Unbelievable food: ChoLon.
This is a place you must try next time you are in Denver. I’m occasionally asked what my favorite cuisine is and I usually struggle to answer the question….and in the end, I usually lean Asian. So, keep that in mind as you read along.
The pedigree here is top notch…the chef left the highly acclaimed Buddakan in NYC to open his own restaurant in 2010 and the next year it was named as a James Beard finalist as the best new restaurant in America. In 2012, he was nominated as best chef in the Southwest by Food and Wine magazine….has to be good…right. Yes!
The space leans modern and is open and therefore can be a bit noisy. Service was excellent….the waitstaff are a great resource for ideas from the menu. But enough about all this….on to the food.
When you can’t decide where to start….go with the tasting menu….you won’t be disappointed. This is a place where there isn’t much on the menu that isn’t beyond delicious. I usually don’t talk about the bread but this is an exception. What’s delivered is bread but a North Indian substitute called papadum…..like a large “cracker”. The sweet and sour chutney that came along with it, perfect. You’ll want more of this little flatbread like side dish. It took a bit of time for the food to arrive but when it started, it came fast and furious…..like most Asian restaurants. Standouts included the pork belly buns, French Onion Soup dumplings, Brussel sprouts….the best ever example of that vegetable, diver scallops and the lobster Saigon crepes…..aka a Vietnamese pancake. The only dish that didn’t hold up it’s end of the bargain was the whole striped bass. After all the very flavorful dishes that came before, this one was lacking in that special wow flavor and was a bit over cooked and therefore on the dry side.
Wines for the night were a WillaKenzie rosé to start….excellent as expected, and a very nice Tempranillo from the Toro region of Spain…also excellent with well balanced tannins.
No room for dessert!