Unlimited is such a liberating word: boundless, bottomless, without number. When it is enticingly printed on a menu at an exquisite dining spot like Leonora at The Sebastian in Vail, it means guests are invited to enjoy an incomparable, all-you-can-eat experience.
“Sunday Funday brunch is presented in small tapas sizes to make sharing and sampling easy,” explains Tyson Peterson, executive chef. “We like to use flavor profiles and ingredients you would find in many Latin countries. Our menu is approachable, locally sourced and simple in an elegant way.”
The right-sized offerings are prepared to order, showcasing dishes that elevate Sunday brunch to beyond delicious. Huevos Sebastiano is Leonora’s version of the classic Mexican egg dish refreshed with a housemade, fire-roasted tomato ranchero sauce. “Shakshuka” features lamb sourced from Theos Swallow Fork Ranch in Meeker. The Pulled Pork Benedict is crafted with Berkshire pork from Zimmerman Pork Farm in Hotchkiss. Sprouts, microgreens and some year-round produce comes from Knapp Ranch Farm in nearby Edwards.
“There are many great artisans, ranchers and farmers in our area, and we love making connections,” Peterson notes. “I focus menus towards the region I am in. While each restaurant has a theme, I strive to apply a local accessibility. Seasonality is important to us, and we strive to utilize all the great ingredients that Colorado has to offer like garden mint, fresh peas in the spring and Palisade peaches. As the seasons change and new produce becomes available, we think on the items sold at our farmers markets and evolve the menu accordingly.”
While always looked-for omelet and Benedict favorites are on the menu, the artisanal charcuterie bar is a unique addition to the selections on offer. To top off the tasting, Pastry Chef Laura provides an array of desserts designed for sharing. However, guests have been known to divvy up a treat, revisit the sweets display and return to their tables with S’mores in a Jar or Fruit Crumb Cake that they politely polish off single-handedly.
“If I could get a Sunday off, I would be sitting next to you with a Mimosa in hand,” laughs Peterson. He applauds the bottomless Prosecco and Bloody Mary Bars and All Day Rosé service (priced separately) that accompanies the brunch. Guests can choose SKYY 80 regular or citrus vodka or a house- infused pepper vodka and Sebastian’s signature Bloody Mary mix to blend the perfect Bloody Mary. Purists will appreciate the infused salts, sauces, vegetables and olive garnishes. For the more adventurous, Wasabi, ginger and horseradish can add a revved-up twist. The Prosecco Bar stocks orange juice for Mimosa making and peach purée for fashioning a Bellini, first prepared by Giuseppe Cipriani, the proprietor of Harry’s Bar in Venice. The Sebastian Spritz fuses aperol, soda and seasonal fruit puree.
Just off the pedestrian corridor in Vail Village, Leonora offers diners a “warm and hip” setting, according to Peterson, who trained at The Art Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, worked under Jean-Georges at the St. Regis in Deer Valley and has spent a decade in the industry. “The atmosphere is lighthearted and fun. Our new team is developing into a family,” he adds, “and working really hard to make every experience great.”
Lenora in The Sebastian Vail
16 Vail Road, Vail, CO 81657
Sunday Funday Brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Brunch is $32 per person; $18 for children 12 and under
Bottomless Beverage Bar and All Day Rosé-$24 per person
3 tbs canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large jalapeño cored, seeded and chopped
7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 bay leaf
2 ½ tbs sugar
1 ½ tbs kosher salt
1 tbs sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tbs ground cumin
1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground caraway
½ bunch Swiss chard or spinach stemmed and chopped
8 to 12 large eggs
Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté onions over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add bell pepper and jalapeño and cook just until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Slowly pour in tomatoes. Stir in bay leaf and next six ingredients. Let mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Layer chard or spinach leaves on top. Crack the eggs into tomato mixture. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent.
2 tbs olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
½ tsp salt
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco is good!)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
½ cup water
In large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and green pepper. Cook until tender. Add tomato, garlic, jalapeno (if using) and next five ingredients. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and break eggs, one at a time, into a cup and slip into sauce. Cover and simmer over low heat until eggs are set, about 5 minutes. Serve over tortillas or toasted English muffins, topped with some sauce.
Writer-editor Marge D. Hansen celebrates tapas-style meals. Add prosecco and you have two of the greatest things in life!
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