Relaxation, fine dining and serenity
by Sarah Bowis
“Lisa, I have a feeling we’re not in Kilmarnock anymore . . .” I think were my exact words when seated on the patio of the Kilmarnock Inn to enjoy Sunday brunch. Surrounded by lush landscaping, sounds of a waterfall and birds chirping, one barely notices the traffic of Kilmarnock’s downtown Steptoe’s District, a stone’s throw from the hidden courtyard.
Itching to review something different, Rivah editorial director Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi and I decided on the Kilmarnock Inn’s dining room, most recently named Filibuster’s Seafood and Steakhouse at the Kilmarnock Inn.
Filibuster’s boasts a Sunday brunch buffet that features a scrumptious variety of fresh seafood, flavorful meats, vegetables and, of course, breakfast basics. Owned and operated by Shawn Donahue, the Kilmarnock Inn honors the rich presidential history of the Northern Neck. Eight presidents were born in Virginia, and each of the Kilmarnock Inn’s eight guest cottages are named for a Virginia-born president.
Starting off, as I would with any other brunch, I ordered a Bloody Mary. But this isn’t just any ordinary Bloody Mary. Filibuster’s features the Bloody Mary Meal—and yes, it could suffice as a meal! This Bloody Mary features bacon, olives, sweet peppers, asparagus, a pickled carrot and a mini jar of Tabasco sauce. Sounds fabulous, right? It certainly is. Lisa was thirsty for a more traditional brunch beverage, a Mimosa. Once our beverages arrived we were offered to visit the buffet at our leisure.
Upon finishing my drink, our server, Tara, ordered me another and we excitedly headed inside. We previewed the beautifully displayed buffet, grabbed a plate and started sampling. For starters, the buffet offers a homemade sweet sausage and spinach soup served in a heart-shaped bowl—this soup certainly has a lot of love! It was light, yet hardy, and a perfect start. Moving down the line, I came across one of my favorites–smoked salmon atop a Himalayan salt block served with a creamy dill sauce.
Next came a chipotle-rubbed pork tenderloin served with pork fried rice. We also sampled coconut shrimp, a summer zucchini and squash mix and a single large shrimp served atop individual ramekins of cocktail sauce with a lemon wedge.
Hungry yet? I’ll keep going. Moving along, we came to a fresh garden salad with a choice of toppings, fresh fruit and pastries. Coming down the home stretch, we found breakfast favorites such as scrambled eggs, French toast, biscuits and sausage gravy and the best maple, brown sugar bacon. According to cook Laura Morgan, this spectacular bacon is flavored and baked on site.
As if this meal couldn’t get any better, it did, simply because we are heading into my favorite part, dessert. We enjoyed a dessert sampling of a Key West bar, which is similar to a lemon bar, a cheesecake bar, an Oreo chocolate bar and individual servings of chocolate mouse accompanied with whipped cream and a large juicy strawberry. In addition, we were offered two port wines. Featured that day were a Horton Vineyard Pear Port and Terra d’oro Zinfandel Port. Both were refreshingly sweet with deep flavors and a perfect pair with our various decadent desserts.
Lisa has had the pleasure of enjoying a night’s stay at the Inn. I have not and our server was gracious enough to open a suite and allow us to peek inside. We visited the George Suite, second-floor accommodations which feature a large living room and a bedroom with a king-size bed. The George Suite treetop balcony offers wide views of the beautiful serene courtyard. Wedding and corporate packages are available.
The Kilmarnock Inn offers relaxation, fine dining and a serene atmosphere without leaving the Northern Neck.