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Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar

4.3
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1712 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
At Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, our culinary mission is straightforward - use the best local ingredients as simply as possible. New American Cuisine places an emphasis on seasonal ingredients that are regionally available, and our menu changes frequently to reflect the Mid-Atlantic’s offerings. The first floor, a bustling, “upscale-casual” bistro and wine bar, offers superior moderately-priced cuisine by using the best local, organic, and naturally raised ingredients. The menu bears a southern European influence, and is comprised of four groups: cheese and charcuterie, handmade pasta and pizzas, wood-grilled meats and fish, and organic salads and produce. The second floor features a lounge and reserve wine bar along with a dining room for private events. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be taken by telephone or through OpenTable. $25/bottle corkage fee (2 bottle maximum) $3/person cake fee (including cupcakes)
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Private Dining

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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Clean menu provided to every guest
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
What 1712 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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d
dontgetoutmuch
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our waiter was delightful.

S
Sade
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience3

The food was unduly expensive and not very tasteful.

m
vipmaureenh
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Pizza not hot.
Pizza had no flavor as if the chef forgot to add any spices.
Gave half of both pizzas to hungry man outside the restaurant

K
vipKrchampion
Tampa
50 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Went in for lunch and sat at the bar. The bartender was fabulous! I ordered a spectacular glass of wine and some cheeses. Everything was pleasant.

v
volvogirl
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived early to the restaurant and they accommodated us with no problem. They brought out appetizers early and let us talk before asking about a main course. The focaccia bread with Parmesan crisp and olive oil is outstanding. The arugula salad has the right amount of dressing and is light but filling. I ordered potato gnocchi with caramelized onions and blue cheese, Which was extremely filling the onions were so savory I wanted more. We ended the night with coffee and a chocolate mousse type dessert which was very dense and just the right touch with coffee. The lighting is mood appropriate. Our waiters were extremely attentive and gracious.

AD
AshD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience1

Service was very slow and awkward. It took us 15 minute to get four glasses of wine. We were not guided through the menu and/or recommended ordering structure. Size of cheese and charcuterie portions were grossly inflated by server so we ended up with less than we wanted. Cheeses were very cold (should be tempered). Pastas were mediocre at best.

C
vipCubit
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience3

We had the Valentine’s tasting menu right before going to the Folger Shakespeare theater. The service was great, and they got us out in plenty of time to make our show. The foie gras appetizer was delicious, and the chocolate dessert was divine, however, the duck was lackluster. The skin needed to be crisper, and the fat wasn't quite rendered enough. All in all, however, it was enjoyable.

s
showgoer
New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Friendly and attentive service, and the food and wine were excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

The 3 star review is a direct reflection of the overall experience, average. Our bill for (2) came out to $160 but the food, and custom service were comparable to eating at Outback Steakhouse.

Upon getting to the restaurant, there was no valet service not a big deal, but finding street parking is always a challenge. We were seating promptly for our reservation by a very hospitable host. After being seated, there was no introduction to the menu, any specials, our recommended wines- which was probably most disappointing since it is a wine bar.
The waiter recommended the mixed green salad, which was no more than a mixed green bag of salad that you can purchase at the local grocery store with chopped carrots (this was the first hit on the food). We both order the New York steak as it was the steak of the night, it was primarily fat, but had a decent chimichuri sauce on top, resulting in a very average steak.

Overall, everything was timely, and the service was standard (nothing remotely bad occurred, but nothing stuck out as outstanding). At the end of the night we didn’t feel as though we had just experienced a $160 dinner.

LB
vipLindaB
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Beet salad was very unusual... tasted like tomatoes...very disappointed!
Fish was ok!

