Walking around the River Oaks District feels like you’re not in Houston anymore—especially during the holiday season. There’s no hustle and bustle like a mall, but designer brands surround you. There are well tended to trees decked in yellow lights and you have no sense of rush or hurry.
But Le Colonial takes you further away from Houston to… Vietnam? French countryside? Where are we?!
The buzzed-about Vietnamese eatery (with French decor) is more than a good dining spot: It’s an experience, and we’re sharing ours.
When we made it inside the restaurant, I was awestruck by literally everything — all the wood paneling, the full-sized banana tree in the middle of the dining room, and the patterned tile floor. It’s a small first floor with cozy white-clothed tables and a view of ROD’s roads and shops. When we visited, the windows were open and, thanks to normal Houston humidity, it actually kind of felt like we were somewhere tropical…… in December.
We opted for champagne because we were celebrating Natastasiafest (a eight year tradition in which Anastasia and I celebrate our bdays + xmas just the two of us). We accidentally ordered a half-sized bottle, then upgraded to the full. It was amazing, and the staff stored it in an ice bucket away from our table. Wine elves (jk, just the servers) would then come fill us up when needed.
I didn’t try any cocktails, but they ranged from $12-15, and looked tropical and delicious.
We split some vegetarian egg rolls (CHA GIO CHAY $12), then each had our own entree. I had the shrimp stir fry (TOM XAO SATE $27), and Anastasia had a tofu curry dish (TAU HU CARI $19).
The food was really good, but to be clear, you’re paying for the experience. Obviously there’s plenty of cheap Vietnamese eats around town, but not one with all the fine dining perks.
The bathroom is located upstairs, and while headed that way, I got to sneak a peek at the upstairs bar. 10/10. There were tons of people up there, I had to literally pull myself away. It looked perfect for a date night or a small group work happy hour or something. SEE YOU SOON, LE COLONIAL BAR.
Bonus: Get gorgeous gelato after at Amorino!
Know before you go:
- Parking. There’s a garage for all of the River Oaks District on the back right side of the shopping center (near iPic theaters). Or, Le Colonial has valet.
- Make a rezzy. Even on a Monday night, we had a wait. Definitely not the end of the world, but something you should try to avoid if possible.
- This is a treat yo’self meal. Yes I guess you should kind of assume, since it is in Houston’s premier shopping district, that it’s a little pricey. But also I don’t think my mind connected Vietnamese cuisine to have a steep price tag. Entrees run about $20-30. Smaller plates are around $15-20. Wine will be pricey.
- Plan to stay awhile. You won’t want to leave the restaurant OR River Oaks District. Make a day/night of it!
- Take a small group. Not sure how feasible a big group would be (aside from the private dining options they offer). It’s a perfect spot for a date night or a small group dinner!