The Fifteen Best New Denver Restaurants of 2019

ChoLon Stapleton – “Chef/restaurateur Lon Symensma’s original ChoLon Modern Asian on the 16th Street Mall continues to be one of Denver’s top dining destinations, and now the inventive pan-Asian menu — or the best parts of it — are being served in Stapleton, along with a whole range of family-friendly new dishes built for the neighborhood. So longtime fans will still be able to indulge in the French onion soup dumplings, but a new roster of other dumplings is also available, as well as Singaporean crab cakes, pineapple fried rice and braised beef coconut curry. It’s all enough to make downtown denizens jealous.”

LeRoux – “Lon Symensma’s French/European bistro technically opened on December 28, 2018, too late to make our list of the twelve best new restaurants last year. But we won’t begrudge the chef/restaurateur those few extra days of practice before LeRoux became one of the brightest stars of 2019. Dazzling plates, from the mushroom mille-feuille, which presents a rectangle of mushrooms sliced so thin that they resemble the pages of a book, to the wagyu beef tartare, presented beneath a smoke-filled glass cloche, have become signature items, while duck, lamb and seafood go through seasonal variations. A tribute to the chef’s mentors in his younger days, LeRoux proves that the onetime student of European cuisine has now become the master.”

The Fifteen Best New Denver Restaurants of 2019

Best Restaurants 2019: LeRoux

“With exquisite European bistro fare on the table and twinkling crystal chandeliers hanging above, gorgeously appointed, 10-month-old LeRoux is one of the most romantic restaurants in town. Reserve the curved back booth for the privacy it affords and a great view of the marble-topped bar and front dining area. Created in partnership with Urban Villages, Semple Brown, and Hive Construction, the restaurant exudes a Parisian vibe complete with slate blue paint, leather banquettes, slim white tapers, and muted music. And as delicate as each dish may appear, chef and co-owner Lon Symensma’s techniques are bold. Case in point: Paper-thin slices of wild mushroom transform into a multilayered terrine that is seared for crisp edges and a melty interior. This spring, a pass on the “plancha” (flattop grill) gave tender octopus charred depth, and the accompanying spicy “panisse” (a Provençal chickpea flour cake) was the best I tasted among the spate on local menus. To complete the extravagant vibe at LeRoux, tableside showmanship abounds, from the roving cheese cart to the flames that engulf the seasonal baked Alaska.”

Best Restaurants 2019: LeRoux

The 15 Hottest Restaurants in Denver, August 2019

“Chef Lon Symensma, known for the pan-Asian restaurant ChoLon, gets back to his French culinary training with this jewel box of a restaurant off downtown’s 16th Street. Dishes such as lobster meunière and lamb chops with potatoes Anna are served alongside old-world wines and wintery house cocktails. The bar is a highlight, and lunch is served weekdays.”

5280 Top of the Town Best Dessert (Editor's Choice) - LeRoux

“Most everything about this seven-month-old, European-inspired restaurant in LoDo feels romantic, from the sparkling crystal chandeliers to the deep, dark booths to the exquisite desserts. Led by chef-owner Lon Symensma, there’s a beautiful sensibility to the sweets menu, which transforms classics such as baked Alaska and Paris-Brest into modern marvels by tweaking their elements until the dishes feel altogether new. The Paris-Brest in particular will linger in your thoughts for weeks thanks to its craveable union of a traditional crisp choux pastry ring, a delicate pistachio crème mousseline (a riff on the typical praline cream), and a wholly au courant salty caramel sauce. While you might be tempted to clink forks with your date over one of these luxurious confections, trust us: You’re going to want your own.”

5280 Top of the Town Best Dessert (Editor’s Choice) – LeRoux

This Is the Must-Order Dish at LeRoux

“Chef Lon Symensma has a knack for creating iconic dishes (see: the addictive fusion dumplings filled with French onion soup at his eight-year-old modern Asian restaurant, ChoLon). And just four months after opening his polished, European-inspired bistro, LeRoux, next door to ChoLon on the 16th Street Mall, it looks like Symensma’s wagyu beef tartare is poised to be another signature. It’s impossible to miss the appetizer as it’s whisked to diners in the candle- and chandelier-lit space.”

This Is the Must-Order Dish at LeRoux

A Comprehensive List of the Women Leading the Front Range Culinary Scene

From running restaurant kitchens to brewing Coloradans’ favorite craft beers, women are leading in all facets of the Front Range’s exciting dining scene—and driving its success. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we hope this list will make it easy for you to find and support female-owned and -operated establishments from Aurora to Boulder and beyond.

ChoLon Restaurant Concepts (ChoLon, Cho77, LeRoux): Dani Craig, general manager; Becca Henry, ChoLon chef de cuisine; Ashley Adams, ChoLon lead bartender

A Comprehensive List of the Women Leading the Front Range Culinary Scene

10 Must-Book Tables at Denver's Top Restaurants

“Chandeliers and candlelit table define LeRoux’s elegant space. Even the bar gets candles as evening arrives. Several seating areas provide intimacy for a romantic occasion or simply a dinner at which conversing is not made impossible by the cacophony experienced at so many restaurants today. It feels a bit old school in that regard, a return to what fine dining used to be, yet it’s also casual and contemporary. Dishes are prepared meticulously, a perfect melding of complex and delicate flavors in an exquisite presentation. The chicken liver mousse might be the best in Denver, and if you want a show-stopper, go for the Wagyu beef tartare presented with a flourish of smoke. The saffrony bouillabaisse piled with mussels, scallops and octopus surprises with a tweak of peppery heat, and for those who love ChoLon’s soup dumplings, LeRoux’s French Onion short ribs provide a delicious reunion.”

10 Must-Book Tables at Denver’s Top Restaurants

Best Seat in the House: The Coolest Restaurant and Bar Bathrooms in Denver

The shared bathrooms inside the newly opened LeRoux and Cho77 were anything but afterthoughts. Covered with blue, hand-cut Italian tile and floral wallpaper and accented with copper details, the two unisex restrooms, by local design firm Semple Brown, are sure to be popping up on Instagram feeds all over town.

Best Seat in the House: The Coolest Restaurant and Bar Bathrooms in Denver

Lon Symensma’s LeRoux is an Escape off 16th Street

Times are changing on 16th Street, where, by the end of the year, a pair of decades-old neighborhood restaurants had closed and a pan-European destination opened up, looking more Parisian jewel box than Denver’s downtown Mall.

Lon Symensma’s LeRoux is an Escape off 16th Street

New LoDo Restaurant Brings European Decadence to Denver with LeRoux

Chef Lon Symensma has made quite a name for himself in Denver as a master of modern Asian cuisine with restaurants like Cholon and Cho77. As such, people might be surprised to hear that the focus of his next restaurant, LeRoux is entirely European. But European gastronomy is by no means outside his wheelhouse, for the first 11 years of chef Symensma’s career (he has been at it since he was 14), he cooked entirely European, working in restaurants across France and Spain.

New LoDo Restaurant Brings European Decadence to Denver with LeRoux