Finally some good news
Amid an avalanche of closings and tightened restrictions threatening the very soul of dining as we know it, the re-opening of Le Colonial, (57 E. Oak St.) provides a bright light in the night.
After temporarily closing its dining room – per municipal orders with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March - the restaurant, overseen by Principals Rick Wahlstedt and Joe King, has reopened in stages.
While adapting to the “new normals,” their goal has remained steadfast: To continue sharing the warm hospitality and flavorful Vietnamese cuisine for which the restaurant is renowned.
“It has been a steady rebuild,” said King, who is also an avid participant in the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “The most important aspect through this devastating time has been the safety and wellbeing of our team members and guests. While we have been eager to reopen – and are staring down a very uncertain winter – we are nothing without our health. We’re very glad to bring Le Colonial back, step by step, and are grateful to our loyal guests who have stuck with us. But I know I’m not alone when I say that I am looking forward to the day that we can all walk into a full dining room again.”
Opens in stages
Le Colonial reopened its all-season, open-window front porch dining space in May, followed by the restaurant’s dining room in June. The sultry bar and lounge was reconfigured to allow for additional dining areas, and the team responded quickly to debut a sidewalk café alongside Oak Street, featuring about 12 tables and fabulous people-watching. Guests are seated outside weather-permitting).
Le Colonial operates in full compliance with CDC recommendations and local mandates – including limiting reservation and seating allowances, ensuring proper social distancing, requiring face coverings for all staff and guests, and enhanced sanitation measures along with stricter health and safety policies (i.e. temperature checks, mandatory/regular deep-cleaning, hand sanitizer throughout the restaurant, QR code menus, impermeable barriers, upgraded HVAC and air purifiers) and more.
Executive Chef/Partner Quoc Luong offers a robust selection of Vietnamese specialties with a menu that spotlights longtime favorites as well as newer additions, complemented by exotic cocktails and a thoughtfully curated wine list.
Guests can take special advantage of the restaurant’s prix-fixe lunch menu, available from 12 to 4 P.M. Monday through Friday. This convenient two-course offering features a range of favorite dishes, while keeping the experience to an abbreviated format for those seeking a satisfying lunch for a good value, which can be enjoyed in less than an hour. At $29 per person (exclusive of tax or gratuity), the current menu is as follows:
About Le Colonial
Le Colonial’s kitchen is open from noon to 11 P.M. Monday through Saturday; noon to 10 P.M. on Sunday. Reservations recommended. (312) 255-0088.
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Filed under: Chicago restaurants