We are proud to announce the addition of Executive Chef Nguyen-Rabanit at Le Colonial, New York City. Mrs. Nguyen-Rabanit joins us from California where she, upon graduating from the Culinary Academy in San Francisco, joined Le Colonial restaurant in San Francisco for the opening 14 years ago. Because of her talent and exceptional culinary technique, she was quickly promoted to lead the team as Executive Chef in 2000. During her time at Le Colonial, she perfected the art of preparing Vietnamese cuisine. She then worked for widely-recognized Patina Group, before re-joining the Colonial family as the Executive Chef in New York City in 2011.
When we talk about the types of food that we like, most of us are able to quickly list our favorite types of cuisine. Sushi! Italian! French! Which makes us wonder, what is it about food that helps us distinguish what we like versus what we don’t like? We believe that flavor is one of the key components in cuisine, particularly Vietnamese cuisine as prepared at Le Colonial that gives it the extra je ne sais quoi. Why, you ask? Well…we’ll go ahead and give you the answer— it’s because of the zesty and aromatic herbs! So, even though you may not be in Vietnam, your palate will certainly think you are!
One of the ultimate Vietnamese herbs you are all probably familiar with is mint. Mint is used in many cultures to impart a hint of clean herbaceous freshness. Try to imagine our In Chao Tom dish – grilled shrimp mousse, sugar cane, angel hair noodles, lettuce and peanut sauce – without the cutting green tinge of mint. You can’t—the essence of the dish would be gone!
Another very prevalent herb used in Vietnamese cooking—and, of course, at Le Colonial, too—is lemongrass. With its subtle citrus flavor it is liberally added to countless dishes from soups to chicken, beef and seafood. An actual grass, it can be used powdered, dried or fresh. Its distinctive lemony flavor is, at its best, in Ga Nuong Xa, pan roasted chicken with a lime dipping sauce. Délicieux!
So go ahead—on your next visit to Le Colonial, let these botanical delights transport you to the exotic lands of Vietnam.
Restaurant “Week” (we put it in quotation marks because it is technically more than one week) is in full swing! We are delighted to offer some of our signature dishes at an incredible price.
Check out the complete lunch and dinner menus on our Restaurant Week Facebook tab and make sure to reserve a table soon— these menus are only available until February 10th. Thank you to those who have already joined us and, to those who are visiting us soon, we say, bon appétit!
Photo of our delicious appetizer, Cha Gio, available for lunch and dinner.
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Set in the backdrop of the bustling Upper East Side on 57th Street, Le Colonial Restaurant transports you to another place in time. The ambiance of French Colonial Vietnam has been successfully recreated by interior designer Greg Jordan, whose translation of this bygone era is revived by black and white period photos, ceiling fans, graceful palms, colorful antique armoires and wooden screens, in this two-story townhouse. The main dining room provides a formal setting for lunches and dinner while the lounge and bar on the second floor provides a more casual scene for the after-hours crowd seeking a place to celebrate, for those hosting a special event or simply for an intimate rendezvous. Le Colonial has been a gem of the Upper East Side in its consistency to deliver a sensory experience of excellent food coupled by warm service, welcoming visitors for the more than ten years.