* Click here for rating key
Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro Restaurant Review: Some diners enter Sonoma thinking they’re at Ruth’s Chris, understandable given its location directly beneath the famed steakhouse. Contributing to the mistaken identity is Sonoma’s sleek, sexy look, worthy of a sophisticated, national build-out. But this wine bar and bistro, with its Scandinavian-cool lounge-bar and gleaming dining room, is a solidly independent outfit. Sonoma’s wine cellar favors small vineyard producers over mass-produced, household names, and offers intriguing flights along with bottles and by-the-glass pours. There’s even a tiny wine shop up front. The American-based, Euro-internationally-influenced menu is metropolitan, adding luster to Virginia Beach’s burgeoning Town Center. Start with Prince Edward Island mussels simmered in a savory tomato-Pinot Noir broth and tossed with arugula before designing your own charcuterie-cheese board or advancing celery seed and pink peppercorn seared mahi or roast rack of lamb with thyme braised lentils and orange-mint crème fraîche. A private room holds frequent wine dinners.