Of my latest food obsessions, I count the shrimp toast at ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro at the top of the list. Chef Lon Symensma takes the dim sum classic and reimagines it in a way that’s modern and captivating.

The dish’s main component is the savory mousse created by blending shrimp, water chestnuts, and aromatics. Symensma spreads that over triangles of Grateful Bread Company‘s white bread before topping each piece with whole shrimp. The get-up is quickly fried before landing on the plate. Symensma serves the starter warm with fresh cilantro and a kicky sweet-and-sour sauce. Much like ChoLon’s legendary soup dumplings, the creamy-crunchy shrimp toast is a must-order item.

Next Up: Gather, the new cafe from ChoLon owners Jim Deters and Lon Symensma opened on Monday at 1062 Delaware St. in the Golden Triangle. Don’t go expecting ChoLon-redux, this is casual fare with breakfast and lunch menus. Breakfast service (NY-style bagels, gravlox cured by Scott Parker from Table 6, sinful sticky buns from pastry chef Deanna Scimio) began this week. Look for lunch—grilled mac and cheese sandwich with Iowa ham, anyone?—by the end of the month.

1555 Blake St., 303-353-5223

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.