Antlers at Vail Front Desk Staff Goes to Leonora

If you are looking for somewhere new to eat in the Vail Valley, check out Leonora located in the Sebastian in Vail Village.

It has a unique menu inspired by Spanish cuisine, with flavorful dishes all thoughtfully paired with wines from around the world. The menu consists of a raw bar, tapas, and flatbread choices, followed by the main course of soups, salads and then entrée. Leonora is laid out in a circle, the bar in the middle, allowing a more intimate dining experience

Starting with the raw bar we ordered scallop, salmon and tuna ceviche. The scallop dish was topped with caviar and had white truffle drizzled over. It was a unique combination that tamed the caviars salty taste. The tuna ceviche was my favorite; it contained bits of chopped tuna, fresh herbs and wasabi, this was a table favorite and every bit was eaten up.

For the Tapas we enjoyed the shrimp slider, lobster taco, and the patatas. The patatas were round cut catalan style potatoes with garlic aioli and spicy tomato sofrito dolloped on top, this was also a table favorite. I ordered the shrimp sliders and really enjoyed them, it was that something different that I needed to really balance out all the seafood that I was eating. The Maine lobster tacos were great,  and with four of them we each had our fair share.

We decided to leave some room for the entrée, so we skipped the flat bread (although, it sounded delicious) and moved onto the soups and salads. We tried a variety and enjoyed them all. The lentil soup was delicious and with stewed tomatoes, smoked bacon and the parmesan cheese; it tasted reminded me of chili. The roasted beet salad combined the earthy beet taste with the sweet candied walnuts and honey giving it a unique taste. We also tried the pear salad with fresh Anjou pears, Roquefort cheese and the glazed walnut for extra crunch. The Frisee salad with its exceptional bacon vinaigrette combined with the poached egg went great along with the asparagus and toasted brioche.

For the entrée we had a variety. Starting with the pan-seared tuna with fennel, littleneck clams, and white bean stew. Having ordered tuna from many of the surrounding restaurants, this tuna was expertly prepared and went well with the sides. Next we tried the slow roasted lava lake lamb with bean cassoulet and marguez sausage. The slow roast allowed the lamb to stay juicy and when mixed with the bean cassoulet, it created and exquisite taste.  The mussels sitting in the delicious parsley and shallot broth were also exceptional.  The striped bass with scallops, shrimp, and mussels with black rice and saffron tomato broth was an interesting pairing of foods, and lacked in flavor. Last we tried the braised veal cheeks, which was an interesting flavor and very easy to eat. This dish also included olive oil mashed potatoes, which were very good, tiny carrots and green peppercorns. I would say that the veal cheeks and the lava lake lamb were the stars in the entrée round.

Lastly, for those of us who still had room, was dessert. I enjoyed a dessert cherry wine with my melted chocolate sphere, the waiter poured this delicious chocolate sauce over the sphere and it melted the top away exposing these cherry yummies inside. We also tried a lemon meringue tart, that had crumbled with pistachios and edible sparkles.

This is a great place to sample wines in a relaxed environment or to dine with friends and sample some different foods.

To make reservations call (970)477-8050, or check out the menu online here, on opentable.

Restaurant Reviews! Concierge month!

It’s early season and the businesses of Vail are out in force trying to get the Antlers at Vail concierge’s attentions!  The restaurants around town have been treating us to wonderful free or cheap dinners for the past couple weeks and I have decided to do my part and put up the reviews!

First: Lord Gore Restaurant

5 out of 5 Antlers

This is one of the older restaurants around Vail.  However, they’ve got a new management team and so far are kicking butt in the Vail Valley.  I attended a concierge night where they had samplings available for most of the items on their menu.  It was like heaven!  I tried everything once, tried quite a few a few times more, and then finished with a chocolate decadence that had me and my fellow concierges squabbling and stealing it from each other like 5 year olds.  They are really changing things up over there and they are holding another concierge night with the other half of the menu very soon which I am H-E-doublehockeysticks bent on attending.  Their dining room is amazing (even though the manager is convinced its not good enough) with a great fireplace, 20-25 ft ceilings, and a MASSIVE window looking up into the mountain.  It would be a gorgeous place to sit and have breakfast early morning and watch the sun wash over the mountains.  They are really trying to cater to the customer there.  They are offering multiple sizes of all their starters and entrees to fit the needs of the dainty eaters and the black hole stomachs of this world.  Also, they offer massive platters so the whole family can share a single plate.  It’s a small establishment sitting maybe 60 people so reservations are HIGHLY recommended.  I can’t wait to go back.

 

Second: Terra Bistro

5 out 5 Antlers

This place rocked it.  I went with a bit of a foodie and she ask a LOT of questions about EVERYTHING.  The server and the host were both up to the challenge and were very knowledgeable.  The atmosphere was cool, calm, and quiet but it wasn’t busy that night.  I hear it can be a great place for apre ski because they have a decent sized bar and great happy hour specials (3-5 I think?).  The food was fannnntastic.  I highly recommend the dates wrapped in bacon starter it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted (I hear its one of the happy hour specials).  The menu seems a bit small but I bet every item on there is really good.  I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a good high class meal.

Third: Lancelot

4 out of 5 Antlers

Had a reservation for 2 at 8 oclock on a Friday night.  We arrived 10 minutes early so expected a little wait.  We ended up waiting a good 30 minutes and watched the maitre d seat a walk in group who came in behind us without a reservation BEFORE US.  That was a bit of a sting to the experience.  However, once we sat down the rest of the experience was gold.  The service was speedy and knowledgeable, the food was excellent (steak and shrimp dinner was amazing, shrimp wrapped in bacon, steak smothered in an awesome sauce).  This place is considered by many to be the best prime rib in the valley so definitely recommend giving it a try.

 

Fourth: Mezzaluna

4 out of 5 Antlers

A good italian place located just next door to our building inside the Lionsquare Lodge.  A great place for apre ski, they have awesome happy hour specials and a great menu for dinner.  I went to lunch there and enjoyed a sampling of all their starters which all were good and reasonably priced.  Their location is A+ being right next to the gondola.  You can sit on the deck and watch all the skiers returning to the base of the mountain while sipping a Fat Tire beer.

 

 

 

 

Hiking Mt Sherman 2011

Mt Sherman Hike (14,036′)
A decent short 14er for those who want to notch the first one on their belts. It takes about 4 hours to reach the top and return. The land may seem brown and lifeless compared to some other 14ers however; it is rich in mining history as can be seen from the scattered mining structures all around the area. This was one I could see from the ridgeline very near to the top of Sherman.

When my fellow Antlers employee Dan and I hiked it on June 27th, it still had snow fields to cross at the start of the hike. However, we got through easy enough without too much post holing (and a slight deviation from the trail that turned into a lot more work than expected… DANNNN). Still, the rest of the trail was clear and easy going once we started gaining elevation. The most exhilarating thing about this hike was the wind that day. Sherman is very very exposed so a windbreaker/rain jacket is a MUST or you will risk being exposed to the elements that make hiking very uncomfortable.

A little bit windy up there

Only 40 a minute drive away from the Antlers here in Vail it was definitely a great day hike and a good first 14er for any moderate hiker looking to reach the next level. Make sure to add to the wind walls when you reach the top and sign the registry!!!

After we added another foot or so it still wasn't very helpful