Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar
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All good except the noise! The food was good, but a bit pricey. The service was efficient. We attended the Folger Theater, so the distance to walk was not great, even in the rainstorm. We were grateful for shelter when we reached the Sonoma, and cheered by the fare and drink.
Good service and good food in a very pleasant, quiet environment.
Perfect for pre-theater at the Folger. Comfortable, a menu with items to please everyone, nice wine choices.
A $39 pre-theatre menu is much too expensive for the offerings and quality. Over cooked angel hair pasta. 2slices of meat on the charcuterie plate
V. food server who got us out on time. $140 for OK food and one glass of rose each, no desert.
NIce place to have dinner within easy walking distance of Folger theater. Very good selection of wine.
Excellent food and great service. Noise level rises as evening progresses, but earlier evening dining very pleasant.
Sonoma was a great place to meet a business colleague for lunch.
I’ve liked most meals at Sonoma, but the lamb Berger was disappointing. The meat was dry, the sauce was too sweet and masked the lamb, and the fries were soggy and dull. The service was good as usual.
Fun place, close to the Folger Theatre. The menu is small but varied, can accomodate almost any taste and budget. The selections were interesting. The drinks and the food were very good. It has a comfortable, neighborhood ambiance. The service was very good. There are also outside tables for nice weather. The noise level inside was certainly tolerable. The bar scene seemed fairly active (around 5:30 PM when we were there). It was not our first time there, and won’t be our last. It’s our go to place when we go the Folger as we don’t live in the immediate vicinity. We recommend it highly.
Sonoma has been on our neighborhood favorite list since it moved into the space previously occupied by Barolo. Up until the last two years it maintained a good table. Unfortunately, it has gone South. Way South. Our last two meals were particularly bad. Most recently Monday May 6, 2019, we ordered smoked trout and asparagus risotto. The trout was not trout and the risotto was a tasteless mess. New management? New kitchen? Don't know. After many, many dinners, arrivederici Sonoma. It was a good ride while it lasted. An additional minor point. Any restaurant that serves Saratoga as mineral water is clueless. We complained (and did not order the swill) for months. No action. So, arrivederici. Capitol Hill has some wonderful restaurants now. Try them.
Yes, Sonoma’s location is great if you’re headed to the Folger Library for a production or the Library of Congress. But, the prices are too steep for the small portions and the lighting is way too dim in the evening.
Sonoma had once been at the vanguard of Italian-inspired, chef-driven, creative yet accessible cuisine in DC. Sadly, no longer. On a recent Saturday, I ordered pate de campagne as a first course. What arrived was definitely not country pate. Mistakes happen, but when I pointed it out to the server, he assured me that it was, in fact, country pate, that it was house-made and therefore "a little different." He said he'd talk to the chef and update the menu description. Ten or so minutes later, after I was half-way done, a plate of country pate arrives. "They gave you chicken liver mousse," the server says. Again, mistakes happen, but the server could not tell he was serving me the wrong dish! Inexcusable. At least the country pate, once it showed up, was very good.
My entree was paparadelle with lamb ragu. The fresh, house-made paparadelle was excellent -- tender but with a perfect al-dente bite -- but the ragu was, not to put too fine a point on it, bland. I didn't think it was possible to make a bland ragu, but Sonoma pulled it off. No depth of flavor, dry meat floating in a too-thin sauce, no spice, no herbs that I could detect, nothing to recommend itself at all.
I guess Sonoma survives on tourists, suburban Folger Theater fans, and parents visiting their twenty-something Congressional staffer kids. But DC dining has come a long way. It's long past time either to get serious in the kitchen or close up shop and start from scratch.
I have dined at Sonoma at least once every two months or so for years. Prior to the last two times I have eaten there, it was a great place for a nice lunch with colleagues because the service was quick and we could eat lunch on weekdays and get out of there in an hour.
The last two times I dined there, the service was terrible. My medium rare steak salad came out medium well. It took at least a half-hour to get our food. And I had to ask the bartender for our check.
It seems like the “regular” lunch crowd may have also had similar experiences, because I was able to get a table for four by just walking up without a reservation. That was unheard of even 6 months ago.
I really hope the restaurant can work out these issues.
Service was disappointing for lunch and food was — just OK. A little above pub food.
I have had better experiences there. I don’t know what happened this week. A new chief? Menu was just not that interesting.
The pesto pizza with arugula paired with Sancerre was amazing!! A win-win every time
Delicious food, great drinks (not large), good service, but obnoxiously loud group sitting next the two of us drowned out our intimate conversation.
