Sunday, April 08, 2007
Like its sister restaurant, Mendocino, in Georgetown, the spare but stylish Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar on Capitol Hill is like a slice of California wine country. There's, of course, an extensive menu of wine. The list is basically divided up into "old world" selections--which are mostly Italian--and "new world" which are almost all Californian with a sprinkling of Oregonian and Virginian.
Staying true to its name, the menu at Sonoma offers plenty of great wine country cuisine, the hallmarks of which include light, fresh, and local ingredients. No wine bar would be complete without cheese, and this place delivers an extensive array of cheese--for starters or dessert--that includes cow, goat, sheep, and blue.
Everything, including the service, last night was excellent.
Amish chicken patte (very light and fluffy, mousse-like)
black risotto with calamari and prosciutto (can be undercooked sometimes, but beautiful flavors--their take on the classic Spanish Arroz Negro Con Calamares)
sicilian oil-packed tuna (their version of the salad nicoise--too salty, not a highlight)
quail with--what I think was --(beautifully fragrant/herby) micro sorrel with flowers, polenta cakes (the quail was grilled perfectly, remained juicy and firm but tender)
free range lamb loin with cannelini bean puree, pea shoots and minted yogurt (medium rare and delish)
Cosentino "The Zin" (had Cosentino Cab Franc at Mendocino, which was equally good)
Panna cotta with some sort of blood orange syrup
Harney & Sons jasmine (really fragrant with hibiscus)
Obviously I broke my salad streak from last week. It was worth it.