Sonoma: A brief review
There is always a friend who you have bad luck scheduling anything. First I cancel, we reschedule, she cancels and so on. Last night we finally are both free with nothing popping up at the last minute. She suggested a bar on the Hill I have never been to and of course, my first thought is "the Hill, that's like 'the country' (a la Seinfeld)". However, as she and I always have a good time, and I recently pledged to get out of my 5 block live/work/drink radius, the Hill we went. Back in the day she and I had several pretty raucous Hill adventures, but I dare say none of them took place in Sonoma.
Sonoma is a lovely little wine bar and restaurant that happens to sit a few doors down from several intern-licious establishments. The crowd, however, seemed mostly “hill professional types.” The press kit tells me that it has 75 seats, and its sibiling restaurant is Mendocino Grille in Georgetown.
Though they have several nice “draw” or “draft” or “tap” beers (moretti, guinness, magic hat #9, anchor steam, bass 6), we opted for a nice bottle of Ajello Furat, a Sicilian wine that is a blend of merlot and syrah and a little cabernet. It had a nice flavor with just a little spice to it. It also went great with the obscene amount of cheese we ordered.
We decided on the six cheese plate and according the menu these cheeses included: Cow Cheeses-- durrus (ireland) creamy, fresh, sweet, grassy and fiscalini bandaged cheddar (california) firm, buttery, grassy, savory. The Sheep cheese was idiazabal (spain) hard, smoky, sharp, complex; and goat (my fav) were pipe dreams chevre (pennsylvania) mild, smooth, light and creamy and humboldt fog (california) moist, light, citrusy, tangy and the blue cheese was gorgonzola piccante (italy) firm, peppery, robust. Tasty.
They serve the cheese on a cute cutting board with crisp bread and housemade jellies that the bartender heard described as jellied communal wine (they’ve got quite a bite to them), and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are used as Jell-O shots after hours. Yummy.
And, despite it being a hoppin spot, it wasn’t so crowded that you couldn’t have a nice conversation. I would certainly recommend it for any occasion, but I think it would be a particularly fun “grab a drink” with someone new kind of place. Ordering cheese and picking out the wine is a fun discussion and it’s a relaxed and causal environment, not to mention lots of candlelight.