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.