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Restaurants & Bars 4

Capitol Hill: Sonoma!

pam h | Jun 2, 2005 01:32 PM

V exciting new addition to Cap Hills sloooowly expanding restaurant scene. Sonoma had its formal opening last night.
I sat at the bar and had a few things off the menu -- very enthusiastic staff. I'm not a good judge of wine lists but I loved the Russian Hill pinot noir I had. They have a v. curious wine dispenser -- bottles are in a glass booth, hooked up to a tap -- nitrous oxide or something is pumped back into the bottles so there's no waste...

In any case: an interesting menu of smaller plates -- not quote tapas -- all italian inspired and the couple that I had were magically delicious.

best of all: a CHEESE selection, hallelujh -- with groovy side dishes to go along with, including an oddly delicious green mini peach (akin to a green olive) in truffle oil. There is also a charcuterie selection...and the cheese plates (you can get 2, 3 more or the whole shebang for $40) come with white and red wine jellies. Really lovely.

I had a fantastic black ink squid risotto that I will definitely be going back for, and bucatini with wold boar sausage in arugula pesto. I had a St Maure goat cheese as well as a Penn. goat cheese -- the St Maure was amazing -- felt like I was back in Paris...and the Penn. was v creamy -- almost like a whiped cream cheese. a little bland but tasty with the wine jellies. The peaches were a very nice thing to nibble. weird and tasty.
There are larger plates as well -- shrimp, a chicken, large pastas -- the menu is regional italian (what region I have no idea) and most of the wines are from Sonoma. Its owned by the people who have Mendocino in Gtown.
The space is modern; exposed brick inside...feels very un Cap Hill, which is a nice change from all the cozy smallness. 2 glasses of wine ($11 each..the most expensive on the menu), 2 plates and 2 cheeses plus the peaches was $45.
It's in the old Il Radicchio spot on Penn Ave SE just below 3rd. Think it will be a hit -- the closest thing in ambiance is Belga Cafe on 8th Street; the food is unique on the hill. Open 7 days a week for dinner, or so I am told...

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