Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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.


Blogger Diet Coke of Evil said...

There are few things I love more in life than cheese. I mean, I know it's bad for me, but I LOVE to eat it. I am so jealous of your delicious dining experience!

12:43 PM  
Blogger Happy and Jaded said...

mmm...that cheese was pretty damn good, wasn't it? Good wine too, but even better company! (Mental note ~ must eat more than two pieces of lettuce at lunch prior toward splitting a bottle of wine with V. My head hurts me today.)

1:05 PM  
Blogger V said...

DCOE: Word, sista.

H&J: Good times, indeed.

5:55 PM  
Blogger dn said...

Do they serve a little bit of honey with the cheese? Because when they do that, that's something. Trust me.

11:00 PM  
Blogger V said...

No honey, but I'm telling you...the jelly will rip you a new one...it's totally worth it even sans honey.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Complacent Chase said...

I was just at Sonoma last Thursday with a friend. We had a great time. The food and champagne were delish! I would def. go back. The only thin I did not like was the abundance of drunk, loud, pearl wearing 23 year olds flirting with every guy in a suit that walked in the door. It was funny when one of them dropped pizza on her dress and started crying and then a guy she was flirting with laughed at her and she started to cry and he told her to grow up.
Mean? Yes. Funny? Hell yeah!

4:01 PM  
Blogger The Senator said...

You don't want to know who works there.

5:51 PM  

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