Leonora offers alpine-inspired cuisine in Vail Village | VailDaily.com

Leonora offers alpine-inspired cuisine in Vail Village

The Sebastian's signature restaurant offers global flavors, warm service

The spicy tuna poke at Leonora with sriracha aioli, avocado, wakame, cilantro and pickled fresno chile. The Blood Tea WellRight cocktail includes chamomile tea tequila, ancho and poblano chile liquor, blood orange, lime and agave.
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

Dining at Leonora brings an evening of exploration and unexpected delights.

Inspired by cuisine from the French Alps, Spanish Pyrenees and, of course, the Colorado Rockies, Leonora takes you on a sensual experience, from flavorful dishes to thoughtfully paired wines — and even a cocktail list named after classic songs, complete with a QR code to listen to them.

A range of creative small plates and larger entrées invite guests to sit back in the contemporary yet cozy dining room and enjoy each other’s company — whether you’re dining with your partner or a group of friends or family — as you sample, savor and seek perfectly blended flavors.

The eight-page wine list, featuring Old World and New World varietals, promises to add an even more spirited aura to your night. And, speaking of wine, the enormous round glass wine holder, which acts as a focal point in the center of the room, showcases nearly 400 bottles of wine.

Professional, friendly and seamless service, which is sometimes difficult to come by in a resort town, simply comes naturally at Leonora.

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Octopus Asado with smoked chile cauliflower puree, lemon, garlic and chorizo at Leonora.
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

And now, Kevin Erving, the innovative chef known for his culinary abilities, brings his expertise to Leonora. Not one to shy away from flavor, he creates hearty braised dishes like the lamb shank with green chile goat cheese polenta for the winter season, as well as lighter items, like spicy tuna poke.

His goal to offer an incredible culinary experience, along with Leonora’s long-time philosophy of curating a memorable adventure that delights the senses and guides diners on a tasteful journey (literally), provide an experience like none other in the Vail Valley.

The flavor profile of the tapas-style menu hits on every note throughout the palate. Bites of savory and rich contrast sour, tart and astringent. Then, a slight sweetness balances the acid, until spicy chile — or another heat — dominates for a moment, before you sip a bold red wine and start the entire process over again.

One of the most popular dishes, which won the People’s Choice award for best pork belly at the 2022 Taste of Vail, features pepper jelly and smoked grits with pickled apple and fennel relish. Flash-frying the pork belly gives it a crispy outer texture, while its accompaniments deliver a creamy light sweet and savory profile.

The shrimp al ajillo presents a soft, buttery garlic flavor, with a hint of chile and parsley to top it off, while the lobster fettuccine serves up lobster, shrimp and mussels with wide noodles in a hearty lobster cognac cream. The pan-seared, hand-selected diver scallops are divine, with their soft textures of cauliflower and bacon tomato vinaigrette.

Meanwhile, the braised rabbit pappardelle, with its shaved carrots, parmesan Reggiano and creamy flavors, taste like the most luxurious chicken noodle soup.

Leonora serves braised rabbit pappardelle with shaved carrots, arugula and parmesan reggiano.
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

And then there’s dessert, which you won’t want to miss, particularly the chocolate flourless torte, if you’re a chocolate connoisseur. From its earth-toned ambiance and relaxed attention to every detail to its wine, cocktails and cuisine, Leonora encourages guests to sip, eat and enjoy stimulating conversation. 

Leonora at the Sebastian

16 Vail Road
Vail, CO

Appetizers: $12-34
Dinner entrees: $32-$64

Comfortable and very
social tapas style menu
with shareables

Signature dish
Braised pork belly, lamb lollipops

Note: Open for dinner 5:30-9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Closed for lunch, open for a classically continental breakfast with a hint of Spanish and Mexican influence, 7-11 a.m.

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