We ate our way through Taste of Vail, but the delicious food didn’t stop at the festival. We were lucky to be staying at The Sebastian, a full-service resort property at the edge of Vail Village. The hotel offers the quintessential Vail experience with a gorgeous spa, fitness center, pool and hot tub area, ski valet, kids’ camp and more.
We arrived on a Thursday afternoon, and after the valet got us settled in our room, I discovered the beds had the most comfortable pillows I’ve encountered in my travels. A comfy bed is important but we’ve discovered that good pillows are vital to a restful night’s stay in a hotel.
On day two, while Ryan was on the mountain, I spent some time working in The Sebastian’s library. This is also the place that serves coffee and fancy tea each morning and became a tradition during our stay.
We spent a lovely afternoon and morning enjoying the hot tubs in the pool area. Morning soaks are my absolute favorite and instead of sipping on a coffee, this time I sipped an English Breakfast tea with a splash of milk. I was feeling quite European.
On Friday night, we had reservations at the Leonora, the restaurant inside The Sebastian. Rita, who waited on us that evening, is one of the best servers I’ve encountered and she is a real asset to this Vail restaurant. Not only was she personable and knew the menu well, but I could also see that she enhanced the dining experience for everyone at the tables she waited on that evening.
The restaurant has a modern feel and encircles an elevated wine room encapsulated in glass. In fact, we attended the Taste of Vail’s Grand Tasting in The Sebastian in 2018, and the wine auction was held at Leonora, an ideal space.
We’d already experienced two of Taste of Vail’s signature events, and at this point, excellent food was an expectation. We started with ono crudo and shishito bravos. The ono, served with crunchy garlic and yuku ponzu, melted on the tongue; the perfect started to this tapas style meal.
The shishito peppers are drizzled with a calabrian mayo which I could eat by the spoonful. I ended up putting leftovers in a turkey sandwich which gave it the perfect peppery punch.
Next up we enjoyed a crisp endive salad followed by octopus asador. I haven’t had grilled octopus this delicious since we had it in Mexico. Served with potatoes, garlic and chorizo, this dish at Leonora is a must for seafood lovers.
We also ordered Chef Tyson’s fried chicken because I cannot pass up fried chicken. It’s served with its own adorable tiny bottle of barrel-aged Fresno hot sauce, but to be honest the chicken had such an satisfying crunch and taste that it needed nothing extra.
We were very full at this point but Rita insisted that we have desert and Ryan doesn’t need much convincing when it comes to this part of the meal. An ice cream dish stuffed with strawberries arrived at our table and spoon wars commenced. While I am not a desert-person, I could have eaten all of this tasty dish.
You should dine at Leonora next time you’re in Vail and if you don’t go for a full dinner, at least stop in for the ice cream stuffed with strawberries.
RELATED: Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado
Late on Saturday morning, we were lured into Leonora by the smell of bacon. Sunlight flooded into the modern space making it an inviting spot for breakfast. I had a basic egg, potatoes and bacon breakfast served with heirloom tomatoes which made me think of an English breakfast. Ryan had a beautifully plated eggs Benedict.
Stuffed, we walked a few feet from the restaurant to the elevator, and rode up to our room.
It was hard to return to normal life after three days at The Sebastian. After all, housekeeping folded my clothes while I was out and each evening, at turn down, fresh cookies were delivered to our room. This Vail hotel has all the little touches that make a vacation here an unforgettable affair.