Sonoma Cellar - Old Town Alexandria

4.3
264 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top tags:
  • Notable Wine List
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighbourhood Gem
Sonoma Cellar is a new California-inspired wine tasting room and bistro in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Offering an authentic California wine tasting experience, Sonoma Cellar will feature hand-selected wines from 180+ Sonoma County boutique wineries and 20+ Virginia-based wineries where guests have the opportunity to taste a number of varietals from these robust growing regions. Sonoma Cellar’s bistro menu will feature freshly prepared craft foods, designed to pair with the wines, and the gift shop will also carry a variety of distinctive wine-related merchandise.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Californian, Bistro
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Hours of Operation
Mon 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
Tue–Fri 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sat 10:00 am–11:00 pm
Sun 10:00 am–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(703) 566-9867
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Payment Options:
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Neighbourhood
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Cross street
Union Street
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Parking Details
You can pay for street parking or there are multiple public parking lots very close to the restaurant. Even better? You can ride the Old Town Trolley for free from the King Street Metro Station!
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Entertainment
On most Tuesday and Thursday evenings we have live acoustic music in the wine garden.
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Special Events & Promotions
We have a variety of weekly special events including single winery tasting, wine classes, wine throwdowns and all kinds of wine fun. Including pinot and pups!
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 264 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
Food
4.0
Service
4.2
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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HQ
4 reviews
Dined on 25 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved loved loved their hanger steak entree. Switch the potatoes for their mushroom risotto; delicious!!!! Can’t wait to go back and order their cheese platter, that too was amazing!!!!

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WH
3 reviews
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Not bad. Good value: our brunch for four was only $125.00 with tip. Food was OK: my huevos rancheros had ingredients that were fine, each by itself, but it just didn't blend into a single dish.

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MC
79 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

First time at Sonoma Cellar... tried to understand the relationship of the name with the wines sold there.. Didn't see any wine from Sonoma. Tried to understand the relationship of the food with the name too.. a lot of mexican food. Had the steak tacos very well seasoned.. but didn't like the corn tortilla, perhaps they can add in the menu that it comes with corn tortilla instead of flour. I ordered sparkling by the glass.. first glass was completely flat, I advised the server who seemed not focus or very well versed on the menu or when I return the sparkling.. the second glass came No bubbles and it was warm..so I had to return it again.. 3rd time is a charm wasn't cold but hey dinner was already served. Appetizers were good melted brie with fig jam and then melted brie with caramelized onion. The place is nice but need attention to details. Prices are high for what you get and service is not polished enough

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OT
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

The wine? Phenomenal. The food/service? Horrendous. The waitress hardly acknowledged us and could not have seen less interested in serving us. Two of our meals came out so dry and over cooked; to which the waitress never apologized and later claimed the chef said "halibut is a dry fish" (not true, btw). We haven’t sent food back in over 10 years. Nothing we had was good, it was okay. Just a bunch of frozen subpar quality food products. If they want to fool people into paying $28 for dry/overcooked/frozen halibut, this is probably not the market or location. Suffice to say we will never be back to Sonoma Cellars.

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K
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Absolutely fantastic! Really enjoyed it. Great restaurant m. I was dining with a older friend and didn’t realize he was coming until the last minute. The staff at Sonoma was extremely accommodating and attentive. They made us feel very at home. The food was great and the service was superb! Would highly

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JC
4 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Sonoma Cellar has become one of our favorite restaurants in Old Town Alexandria. The food is superb, as expected it has great wine selections, and the service is particularly good. The second floor is quiet, well laid out, and a great place for special events. John and Sharon Cruden

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LD
2 reviews
Dined on 14 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a wonderful experience. We were a group of 7 seated upstairs in a separate room. It was a special celebration gathering and both the food and service were outstanding.

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SR
5 reviews
Dined on 13 October 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

The restaurant is a new find and my three visits to date have been largely positive. However, I have been surprised at the negative reaction from one staff member to a report that the phone number on the web site is not functional. I initially reported, several weeks ago, that no one was answering the phone and more recently, that the number was disconnected. I was met with disbelief. Why a staff member would choose to argue with a client about something that could easily be verified is beyond me. Perhaps he already has a reputation as a bossy bartender in-house? He’s expanding that reputation to customers too.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great brunch!

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CH
4 reviews
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent service and food for a table of 6 came relatively fast. Plus the food was delicious!

