Le Colonial

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The atmosphere here will make you feel like one of the characters in "The Quiet American," Graham Greene's novel of Vietnam. Upstairs in the bar, ceiling fans churn the air, and the room is furnished with wicker chairs and potted ferns. Unlike the Vietnamese restaurants on Argyle Street, which are run by the generation that survived the Vietnam War and often have American-influenced menus, Le Colonial suggests the period of French colonialism that lasted until 1954. The photographs on the wall are all pre-Dien Bien Phu: rickshaw drivers hauling carts through the streets, peasants plowing paddies behind water buffalo. The dinner menu is all Vietnamese; French influences are evident on the wine list, which has selections from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire valley, Alsace and Champagne.