Consider it a belated Valentine’s Day gift to Delray foodies and fashionistas: Le Colonial at the new $300 million Atlantic Crossing complex is set to open Thursday, Feb. 16.

Le Colonial Delray, at 601 E. Atlantic Avenue, is one of this season’s most anticipated restaurant openings, the fifth U.S. outpost of a stylish French-Vietnamese luxury brand that started in Chicago nearly 30 years ago.

Meant to evoke Saigon of the ’20s — the French colonial 1920s, that is — the palm-frond lined restaurant and lounge will feature soft mood lighting, slow-turning coastal fans, wood shutters and earthy tones. Dinner service in the 115-seat dining room starts at 5 p.m. nightly (until 10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday), along with weekend lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Shaking beef (photo courtesy Le Colonial by Neil Burger)

The 66-seat lounge will offer its version of happy hour, dubbed “The Saigon Social,” featuring $10 dishes and cocktails, from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The lounge will also serve a consolidated dinner menu until midnight Thursday-Saturday.

“Our goal with the Delray Beach location was to create something very special for South Floridians – an ambience that evokes a very distinctive vibe, which we feel will resonate beautifully in this relaxed but buzzy beachfront, town square setting,” co-founder Rick Wahlstedt said in a press release. “We hope to be part of memories to come for friends, neighbors and visitors alike.”

The Parrot Room (photo credit: Eduardo Schneider)

Wahlstedt and co-founder Joe King tapped longtime collaborator and award-winning architect Mark Knauer of Chicago-based Knauer Inc., to instill the beauty and romance of a bygone era while reflecting the surrounding tropical landscape. The restaurant also features an intimate 14-seat chef’s tasting room — The Parrot Room — adorned with a Jonas Wickman mural of brightly colored orchids, climbing vines and flying parrots.

The kitchen is overseen by Vietnamese chef and cookbook author Nicole Routhier and Le Colonial National Culinary Director Hassan Obaye.

Whole yellowtail snapper (photo courtesy Le Colonial by Neil Burger)

Featured menu items include: Crispy South Florida Yellow Tail Snapper carved tableside; Canh Chua Crudo, a red grouper seasoned with Vietnamese Tamarind and herbs; Bo Luc Lac, caramelized filet mignon with garlic confit, lime, show peas and organic watercress salad; Tom Chay Toi, Tiger Prawns with crispy rice noodles; and Bahn Uot, grilled sesame beef rolled in flat rice noodles.

Banh Uot /grilled beef in flat noodles (photo courtesy Le Colonial by Neil Burger)

For reservations and more information, visit or call 561-566-1800.

Le Colonial Delray entryway (photo by Eduardo Schneider)