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.
Concourse Restaurant Moderne, which will be the third restaurant to open in the new Eastbridge project in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood, will serve classical American ingredients like chicken or pork loin, but with unique touches. The tuna tartare, for example, will be cooked with a cayenne crisp batter, and guests will finish each meal with a serving of “cinnamon air,” an extremely light meringue-like treat with bits of cinnamon in it.
The new project comes more than six years after Symensma opened ChoLon Bistro, a pan-Asian restaurant in Lower Downtown Denver, and about two years after he debuted Cho77, a more casual eatery on South Broadway that is focused on popular street food and is known for lines that stretch out the door.
While some people expected Symensma to continue building up the area’s upscale Southeast Asian sector, however, he thought back to his early career, which took him across the world to Spain, France, Italy, China, Vietnam and Malaysia. And he reasoned that just as he has been able to introduce many in Denver to foods from those countries, he also could bring other under-utilized styles into the market and make his mark.