MyLife in Metro DC: Breaking Bread Without Going Broke

20 Aug
August 20, 2010

Ah, Restaurant Week.  It’s one of my favorite times of the year.  I’d rank it right up there with Christmas and the start of Virginia Tech’s football season (which we all know is the MOST important time of year).  I’ll be the first to admit that I have a serious, but sometimes unhealthy for my waistline, love of food.  I can only hope that one day this love will earn me the title of being a “foodie.”

It all began when I lived in Richmond. I worked a second job as a hostess at an incredible local restaurant called Verbena.  It was voted one of the top restaurants in the city and after a few months working and dining there, my palette became spoiled by our talented Chefs.

I was hooked.  My wallet… sadly was not.  But this is exactly what makes Restaurant Week so incredible!  It’s the ideal way to experience some of the best dining a city has to offer at a price even I can afford.  Brilliant.

When my friend Katie called and asked if I wanted to get a group together for a Restaurant Week dinner I jumped at the opportunity.  Reservations were set and a new dining experience at Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar awaited us.

Sonoma is located on the 200 block of Pennsylvania Ave, SE.  We chose to take a cab to the restaurant from Arlington (it was about $20 for a group of 4) but it would also be possible to metro (Capitol South Station is located .3 miles away) or drive (street metered parking) to the restaurant.

With Katie Outside Sonoma

As we walked through the restaurant’s front door my eyes were instantly drawn to the wine bar that stretched down the side of the narrow restaurant, its back wall filled with countless wines “on tap”…I could already tell I was going to like this place.   The atmosphere was modern and minimalistic with large tables, unfinished floors and low lighting.  We had decided to go all out and dress up for “date night” but casual attire would still have been fitting for weeknight dining.

After we were seated, we ordered a bottle of wine and made a toast to a wonderful night with great friends, giving a special shout out to Dale Roberts (we realized that all of our friendship was all made possible by him, as he was somehow connected to introducing everyone at the table).

A Toast to Dinner with Amazing Friends...and Dale

When it was time to order our courses and we decide the best plan to maximize our experience was to each order something different for each course so that we could sample as many dishes as possible.   After sharing lots of delicious food, many bottles of wine and even a shot with our server, our dining experience was complete. Our group’s favorite dishes were – the meatball appetizer, pork entrée and the goat cheesecake (yes GOAT cheesecake) for dessert.

Our "Top Picks"

While personally I wouldn’t rate Sonoma as one of my new DC favorites, tasting new foods, drinking great wines and laughing with friends made the night perfect.  I would highly recommend Sonoma for those looking for a quaint place to go after work or for a low-key evening sharing a glass of wine with someone special or a group of friends.

DC’s Restaurant Week is held twice a year, in August and January.  Over 200 of the city’s finest restaurants participate, each serving a special 3-course menu for lunch ($20.10) and dinner ($35.10) giving aspiring foodies all over the city the opportunity to taste the best the Nation’s Capital has to offer.  A complete list of restaurants participating this year can be found at opentable.com, where you can also book your reservations.

Oh No! I didn’t know it was Restaurant Week and I didn’t make reservations yet! Don’t fret, Restaurant Week runs until the 22nd of this month, but many restaurants are extending their special menu an extra week so if you haven’t made a reservation yet, you still have time!

-Kristin

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