The sizzle of potstickers and the aroma of soup dumplings will soon fill the air at 10195 East 29th Drive, where chef/restaurateur Lon Symensma is launching his second ChoLon Modern Asian on Monday, November 25.
ChoLon's Stapleton outpost takes the place of Concourse Restaurant Moderne, which Symensma closed in September after two years in the Eastbridge Town Center shopping center. And while guests can expect a few favorites from the original ChoLon menu, such as the famous French onion soup dumplings and pork belly buns, don't expect an exact clone.
"I always thought that ChoLon could be brandable," Symensma explains. "After being open downtown for nine years, we know which dishes are cravable and need to remain on the menu in Stapleton, but we are also forward-thinking and brave enough to incorporate new dishes that showcase seasonality and new techniques. We are also excited to cater to different neighborhoods and new clientele; we never want to be a "cookie cutter" brand. We thrive on creativity."
That creativity will be on display from executive chef Becca Henry and newcomer to the ChoLon team, Michelle Xiao. "We have been lucky enough to have Becca on our team for many years," Symensma adds. "At this point, we speak the same language, but she also has her own style and personality and has the ability to make dishes her own. A few months ago, Becca joined me on our team recon trip to Asia, where we experienced so many things that ignite passion."
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While Henry has been with ChoLon for several years, Xiao just recently moved to Denver from New York City, where she was a dim sum chef at Buddakan for thirteen years. "I have also known Michelle for many years," ChoLon's founder adds. "We worked together in New York! She is hands down the biggest dim sum badass on the planet. There is no one in Colorado who has this unique and incredible skill. We are very lucky and thrilled she is here."
Xiao will add her expertise to an expanded dim sum menu that will include Cantonese shrimp dumplings and — for the kiddos (though adults will probably poach a few, too) — mac and cheese wontons. Other new menu items include Singaporean crab cakes and braised beef with coconut curry and pearl barley. A few new cocktails will also appear.
The new ChoLon will be open daily for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday) alongside Eastbridge eateries Cattivella, Hashtag, Next Door American Eatery and Los Chingones. Check out happy-hour deals in the bar and lounge area from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday, 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and all night Wednesday, plus the last hour each night.