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Dine Around at Le Colonial (long)

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So, my perception of this program at Le Colonial was not as favorable as Jaweino's at One Market. It was such a "poor" deal, that we wound up ordering a la carte (actually, the waiter admitted that they essentially designed this as a "bait and switch")

The appetizer offered was Vegetarian Spring rolls, always good, but also the cheapest appetizer on the menu. Entree choices were a Vegetarian Curry and Chicken in Lemongrass Sauce. Again, the two cheapest entrees on the menu. The dessert was a milk chocolate creme brulee.

As mentioned, we decided to forego the Dine About menu, and went a la carte. Of course, the meal ended up costing about $60/person (but we also ordered a bottle of '99 Green & Red zin - one of my favorites, and sold out everywhere I used to be able to get it).

We started with the appetizer platter for 2 - it's huge, and way more than 2 can eat - for $27, it better be! But it's perfect for 3. Includes spring rolls (a bit greasy, but not overwhelming), salad rolls (light, crisp, full flavored), chicken satay (my friend proclaimed the peanut sauce "perfect"), crab cakes (can't comment, I didn't get one) and two different "salads" - a cold papaya one which I love, and a warm chicken one which is also very good.

One of my friends decided she had to have the Sea Bass entree - it's wrapped in banana leaf, and of course it was gone before I had a taste. She proclaimed it delicious, though.

My other companion and I are both "grazers", so we decided to split a few appetizers and sides. The Ahi Tuna Salad is exceptionally good - loaded with sesame oil/seeds and fresh herbs. Really very nice.

The salt & pepper calamari are by far my favorite - somehow, these manage to be light, crispy and perfectly tender. They lack the grease that usually makes squid too heavy for me.

We rounded it off with the french green beans - they are the most delicious green beans I have ever eaten! Slightly spicy (unlike most 'hounds, I can't handle pepper spiciness), light, delicate - unbelievably flavorful. We were fighting over the last of these.

By this time, we were all sort of falling out of our seats, but once I saw the dessert menu, I had to cajole, threaten and beg my companions to share the "banana split" with me.

4 scoops of homemade ice creams - a lemony-tropical sorbet, bittersweet chocolate, coconut, and french vanilla ice creams. The bananas are carmelized but still firm, served with creme anglaise and brandied cherries. ummmm.... just drooling thinking about it.

Total was $63/person, including tip. Kind of outrageous, but we left a handsome tip - our waiter was pretty great (didn't bat an eyelash when I asked for a decanter for our wine, etc.).

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