If you’ve ever eaten at ChoLon or Cho77, chef/owner Lon Symensma’s fabulous southeast Asian restaurants, you know that he consistently delivers on big flavor and great service. Now, in the early days of his third concept, Concourse Restaurant Moderne, Denver diners are discovering that Symensma also knows how to run an all-day eatery featuring new American cuisine. Who knew? (We did!)

Executive chef/owner Luke Bergman did, too. Bergman and Symensma have been friends since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. He jumped at the chance to help Symensma open the new Stapleton restaurant, moving his family from New York City to Colorado within a week of his first visit to Denver in 2015. We’re so lucky that he did.

Concourse strives to be all things to all diners. It offers every possible meal from breakfast through dinner, seven days a week. A schedule like that demands a skilled kitchen and professional management team to pull it off. Concourse has both, in spades.

There, you can start your morning with a creamy cappuccino made from Coda Coffee Company beans, and then go light (the refreshing, not-overly-sweet, smoothie-ish “Mango Bowl”) or more substantial (Nutella crepes or onion-tomato toast with fried eggs and bacon). Lunch includes several items from the dinner menu, as well as a flavor bomb of a ham sandwich with harissa, arugula, and provolone on house-made bread.

You can spend happy hour on Concourse’s massive patio, drinking delightful concoctions such as the Strawberry Fennelade or Bitter Mai Tai. Nibbles include octopus-studded risotto balls with smoked tomato butter and jewel-like tuna tartare. (Yes, we’re eating too much raw fish these days, but this particular tartare is one of the best in town.)

Or you can wait to go to Concourse until evening, when the restaurants lights dim and the gorgeous tile throughout seems to glow. Bergman’s kitchen is firing on all cylinders, despite opening just a few weeks ago. In particular, his fresh pastas and any dish coming off the plancha, or flattop grill, are worth savoring. The plancha’s screaming hot surface caramelizes calamari, scallops, and pork tenderloin beautifully, and Bergman expertly offsets that richness with bright touches of acid and vibrant spring vegetables. Even house-made brioche, cut into thick slabs and crusted with coarse sugar, gets its turn on the plancha to exquisite effect. Served with grapefruit sorbet and citrus anglaise, it’s a dessert you’ll think about for days.

10195 East 29th Drive, Suite 140, 720-550-6934

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.