Jan 222009

Tuesday was an amazing event, as anyone who was in DC or watched on television knows. Two special, long-time friends were in the city for the Inauguration festivities, and Gabriele and I met them for dinner after a thrilling and busy day. They brought some local friends we had not met before (and who we hope to see again soon). We ate at Sonoma on Capitol Hill: http://www.sonomadc.com/location.html

The recessed entrance off Pennsylvania would have been easy to work right by. The atmosphere was relaxing and the lighting subdued. The decor is minimalist and clean, with tables downstairs and a lounge on the second floor.  The atmosphere worked well coming in from the cold night air. We were a little early and had some wine at the bar.

The big winner for the night was the Saviah Cellars 2006 “une valle” blend, cabernet, merlot and cabernet franc. From Washington state, it was a very satisfying wine with a deep aroma, medium body and balanced fruit. It’s finish was almost like a merlot, which I do not like but in this case was mild and not over the top.

There were no misses on the food. A number of us had an excellent mushroom soup to start. The inevitable charcuterie tray was a bit expensive, but delicious and fresh.  Both Gabriele and I had the trout meuniere, with oranges and capers. It was beautifully presented and delicious.

With dinner I had a glass of the Vinum 2006 Clarksburg “Pets” Petit Sirah. Petit Sirah can be heavy, but the list called this a medium body wine. It was actually rather light bodied, with strong fruit forward and a slightly early aroma. I like reds with fish, and this combo worked for me.

Since Sonoma isn’t a tapas place like Cork or Evo Bistro, it’s a little tougher to sample a broad range of food with your wine. According to reviews it can be very crowded weeknights with Congress in session. Service both at the bar and table was professional and attentive.  It’s definitely a place to try, and have a glass of the Saviah Cellars.

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