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Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro

By 4:13 PM

The atmosphere is great here at this Virginia Beach restaurant and wine bar. Very modern and sexy, but yet warm and cozy - probably achieved as a result of the dim lighting and numerous candles throughout the restaurant. The bar area boasts beautiful mosaic tiles and a water feature. The walls of this corner restaurant are chocolate brown with large bluish green cornices over each of the windows. Though the back of the restaurant is all tables the first half has a combination of high top tables and really neat sitting areas (low chairs & coffe tables). It is kind of hard to explain but its very fun and also very inviting.

The wine list is great. Lots of choices by the bottle and by the glass. Prices run the gammut. Many affordable bottles. Definitely worthy of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence it received.

We started with the cheese platter that contained 4 cheese from differents parts of the world. The display was wonderful with dried figs, grapes, candied walnuts, cornichons, olives, honey comb and two types of crackers. Definitely the largest/most varied cheese tray we have ever had.

We also had a scallop appetizer that was one of their specials for the evening. The scallops were rolled in black and white sesame seeds and seared, then served on seaweed and a sticky type rice salad. Hubby loved these, but I was not a big fan.

For our entrees, I got the crab cakes. They were amazing. They were done in a "Southwestern" style. Lots of serrano chiles and other spices. Not alot of filler, very fresh. They were served with a black bean puree. Very unexpected for crabcakes, but excellent.

Hubby ordered the Salmon Wellington - salmon version of Beef Wellington. He was not impressed. He could barely taste any salmon through the thick pastry, which the pastry itself seemed to be overcooked.

We also ordered some wonderful desserts. I got the carrot cake creme brule. It was a huge portion, topped with a gingerbread(ish) wafer/cookie. Hubby got the Turtle Parfait. Both were beautifully presented - especially the Turtle Parfait that had pretty sugar work.

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