasant welcome. The restaurant itself is mind-blowing and captures the essence of the French Colonial era (think wicker dining room chairs, steel French doors, and a plethora of textured elements rich in dark hues) and the two-story destination is fitted with many rooms all providing their own unique experience.
Whether you choose to dine downstairs in the cozy main dining area that transports you to Southeast Asia, or upstairs where you can lounge near the bar in an enclosed terrace space with amazing views, your experience will be one you will revisit time and time again – and I definitely have!
And what about the food? A member of the original culinary team who opened the popular NYC location over twenty years ago, Houston’s own Nicole Routhier, is serving as Culinary Director for the River Oaks District location with Executive Chef Dan Nguyen. Aside from the stellar service I’ve received at both my tasting and when I dined with friends, the French-Vietnamese cuisine is quite addictive. It is now a permanent fixture on my list of “where to eat always”.
Here are a few of my favorite menu items and will give you a visual of what to expect at Le Colonial if this is your first venture into French-Vietnamese cuisine:
Bo Luc Lac (Warm Salad of Caramelized Filet Mignon, Snow Peas, Roasted Garlic, Watercress Salad & Wine Vinaigrette)
This is my absolute favorite dish to order! The flavorful and generous chunks of filet mignon literally melt in your mouth like butter. Paired with slightly tender (yet crisp) snow peas and whole pieces of roasted garlic, this plate is a dream come true. And it’s a “salad” so that means it is good for you.
Cari Tom (Texas Gulf Shrimp Sautéed with Bamboo Shoots, Snap Peas & Zucchini in a Fragrant Green Curry Sauce)
I’m a fan of curry so this bowl of creamy and moderately spicy green curry (filled to the brim with Texas-sized gulf shrimp) was mine for the taking. I opted to enjoy my curry with their black & white sticky rice to add a bit more texture. It’s the perfect choice if you love seafood and a little heat to go along with it.