C
vipCatlover
Washington DC
61 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

2nd time I've been to Sonoma and I really like the food. Although I have to say the mussels I had the first time were outstanding. I had the fish most recently and while very good - it was considerably more expensive and didn't give me that "outstanding" experience as the mussels had. Otherwise I think the food is extremely good. One thing I don't like is they don't offer bread unless you pay for it - $5 for foccacia. It is a really great little restaurant and great for pre-theatre when going to Shakespeare theatre.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

I love Sonoma. I frequent it at least once a month. The service is always slow, however.

b
bigpants
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food and wine overall very good, although a bit uneven. Service friendly and relatively prompt. We likely will return.

HT
HeatherT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very nice! Friendly service, good meal, an excellent & convenient choice for pre-Folger Theatre dinner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Three business associates met for dinner.

GZ
vipGeorgiannaZ
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Lots of pre-theater folks - staff is used to serving on the early side and moving things along in a good way. Ambiance relaxing on a cold night with good wine.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food3service2ambience4

Service was very slow. We waited about 45 min after all wine and food done before getting check.

A
Allden
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience4

The wait staff at Sonoma was wonderful and friendly, and the ambiance of the restaurant was great. The reason I wouldn't recommend it is that the food wasn't flavorful and therefore, the value wasn't great. I went in for restaurant week dinner with a few friends, and we had the following:
1. Meatballs and the Oyster Stew
2. Chicken Penne and the Bucatini
3. Chocolate fudge brownie cake

Starting with the positive - the meatballs were very good and filling. If I were to return, I'd get those. The chocolate fudge brownie cake lives up to its name and is very chocolatey.

My criticisms:
Stew - had great elements, but no real flavor. Could have used some salt and pepper.
Chicken penne - was billed as having roasted garlic, and I tasted zero garlic in it. The sun dried tomatoes were good, but if they hadn't been there, the penne and the chicken were also very bland.
Bucatini - the sauce was just ok, but I don't remember the dish beyond an ok sauce.
Chocolate fudge brownie cake - came with fudge on the side, and there was some inside when you broke it open. There was so much and it was so dense, it was more like paste in my mouth. I think it cold be great if they added something as simple as a single scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

I've had better Italian in DC for better value, so until they fix some of these things, great service isn't worth the money for not good food.

C
Crocpinot
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Delicate, well-contrived cuisine, especially for the "Restaurant Week" special menu.
Food preparation was far superior to the service (which was adequate) and the ambience (chilly by the front door, rather noisy). I admire the wine list – that's what it's about, to start with – although the price per glass seems excessive.

SB
vipStatiaB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Honestly, it was a let down. A group of 3 of us went for Restaurant Week but when we arrived the menu was different than what was posted online. When we asked why, we were told “the items were changed.” No apology or effort to alleviate the situation as we were there to try the two menu items that were replaced. We also saw our server twice. Once to give our order and then to pay the bill. The pasta I ordered was delicious. The experience was just boring.

M
Marcia
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Pre-theater

EP
EmmaP
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

I am not generally a big fan of italian food, but this place was pretty good! I enjoyed the food options available for the restaurant week and the wine was very good. Overall I enjoyed my night!

ST
StevenT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you like good wine and good food paired together, this is the place for you. And, prices are reasonable.

DS
DaveS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent atmosphere. Best meatballs in the city. Perfect for a date or happy hour.

ML
MarkL
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Rissoto and beignets not cooked quite long enuf, but otherwise everything was great. I highly recommend the oyster stew!

J
Jared
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience and recommendations!

AM
vipAntMitch
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great for a mid day punch to catch up with an old friend.

BL
vipBonnieL
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great risotto )!

Report
A
Anon
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place to meet and have supper or a drink before a Folger performance.

JA
vipJerryA
Charleston
30 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My new favorite in Washington DC. What a GEM. Do you like mussels? How? Baked? In broth? They have it. Served in generous bowls either 1/2 or full servings. A Half is plenty to share as an appetizer. Onion soup? The best I have even eaten. Hands down the best. And I'm old, so that's saying something. Nice wine list. Prices very moderate. Casual. We arrived for dinner at 6:15. The place was empty. By the time we finished our sumptuous dinner, the joint was hopping and full. Hidden gem. Go. Enjoy.

