Sonoma Cellar - Old Town Alexandria
I would stick to Sonoma Cellar just for the inside wine bar. It was a beautiful evening, so we chose to eat in their courtyard. Wonderful that they have space off-street, but it needs to be fixed up a bit for dining.
Service was very spotty - there were long gaps without the server in sight, despite a full patio. Food was very disappointing. My husband's steak was sitting on some type of sticky onion jell that he couldn't get off it. My salmon on risotto was overcooked (I requested medium rare) and nothing on the plate had any seasoning. I usually don't salt food, but the veggies (my brussel sprouts, his brocoli had nothing on them, just like my entree). We had to get up to find an employee to give us salt and pepper because nobody was around.
I took advantage of the 3 oz pours to try different wines, but because of the missing serving staff, I had wine-less gaps.
I hate to leave a review like this, but it was really a disappointing experience.
Beautiful venue with excellent service. The staff did a great job recommending wines and keeping our glasses filled. It did get a little crowded and noisy but I guess that's the mark of a good location. We opted to taste a couple of wines and have an appetizer and then ventured elsewhere for dinner just because there are so many options. Why should you have to choose just one!
Great menu and great service at Sonoma Cellars along with impressive wine list!
Great fun with wine tasting and good food.
Excellent selection of wines, good food, and nice ambiance.
A quaint location, built into an Old Town Alexandria row house with minimal modificaions right on King St. Bistro menu with a good amount of variety. You're able to order wines by the bottle, glass or 3 oz. pour so its great for tasting/experimenting with different colors and varietals.
On Valentine's day we were seated and it was more than 20 minutes until a server came over after we had to flag them down. I ordered the salmon and they brought me a chicken quesadilla I never ordered instead. I sent it back for the salmon I originally ordered, cooked medium, and the salmon came out undercooked like sushi and I sent it back and left Sonoma still hungry and went to another restaurant in Old Town. Sonoma is fine if you want wine, but stay away from the food.... The service and food were terrible from my experience.
Wait staff was excellent and very knowledgeable. We will definitely be back.
Both the fish and the steak were over cooked, but we elected not to return the meals as the restaurant was getting busy and we didn’t want to wait why we estimated would be another 10-15 minutes for new plates.
The food was just meh. We were a table of four on a Weekend nite; however, was not crowded. We had different entrees including the shrimp and hangar steak. The bread pudding and wine selection were the highlights. Many better places in OT.
Upstairs room was very cozy. Vegetable tacos were delicious.
The service was so poor. We barely ever saw our waiter and ended up having to go refresh our water glasses ourselves. The wait staff just simply is not professional. For the price my cranberry and almond salad was incredibly bland. I think they actually forgot the dressing.
Delightful experience. Sure to come back.
Slow night when we dined - but a quaint little hangout in Alexandria.
the food was cold, and poorly presented. Several in my party sent it bad. the staff did compensate some items, but the mood was spoiled. There were people there taking measurements over us while we ate. I've heard the tacos were good, but currently not impressed
The food was great, however, the service was slow. We ended up waiting about 30 minutes just for the appetizer, which ended up coming out only a couple minutes before our main course.
Food was excellent. Service was spotty at best. Wine not as impressive selection as expected.
I like the concept of this place. The wine was very good and the food was great for appetizers. Our service wasn't all the great at all. We were sat upstairs and there were three groups including us and it seems the waitress that was taking care of all three tables wasn't very attentive to either table, but the bartender downstairs did great while we were waiting to be seated.
I must have forgotten why I don't usually patronize Restaurant Week promotions. These are opportunities for restaurants to showcase themselves to expand their customer base and so many of them, like Sonoma Cellar, miss the mark. Last night my wife and I went there because we live here in Old Town, had never been and thought the menu offerings looked good. We were very disappointed. I thought the restaurant scaled their portion size to fit the price charged. Starters salads were quite small, desserts were two bites at best and my Beef Bourguignon had two cubes of meat in it but many, many potatoes. If I had ordered these same things off the regular menu, I would have been irate to get these servings at those prices. I think we received a $20-25 value for the $35 charged.
On a positive note the service was very good and did a great job keeping up the large crowd in attendance
I joined friends there for brunch this past Saturday. Charming, quaint atmosphere, excellent service and unique brunch options ( huevos rancheros, tater tot waffle, etc). Would recommend to others!
We went to Sonoma Cellar for the first time during the recent Alexandria restaurant week. We were very pleased; as my wife said, we'd be happy to go back. The food was generally very good. We both loved the main courses (the pork chop for my wife, the beef bourgignon for me); the appetizer salads were also very pleasing (though for a 'quinoa salad', I thought my salad actually had very little quinoa). The chocolate cake for dessert was ok, just very dry. The wine list is excellent with some selections you don't often see in the DC area (e.g., wines from Davis Bynum or Teldeschi). On the other hand, the fact the waiter had to warn us that the list wasn't necessarily up to date and might actually not have what we wanted gave us pause, and in fact what we asked for was NOT available. (That sort of thing personally just drives me up the wall, when a restaurant doesn't update its wine list.) But the option the waiter provided was very acceptable. As far as service goes, it was solid. Very friendly, though occasionally a bit slow. We recommend Sonoma Cellar.
The restaurant week Sunday brunch was a great value, and the food was excellent. The restaurant was filled at 11 AM, and the staff, while very courteous, was disorganized.