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SY
7 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 2Food 5Service 2Ambience 5

My wife and I arrived here for brunch, and the ambience was great! We sat outside on a beautiful day. We ordered breakfast quesadillas and mimosas. Food and drinks were very good; however, there were only two servers covering the entire dining area, and it took them 15 mins to get our order and 30 minutes for food to come out after ordering. If you plan to drink and chill out here for 2hours, it’s a good choice, but don’t go here when you are hungry.

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HQ
4 reviews
Dined on 20 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 2Ambience 4

The hanger steak was cooked to perfection. Had it with the mushroom risotto and that too was delicious.

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DR
4 reviews
Dined on 9 September 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 4

We'd had a good dinner here about a year ago, but were disappointed this time around. On a Sunday evening, service was neglectful and pretty clueless (described a fruity albarino as very dry), wine choices not very interesting, and the food okay, but not great. The pulled pork quesadilla about as flavorless as pulled pork can be and the salmon pretty lame. We'd really, really wanted to like this place and are sort of sad it didn't work out.

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TB
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

We were very disappointed in our experience. The menu list two types of tastings and the server that we had didn't know anything about the wines or which one he gave us. We had to ask several times which one he was serving and he would have to go back to the bar to look at the bottle. So for people who are going there for a tasting that is not the experience to expect.

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AN
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful company, delicious food, and a pitcher of Bellinis in a secluded outdoor patio, perfect!

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TF
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My wife and I celebrated her birthday with a wine tasting before dinner elsewhere. We were not disappointed with the wines, the service or the appetizers.

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SJ
3 reviews
Dined on 26 August 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

I went here for brunch during restaurant week. The food was great, good value, and outdoor seating was nice. Service wasn’t great, but that was the only negative.

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N
20 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Cute spot with an excellent wine list and even better staff. Only drawback is the limited outdoor seating, but it's better than nothing. :)

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t
8 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We went for restaurant week. Delicious! I had the pork chop and cassoulet - so tasty! My partner and our friend had the ribeye and both agreed it was cooked perfectly. Service was awesome and because we were able to sit outside, that made it even better. And of course, the wine selection was outstanding! All around a great time.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

We came for restaurant week, my steak was overdone and under seasoned, but service was good and it was a nice atmosphere. I’d probably try it one more time.

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CS
175 reviews
Dined on 18 August 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 2Ambience 2

Excellent food. But, poor service. How come in a wine bar you can't find anyone to bring you a second glass of wine?

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E
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Brie and fig spread appetizer is a must! Wines are great, but unfortunately, they do not offer outdoor tastings as advertised on the website.

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JW
8 reviews
Dined on 8 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My date and I had a great experience. The food and wine was on point. Our server, Wes, paid the right amount of attention to us and gave good suggestions.

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DD
13 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

I wanted to give Sonoma Cellar Outstanding marks but I just couldn't. The food was fabulous, but it was a Tuesday night and cigar smoking was supposed to start in the garden area at 8p. Our reservation was for 7p, so I figured that would be plenty of time for us to enjoy some wine and dinner and then head out by 8p (I don't care for cigar smoke). The smoking started at 7:30 and no one stopped them from doing so. By 7:45, more people had started smoking and we had to go inside to finish our last glass of wine. Not a pleasant ending to our evening. At any rate, I would definitely return on a non-cigar-smoking evening.

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OT
44 reviews
Dined on 5 August 2018
Overall 2Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

I was hoping the third time would be better. A family brunch was sadly similar to two other occasions with friends. The food and wine here are very good indeed.
But the place is chaotic and poorly managed. We had a reservation for 6 but even after pressing to be seated, we had to wait 15 minutes for a table. No apology was offered.
None offered for the uncoordinated slow service either. Our appetizers were forgotten and came with the entrees.
No follow up on our beverages, though this is a wine bar. No recognition of the problems, either verbally by manager or by offering to comp the late apps. Very disappointing!!

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F
32 reviews
Dined on 22 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We arrived with no preconceptions and left several hours later completely delighted. The food was uniformly superb, the service friendly and efficient, and the wine selection was outstanding. The occasion was a family birthday, and our honored guests could not have been more pleased. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike found a wide range of choices and we emerged onto King Street feeling that while we'd enjoyed exceptional and healthy food, we'd feasted. Would we go back - yes, in a flash!

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OT
3 reviews
Dined on 15 July 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 2Ambience 4

Understaffed the manager forgot we were seated upstairs. We were alone on the 2nd floor.