Lovely evening with good food and good company. Easy to enjoy ourselves after a crazy week
We are repeat patrons but, admittedly, haven’t eaten at Sonoma for at least a year. We made a reservation believing the restaurant would be busy so we surprised upon arriving to see it very sparsely populated. The service from the get go was very good. Even the good was decent. The problem we experienced was with the skimpy portions and the unjustifiably high price for what was served. Based on this experience and given the competition available in DC generally, and on the Hill in particular, we are unlikely to return to Sonoma. There is just greater value elsewhere.
Great food - would certainly recommend
Varied menu well prepared and presented
Our visit was so pleasant and our waiter was so helpful...and patient...thank him for us!
Food took way too long. Server was not aware. Took 40 minutes to get our food
Rib eye was not very good. Thin cut and chewy. Wine list was not too bad.
This was our second visit to Sonoma and it is a must on our visits to DC. It is an easy walk from our hotel (Second and C Streets, SW) and from the Capitol. The food and service are excellent. We started with a cup (very large cup) of Tomato Bisque (hubby) and I had an excellent, fresh salad with Honey Vinaigarette (need that recipe!) and Grilled Focaccia. Hubby ordered the Pappadelle Bolognese (excellent) and I had the Pesto Risotto (excellent). We finished with the Blueberry Cobbler with Lemon Honey Ice Cream - Excellent! Service was unintrusive but there when needed. If you have not tried Sonoma, you need to. It is great food in a quiet Capitol Hill restaurant.
Wonderful pre-theatre meal; took advantage of pre-fixe menu and wine special. Our server, Nick, is always outstanding; terrifically knowledgeable about the various dishes and, especially, the wines. This is our pre-Folger tradition!
As always, Chris catered to us like we were celebrities.
I found it to be very noisy, and the portions were small. Similar to small plates at other restaurants. I think it’s a misnomer to call this a $$ restaurant because you have to order something more than entrées to be full. Perhaps this is how things are in most cities. There were a couple of larger tables, and everybody at that table has to holler to the other end of the table which brings the volume of the restaurant up, and then everyone else shouts too. You really can’t hold a conversation in these types of restaurants.
This was our first time here in a couple years. Why did we wait so long? My husband (who is a serious cook) gives the penne ala bolognese two thumbs up. I (who am constantly trying to find great dishes with truffle) give the mushroom/truffle oil pizza two thumbs up. The truffle essence is there but not overwhelming. Even the truffle-hesitant at the table loved it. Friend's pesto risotto tasted wonderful and had great, creamy consistency. An extra, added bonus is that corkage is a very reasonable $25.00. The wine list has a few tried-and-true, but a lot of interesting new stuff I haven't seen before. LOVE that they have wine flights available. It's just a great, all-around place focused on the food and the wine. We don't live on Capitol Hill anymore, but it's worth a drive from the burbs to eat here.
It was my birthday but I guess dessert isn’t given unless asked for? I worked in the industry and can see both sides of it but I generally always sent out a bday dessert.
Otherwise, Nick was great.
Friendly service. Excellent chicken liver mousse to start. Good cocktails and wine selection. A bit disappointed in the lamb ragu with mint pasta. The meat was very tender, but surprisingly bland.
The food was delicious and the staff was great. If you are going with a big group, reservations are a must.
Food was excellent - we enjoyed it to the last bite! Wine seemed relatively expensive. Service was attentive - a bit too rushed at the start, but when the waiter saw that we were taking our time, he backed off.
Needs a noise baffle for the ground floor. It is awful until after 8:00 pm. Too many people at the bar just standing around.
We enjoy Sonoma for pre-theater (Folger) dining. Menu is varied, wine prices reasonable, pre-fixe dinner and wine special are always nice. Uncharacteristically noisy this one particular evening (lobbyist’s night out?); generally more relaxing.
Great place! A little noisy but we had a wonderful meal.
Sonoma was once our go-to place for Capital Hill restaurants, but in those days it was much more affordable. For a wine bar, they should have a greater range of prices for both the glasses and bottles of wine. And although the food was good, it was not worth the prices charged. The restaurant itself is looking a little tired, and could use at least a cosmetic renovation.
Our dinner (on a Wednesday night) was excellent. We shared a pizza, a salad, and brussels sprouts. All were absolutely excellent. The cheeses are amazing. Our service was a little slow, but friendly and helpful with decision-making.
Sonoma is so conveniently located to the Capitol, they seem to have taken the dining experience for granted -- very disappointed in our entrees. Two different pasta dishes seemed like they had been reheated and left to become lumpy gelatinous messes. Total bummer.
Our experience at Sonoma was very good. The meals were well prepared and well served. I have been to Sonoma for lunch, but not for dinner. (I and our guests all had the pre-show selection.
It was a delightful evening with fine friends.
mushroom burger was mostly bread crumbs. would recommend if you need a quick bite before Folger