We ate lunch here during a recent trip to Monticello, which is just a short drive away. We did not do the optional tour of the building, rather just had lunch.
Upon entering the restaurant, the hostess talked about how the buffet line works. You go through the first time on your own. Once you are seated, the server will bring you any refills you want, whether it's food or beverages. Beverages are not included in the buffet price, but they clearly tell you that when they ask if you want anything. Water may be free; we all got pop so I'm not sure.
The food was really good. The buffet is small, but there's a colonial theme going on and they have a few more unique items such as stewed tomatoes. My favorites were the pulled pork and the corn bread, which was the best corn bread I've ever had.
We were in the first group to go in right when the restaurant opened, and there were still plenty of seats when we left. I see why it wouldn't work to have patrons get their own refills: there just isn't room. I did find it slightly annoying to have the server constantly hovering around, and having him get our refills. Truthfully I probably would've eaten more, but felt like a dope having to ask the server to get me more food.
Besides the restaurant, you can also tour the tavern (for an additional fee). There's also a few cute colonial themed stores located on the premises, including a recently opened toy store that my kids enjoyed.
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