5280 Review: ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro

“Last fall, when Lon Symensma opened ChoLon, his upscale homage to Southeast Asian cuisine, local foodies rejoiced. Here was a chef with pedigree—his resumé includes Spice Market and Buddakan in New York, Jean Georges Shanghai, and Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Spain—who chose Denver as home for his first restaurant. It was hard knowing what to be more excited about: what ChoLon was going to offer, or what the restaurant’s arrival said about Denver’s dining scene.”

5280 Review: ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro

Round two with Lon Symensma, exec chef of ChoLon

“This is part two of my interview with Lon Symensma, executive chef of ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro.

Favorite restaurant in America: Jean Georges. It’s been one of New York City’s four-star restaurants for years, and you’ll always have an unforgettable meal there. Jean-Georges is French, but trained in the Asian realm, and he was one of the first chefs to lighten things up — using lemongrass-infused broth and fresh juices, for example, instead of butter and high-caloric cream. It’s a very cool and chic restaurant, not stuffy, and the waiters know the food really well, and Jean-Georges is just a really cool, well-rounded guy. I’m very proud to have worked there with that level of talent.”

Round two with Lon Symensma, exec chef of ChoLon

Lon Symensma, exec chef of ChoLon, rips on bird's nests, extols the virtues of lop chong and admits that his favorite macaroni and cheese is made with Velveeta

This is part one of my interview with Lon Symensma, executive chef of ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro. Part two of that interview will run in this space tomorrow.

Lon Symensma talks faster than a hyped-up auctioneer, the words rolling off his tongue like double Ds spilling out of their cups. His eyes — a vibrant blue hue — sparkle with just a hint of mischief, and his easy, broad smile reveals a dentist’s dream mouth. It’s a mouth that’s served Symensma well during his 33 years on earth, the majority of them spent cooking for, and alongside, some of the most exalted chefs in the world — Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Paul Bocuse and Gray Kunz among them.

Lon Symensma, exec chef of ChoLon, rips on bird’s nests, extols the virtues of lop chong and admits that his favorite macaroni and cheese is made with Velveeta

The Top 6 Places to Taste the New Asian Fusion

“Named after the largest Chinese market in Saigon, this LoDo district spot, with talented chef Lon Symensma at the helm, features creative riffs on Asian classics. What to order: soup dumplings with sweet onion and Gruyère.”

The Top 6 Places to Taste the New Asian Fusion