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MD
2 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere and helpful waitstaff! Loved the energy and variety of this place- will be coming back!

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JH
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This place was great. Definitely sit outside if you can. Food was delicious.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

Server was attentive and the wine was VERY good.

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JV
6 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

The outside was very nice for a casual lunch. We had the proscuitto eggs benedict and veggie omelette- both very good.

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had Fathers Day brunch. Very nice staff. Great food. I had huevos rancheros and hubs had avocado tacos. Everybody’s food was enjoyed. Not crazy busy and had a great spot on the patio out back. Super cute.

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W
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Wonderful time and experience! Thank you again for the wine and food.

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p
2 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

The food was good but not exceptional and the portions were small.

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H
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

We had visited Sonoma Cellars once before when it opened, and came back with a couple friends to give it another go. While the food and wine were decent, the experience and interaction with staff was quite weird and left us with a negative opinion. Our welcoming involved an exchange where the host asked if we wanted to sit outside, to which we said yes but received a response of "it's full." There was not further information given about wait time, possibility of alternate places to sit...just "it's full." While that was strange, halfway through our dinner, the owner/manager knocked a few chairs over - seemingly on purpose - and left them there to make the same staff member (the host) pick them up. It seems like a place where staff interaction and management do not see eye to eye, and left us feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

That being said, the wine selection was good and prices were fair. We hope management can better work with staff to create a more welcoming ambiance. As a result of our experience we are unlikely to return.

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LK
37 reviews
Dined on 2 June 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

Worst Open Table restaurant experience ever. From not being able to find where to check in to being ignored by the bartender all the way through leaving without one member of the party having a meal. We were asked where we wanted to sit, outside or inside, and when we asked which was best, we were told there was no seating available outside. Then why ask? The entire restaurant smelled like bleach. We then found a dirty rag on the host stand and an open bleach container on the service station outside of the dining room where we were seated. The food came out wrong, and after being sent back to be corrected, it never returned. It was awful from start to finish. We heard several other patrons complaining about orders being wrong and items not being delivered to their tables. This included bottles of wine which was odd since this is a wine place. We will never return and will tell others not to go there.

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A
21 reviews
Dined on 30 May 2018
Overall 2Food 1Service 2Ambience 4

This used to be my favorite restaurant. I have taken many people here. The food is usually wonderful. This time it was a disaster. I was embarrassed that I brought my friends there. We asked for bread for the table to nibble on with the pre dinner wine. Took six tries. It came with the meal. We had to ask for butter. When the bill came was were charged for the bread and separate charge for the butter. One person ordered the salad. He said it was dry and the greens looked passed their prime. My gazpacho was bland. I ordered the short ribs. The meat which was about four bites was dumped into a unappetizing, over salted pile of mushy polenta. The two spears of grilled asparagus were dried out. My friends said their meal was just okay. The waiter cleared plates while we were eating, but left some of the dinner service on the table when dessert was served. The crust on the apple tart was tough and difficult to cut. We ordered the press coffee for 4 (there were three of us.) It was sludge. And there was not enough coffee to fill the three cups much less four. We asked the waiter to split the bill. It was not done correctly. We should have complained but we had not seen each other in awhile and we did not want to make the evening about a conversation with the kitchen. None of us would be returning.

In fairness to the waiter, I think he was overwhelmed. The restaurant is on two floors and with the patio opened the waiter has to cover a lot of ground. It seemed like he was the only waiter on duty that night.

I would go back to have wine, but I would not eat there again.

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RG
3 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We really enjoyed our dinner at Sonoma Cellar. The three wines we tasted were really good. The food was fresh and tasty - we would particularly recommend the fish tacos, which were exceptional!! And the service was perfect.
We will definitely be back for more!!

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m
25 reviews
Dined on 23 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Can't beat the wine! Knowledgable staff helps you discover new wines and the fit-for-foodie menu is a added bonus. Sit outside for quiet evening or inside if you want a lively bar scene.
We started wth a glass of superb Brut and enjoyed Rose with our delicious dinner.
Definitely a gem in Old Town Alexandria!

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JD
5 reviews
Dined on 20 May 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

We were excited to try this place and were warmly greeted by the owner, but things went downhill from there. They put us upstairs which was a very nice room but with poor acoustics. It took forever to get our drinks and when food finally came they only had 5 of our 6 meals correct. It took almost 30 min to get the 6th meal. It was such a shame because the food was tasty. The waiter was nice, but had too many people to take care of and therefore slow.

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