Offering a five-course Thanksgiving meal, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel holiday buffet in Staunton took the hassle out of kitchen preparations for many in the Shenandoah Valley area, making for an easy meal of fine holiday food and leisure. Attending families and couples enjoyed a festive atmosphere, Christmas decorations, live organ music, and outstanding food this year.
For the noon-time meal, the main lobby at this Historic Hotels of America transformed itself into a long serving line of all-you-can-eat food stations for salads, seafood, entrees and sides as well as a carving station and a dessert alcove.
The annual holiday event is well-attended, and reservations are a must. The halls are decked with Christmas cheer, and table settings are equally pleasant. The lobby of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel makes an impression. The lobby houses the buffet, with a dessert alcove off to the side. Several dining spaces, not too unlike separate family dining rooms, surround the main lobby’s buffet, each decorated with its own themed Christmas tree. A grand ballroom is also set up as a dining area to accommodate patrons.
What’s on the menu? Appetizers this year included mixed green salad; root vegetables with sherry wine vinaigrette; poached salmon and arugula salad; curried duck and apple salad with walnuts; dinner rolls and Dutch apple bread.
The seafood station included shrimp, mango catfish, smoked salmon and New England clam chowder. Ice sculptures of pagodas and turkeys adorn the holiday buffet. Main entrees included turkey, cornbread dressing, burgundy cranberry sauce, herbed sirloin and whipped sweet potatoes. Herbed carrots and roasted butternut squash were also available.
The carving station offered the juiciest morsels of the day, in the form of a melt-in-your-mouth, pit cooked ham, with a side of old-fashioned baked beans. Floral arrangements and Christmas decorations, as well as the small, individual dining settings, provided a down-home feel for the whole affair.
As grand finale, coffee and dessert made many long for elastic waist bands. The dessert alcove–a pure, sweet heaven—cozied up nicely with spiced apple cider or coffee, included in the buffet price. Mini tarts tempted the casual diner to stray from the low sugar diet path. Rich chocolate cakes and fruited cheesecake sealed the deal, obliterating the low sugar path entirely. Pumpkin pie and colorful cupcakes offered other tasty diversions.
The Stonewall Jackson Hotel holiday buffet takes the bite out of creating a scrumptious holiday meal—complete with all the fixings—for less than $40 per person. Locals who want to stay out of the kitchen for the holiday make the short drive over Afton Mountain to Staunton.
Built in 1924, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel offers a modernized, turn-of-the-Century sensibility and is registered as a Historic Hotel of America. The Stonewall Jackson Hotel is located at 24 S. Beverly Street. The hotel restaurant, Sorrels, offers fine dining most days of the week, and a weekend brunch; but their holiday buffet is not to be missed. For reservations call (540) 885-4848.
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