ND
vipNickD
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Right from the start, service was extremely poor. The greeter took more than a minute to acknowledge us, instead she was looking at paperwork at her greeter station. She could have at least looked up from what she was doing to say “I’ll be with you in a minute.” Then the greeter couldn’t find our reservation. We had to show her the open table confirmation on our phone. And when she took us to our table there was no “enjoy your meal” or “your serve will be with you shortly.”

Then came the server, he barely said anything. He didn’t Ofer to explain the menu, and when asked about things, he only answered with short two or three word answers. He drop off silverware with no explanation such as “these knives are for your pate.” Try as we might to engage in a friendly way, there was just no attempt at interaction back.

Finally, the food was a huge disappointment. The duck pate was nice, but a little on the chunky side and under seasoned. The mussels were nice and plump, but they still tasted extremely fishy (which by the way probably explained the nasty fishy smell when we entered the restaurant). The broth/sauce was very dry and too little. Didn’t taste like there was any wine used in cooking the broth and the mussels, which probably explains the fishy taste. And what are wheat berries doing in a mussel broth? Just weird and out of place.

The saving grace of the meal was dessert. The pumpkin cheesecake was delicious, however the chocolate cake was over baked and dry.

We’ve been going to the Sonoma for years, always before a show a the Folger, and have always enjoyed it. However, we heard that it had gone down in quality lately, and now we have experienced it first hand. Probably a last visit to the restaurant, sadly.

B
vipBets
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great wine selections- very good food and excellent service

MW
vipMW1234
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

The food was good but it was really an off-night for service. From the hostess who barely acknowledged us upon arriving and leaving because she was on her cellphone to the wait staff who didn’t notice us for 15 minutes after we were seated to the manager who seemed oblivious that we were just sitting and waiting, the service was surprisingly off. We did eventually get a waiter who was very apologetic and tried to make things right.

RW
vipRichardW
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Chicken penne dish was bad - poor quality, bland chicken. Also, the entree size costing twice as much was no larger than the regular size.

g
vipgail
Washington DC
74 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The main thing this restaurant has going for it is that it is very convenient to the Folger. The food is pretty good. I had very good brussel sprouts. The mussels were good, but the serving wasn't large enough, at least not compared to most places I have gone to for mussels. Only about 12-16 I would estimate, and two were closed.

L
vipLita
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very good service, very accommodating!

JK
vipJosephK
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We are frequent guests at Sonoma as part of our pre-theater ritual (Folger Theater and Folger Consort); the food selections are always extraordinary, with a new and varied menu (food and wine) almost every time we visit. We are faithfully guided through our choices by our favorite server (anywhere), Nick, including outstanding wine suggestions. Sonoma also participates in the Hill & Will program, which provides a 10% discount to Folger patrons (it covers the tax and possibly a glass of wine). Recently, we enjoyed the Fall Salad, wild boar ragu with gnocchi, and red wine risotto with forest mushrooms. Every morsel a revelation!

L
vipLaura
Washington DC
109 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Server was excellent! Risotto watery. Oyster stew very tasty. Chocolate brownie and cinnamon ice cream very good. Wines good.

FH
vipFredH
Washington DC
106 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Food is always good here with frequent menu changes. We especially like the seafood. Service is sometimes spotty as if they don’t have enough staff. Wine list good.

E
vipEmily
St. Louis
21 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall1food2service4ambience4

The cheese and charcuterie boards were delicious! However I order dc those duck pasta and it was one of the driest and tasteless dishes I have had. We told the server and he said something about other people complaining about it too and then brought a small bowl of olive oil thinking that would help...it did not. He didn’t offer to do anything else nor did he take it off the bill. We were celebrating for my birthday so it was disappointing that my meal was terrible. Thankfully everyone else had good meals so I ate of theirs!

FAQs

Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar does offer delivery in partnership with Caviar and Postmates. Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (202) 544-8088.

Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar is rated 4.3 stars by 1712 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.

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