La Tour moving in a new direction
Summer wine dinner series
Four American wines paired with a dish from each corner of the country.
Obscure, Rare and Underappreciated
Five unique wines you’ve never heard of served with groundbreaking food you’ve never seen.
Power to the Pinot
Five different expressions of the pinot grape.
What is La Tour? It depends on whom you ask. From a big night out to the best Sunday brunch in town, the Vail Village eatery regularly delivers some of the tastiest, most consistent experiences around — and has done so for the 25-plus years that Paul and Lourdes Ferzacca have owned it. Like any icon with lasting power, it’s had various personalities and influences over the years. Today?
“We’re moving in a modern direction,” says Executive Chef Sammy Shipman. “I want to show the brighter, fresher Colorado side of what we can do.”
Shipman is a North Carolina transplant, and so he sneaks in various Southern flavors that meld beautifully with the local products he procures. Case in point: the heirloom tomato salad with charred corn and savory granola, and the composed steak dish with Colorado prime beef, smoked tomatoes, pickled mustard seeds and creamed kale. Even the oysters — pristine expressions of the sea, and celebrated with daily oyster happy hour — come with a wee shaker of Tabasco along with the traditional sauce mignonette.
La Tour classics remain on the menu — lobster bisque, Colorado lamb, chicken paillard — but an a la carte steak section is new. Order for yourself, or split among a table with mix-and-match sides. And as always, the chefs remain incredibly flexible with vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options in abundance.
“We’re lightening up our tasting menu this year,” Shipman says, referring to the revolving chef’s four- and five-course options that highlight Colorado-grown products. The options change weekly, and can be ordered with or without wine pairings.
Beverage Director Kai Guerin has invigorated the wine program at La Tour with his seemingly boundless enthusiasm. He’s that friend with a knack for turning a get-together into a party. This summer he’s hosting daily educational wine tastings for what amounts to a Happy Hour pre-game at La Tour: $25, five pours of five wines, complete with tasting notes and discussion (if wanted) from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
He’s also mapped out his wine dinner series for the summer — the last Thursday of each month will have a different theme, from obscure wines to a particular grape.
And in addition to a list loaded with cool, summery cocktails, he’s offering CBD-oil cocktails for those who want to try it, and boozy popsicles served alongside champagne.
“I love how passionate Kai and Sammy are,” Ferzacca says of his executive chef and beverage director. “They’re always looking for new items to use, and they actually go out and eat around, travel and bring cool things back to us. They love to work and love being at La Tour. We’re really lucky to have them.”