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The Cooper Lounge Goes Classic With Chef Lon Symensma

Say good bye to the raw bar from Stoic & Genuine and hello to a new era for food at the Union Station bar.

The Cooper Lounge
The Cooper Lounge
Adam Larkey

Lon Symensma may have made a name for himself for his Asian cuisine at ChoLon, but the chef is about to show off his classical training at the Cooper Lounge. For the last several weeks, Symensma has been working on creating a modern haute cuisine food program at the stunning Union Station bar.

"Everyone says haute cuisine is dead. I am about to show that it is still alive and well " Symensma says. His ambitious program is inspired by luxurious train travel from back in the day, a great reference point for the Cooper Lounge and the restored train station. "We are in a way bringing back the fancy club car that once brought to train travelers extravagant things like foie gras, truffles, or caviar," the chef explains.

From 4 to 10 p.m. daily, the Cooper Lounge will offer about five dishes that will stun in presentation. Two food carts will be used to bring to life, mostly tableside, items like beef tartare, Caesar salad, and bananas Foster (to be made in the beautiful copper set above). Fear not the old-school flavors, Symensma is planning to add elegant touches to each dish: there is a truffled egg yolk on the tartare, Parmiggiano-Reggiano fondue served from a copper pot on the Caesar, and liquid nitrogen-powered ice cream on the dessert.

Bonus: a custom cheese cart was also added to the mix. The cheese selection is curated with assistance from chef Alex Seidel from Fruition and Mercantile Dining & Provisions.