Denver’s Most Beautiful New Restaurants

With a subtle travel theme, elements of the interior include a curved wood ceiling, runway-like light fixtures, a wraparound bar, and luminous tile work, creating a warm but rich and flowing setting. The sophisticated decor and intimate architecture, courtesy of LIVStudio, lends itself to a feeling of living inside a moving art installation. Guests can relax in the sprawling 3,000 square feet of space, seating roughly 100 guests inside and another 70 on one of two patios.

Denver’s Most Beautiful New Restaurants

Denver’s Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017

“The opening of ChoLon in 2010 arguably marked a watershed for the Denver dining scene as we know it today: As a New York transplant, chef-owner Lon Symensma was among the first already-established outsiders to go all in on what pioneers like Jennifer Jasinski, Frank Bonanno and Alex Seidel were building here, upping the ante with his contemporary Asian flagship. Now he, too, is a pillar of the local community, and he’s raising the stakes all over again by bringing neo–Haute Cuisine and big-city glam to what seemed a few short months ago like the hinterlands, aka Stapleton — with the help of another pedigreed New Yorker, Luke Bergman, as his exec chef–partner. Bergman, for his part, is proving that combinations like Wagyu tataki with smoked-egg mayo, bison Bolognese with dark chocolate, and affogato with stracciatella gelato can play in Peoria (or the local equivalent thereof). Here’s to recognizing that Denver’s more than an overgrown Downtown.”

Denver’s Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017

The Fifteen Best New Restaurants of 2017

“Concourse debuted in April as the third Denver restaurant from chef/restaurateur Lon Symensma, after ChoLon and Cho77. The Stapleton eatery represents a bridge between Symensma’s past and future; the menu is dotted with international influences but defies easy categorization. “The one word I wanted it to be is ‘sexy,'” the chef explains. And “sexy” is the right word to describe the style of Concourse, with its undulating dining-room ceiling made from seventy curvaceous wood slats, its sleek tile surfaces in blacks and whites, and its brass and gold finishes that add elegance to every nook and cranny of the space. The menu, overseen by chef Luke Bergman, feels equally thought out, with a concise roster — only seventeen dishes appear on the dinner menu — left as a single list, not broken down into appetizers, mains or sides. Although European technique is evident in emulsions, reductions and vinaigrettes, the chef says he avoided the overuse of butter and cream, instead relying on ‘aggressive but not heavy flavors.'”

The Fifteen Best New Restaurants of 2017

20 Iconic Chefs in Denver & Boulder (in no particular order)

“In 2010, following a lucrative cooking career in New York City, Iowa native Lon Symensma arrived in Denver. His mission? Open ChoLon, a restaurant that symbolized the foods he’d experienced during his numerous eating expeditions throughout Southeast Asia and China. By his own admission, it took some time for ChoLon to resonate with Denver diners, but Symensma, idolized for his signature soup dumplings, poetic plate artistry, and fearless flavor combinations, persevered, eventually making ChoLon one of the most sought-after reservations in the city. Along with ChoLon, Symensma owns Cho77, a captivating lyric to the street foods of Southeast Asia. His latest venture, Concourse, is now open in the Eastbridge Town Center Stapleton development and he plans to open a casual Asian concept in Avanti later this summer. As for additional future projects, Symensma’s head is spinning with concepts: “I want to do a Mediterranean restaurant that follows the same idea as ChoLon, but instead of Southeast Asia, I want this to represent Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Northern Africa. I’ve also got a Latin concept in the works that focuses on Central and South American cooking, and I’m planning on doing an elevated Middle Eastern concept.””