The surprise was that while mimosas were on the special menu, they could not provide one as they were out of sparkling wine at 11 AM (at a wine based restaurant!!)
Restaurant week brunch party of 3, made a reservation but there was plenty of space. Overall, it was ok - food was actually quite good. Unfortunately service was not great. Servers were not maliciously bad, but there was much disorganization. Servers couldn’t explain what was included on the restaurant week menu. Took excessively long to get a cup of coffee (no check for refills either), ran out of water, servers couldn’t figure out which meal went to which table. Very basic things, simple fixes, just overall diminished the quality of the meal. Hope they improve in this area to do justice to the food.
I imagined a cellar type ambiance. I had given a CC to hold the reservation so once I arrived I had to stay despite wanting to leave. The lighting felt like I was in a cafeteria. The bartender was great, food was fine; I just hated the vibe.
Great food! Met the owner, very nice guy! Will visit again!
The appetizers were delicious and the wine very very good.
Nice atmosphere, good food & wine and just-right service!
We reserved for Xmas dinner, not knowing this was a Prix Fixe menu at $60 pp. We arrived to the main tasting room and were escorted upstairs. The menu was simple. We wanted a bottle of wine, but were surprised by the limited offerings. I asked for a wine menu and was told that we could only order what was on the evening’s menu. C’mon, this is a wine bar. It would have been easy for someone to walk downstairs and grab a bottle for us. Soup, salad, mains and desserts were included.The soup and salad came out at the same time. This was odd. Both were good, but not exceptional. We ordered the salmon risotto and the rib eye. The salmon was good. The beef, was very thinly sliced, but had good flavor. The stuffing, sweet potato and mashed potatoes, were average. It could have been prepared with a bit more imagination. Pipe the potatoes, sprinkle with nuts, top with herbs, etc. It’s a wine bar, play off this.ex: “Roasted Sweet potatoes, caramelized onions with port reduction”
A cheese tray was offered, after the mains. Nice touch. This was followed by a dessert station. Gingerbread, lemon shortbread and a dark Chocolate/peppermint crisp. A bit dry. We would loved to have had something a bit more comforting to the palate. Wine cake, amaretto mousse, warm brownie with wine infused ice cream. The mulled wine offered at the end, was the highlight by far. It tasted of cinnamon, anise and many other divine spices that just said “Christmas”. Truly delicious. We will be back to try their daily menu. The restaurant itself, is charming. We were just hoping for something a bit more special for the $200 we spent on dinner and a bottle of merlot.
Will definitely go back. Wonderful food and a great value.
This place always delivers! Great food and amazing wine selections you can’t get anywhere else!
The experience did not match my expectations from the website. The food was good, atmosphere was a bit bright. I would dine here again if ever in the area.
Loved loved loved their hanger steak entree. Switch the potatoes for their mushroom risotto; delicious!!!! Can’t wait to go back and order their cheese platter, that too was amazing!!!!
Not bad. Good value: our brunch for four was only $125.00 with tip. Food was OK: my huevos rancheros had ingredients that were fine, each by itself, but it just didn't blend into a single dish.
First time at Sonoma Cellar... tried to understand the relationship of the name with the wines sold there.. Didn't see any wine from Sonoma. Tried to understand the relationship of the food with the name too.. a lot of mexican food. Had the steak tacos very well seasoned.. but didn't like the corn tortilla, perhaps they can add in the menu that it comes with corn tortilla instead of flour. I ordered sparkling by the glass.. first glass was completely flat, I advised the server who seemed not focus or very well versed on the menu or when I return the sparkling.. the second glass came No bubbles and it was warm..so I had to return it again.. 3rd time is a charm wasn't cold but hey dinner was already served. Appetizers were good melted brie with fig jam and then melted brie with caramelized onion. The place is nice but need attention to details. Prices are high for what you get and service is not polished enough
The wine? Phenomenal. The food/service? Horrendous. The waitress hardly acknowledged us and could not have seen less interested in serving us. Two of our meals came out so dry and over cooked; to which the waitress never apologized and later claimed the chef said "halibut is a dry fish" (not true, btw). We haven’t sent food back in over 10 years. Nothing we had was good, it was okay. Just a bunch of frozen subpar quality food products. If they want to fool people into paying $28 for dry/overcooked/frozen halibut, this is probably not the market or location. Suffice to say we will never be back to Sonoma Cellars.
Absolutely fantastic! Really enjoyed it. Great restaurant m. I was dining with a older friend and didn’t realize he was coming until the last minute. The staff at Sonoma was extremely accommodating and attentive. They made us feel very at home. The food was great and the service was superb! Would highly
Sonoma Cellar has become one of our favorite restaurants in Old Town Alexandria. The food is superb, as expected it has great wine selections, and the service is particularly good. The second floor is quiet, well laid out, and a great place for special events. John and Sharon Cruden
We had a wonderful experience. We were a group of 7 seated upstairs in a separate room. It was a special celebration gathering and both the food and service were outstanding.
The restaurant is a new find and my three visits to date have been largely positive. However, I have been surprised at the negative reaction from one staff member to a report that the phone number on the web site is not functional. I initially reported, several weeks ago, that no one was answering the phone and more recently, that the number was disconnected. I was met with disbelief. Why a staff member would choose to argue with a client about something that could easily be verified is beyond me. Perhaps he already has a reputation as a bossy bartender in-house? He’s expanding that reputation to customers too.