20 Iconic Chefs in Denver & Boulder (in no particular order)

The 25 Best Restaurants in Denver, 2017 - 5280 Magazine

“I am always surprised to meet locals who don’t know about ChoLon, Lon Symensma’s seven-year-old Asian restaurant in LoDo. Even during this time in which the cultural appropriation of food is debated and tweeted and judged (and rightly so), I say this loud and clear: You’ve gotta try this white boy’s food. Symensma’s a perfectionist, and his travels through Southeast Asia translate to vibrant Pan-Asian fare. If you are familiar with ChoLon, you know no meal is complete without at least one order of the French onion soup dumplings. The diminutive pillows of broth and dough—a scrumptious twist on the classic—are as fine as you’ll find in any Chinatown on the coasts. After you place your dumpling order, assembling a meal from the dinner menu (many of the same items are also available at lunch) is an adventure. If I had to design my dream ChoLon lineup, it would include the kaya toast, which marries coconut-jam-slathered-and-brûléed bread batons with an airy, savory custard—luscious is the only word to describe it. Next, I’d ask for the rich pork belly bao. Then lobster crêpes with nuoc cham and fresh herbs (a palate cleanser of sorts)…and every dish from the wok station. Seriously. The “wok hay” (that pitch-perfect flavor that comes from proper stir-fry technique) Symensma and Becca Henry, his chef de cuisine, achieve would make any wok-yielding cook proud.”

The 25 Best Restaurants in Denver, 2017 – 5280 Magazine

The 25 Best Restaurants in Denver, 2017

“It’s a wonderful thing when established Denver chefs entice their talented friends to move to the Mile High City, adding out-of-town experience, skills, and palates to our evolving dining scene. That’s the heart of the story behind the collaboration of Lon Symensma (ChoLon) and Luke Bergman, who left Miami, after stints at the Modern and Aureole in New York City, to run the kitchen at Symensma’s five-month-old Stapleton restaurant, Concourse. The day-to-night New American eatery is ambitious, but Bergman’s ethereal pastas; expertly plancha-seared and grilled seafood, meats, and vegetables; and seductive sauces come together under Concourse’s wavelike walnut ceiling for a sophisticated dining experience we should all be grateful for, no matter which neighborhood we call home.”

The 25 Best Restaurants in Denver, 2017

Denver's 9 Sexiest New Restaurants and Bars

“It’s all about the undulating, up-lit ceiling. Essentially a hanging sculpture of wooden waves, it almost seems to be gently washing over you even as you bathe in the glow of Concourse’s LIVstudio-designed dining room in Stapleton. And the sense of immersion in warmth extends to the menu — elegant as chef-partner Luke Bergman’s New American cuisine is, there’s a heartiness that makes you want to dive right in with someone.”

Denver’s 9 Sexiest New Restaurants and Bars

Best Thing We Ate This Week: Arugula Sorbet (yes, really) at Concourse

“‘I just had the best arugula sorbet of my life!’ I excitedly announced to my husband after returning home from Concourse, Lon Symensma’s new restaurant in Stapleton’s Eastbridge development.

Granted, it didn’t really have much competition, having never eaten another arugula sorbet before and all (or even knowing such a thing existed). But oh, the passion it inspired! We’re talking I-wanna-die-with-you-Wendy-on-the-streets-tonight-in-an-everlasting-kiss style passion, all over arugula sorbet.”

Best Thing We Ate This Week: Arugula Sorbet (yes, really) at Concourse

ChoLon chef opens first non-Asian concept, launches restaurant group

Lon Symensma, the chef behind Denver’s most acclaimed Asian restaurants, is widening his portfolio with an American-style eatery opening Wednesday that will be the first concept in his newly formed restaurant group.

ChoLon chef opens first non-Asian concept, launches restaurant group

5280 Magazine - Denver’s 25 Best Restaurants 2016

“In 2010, Lon Symensma traded New York City for Denver because he craved the Colorado lifestyle and recognized that our burgeoning dining scene was on the verge of exploding. In the years since, Symensma has used ChoLon as a way to educate and challenge diners on the topic of modern Southeast Asian cuisine. He has won us over with intensely colorful, vibrant, and thrilling dishes that pull insight and inspiration from near and far. Take the tandoori lamb chops with caramelized yogurt and biryani, or the okonomiyaki-esque dancing scallops with a sweet corn pancake and bonito flakes that ripple in the steam. Symensma’s dishes function as a microcosm of the chef himself: Colorado flair combined with far-flung influences.”

5280 Magazine – Denver’s 25 Best Restaurants 2016