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Mendocino Grille coming to the Hill


VenerableBede
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from today's Roll Call:

New and Coming Soon. The owners of Georgetown's Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar are updating the space formerly occupied by Barolo and Il Raddichio at 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE and expect to open Sonoma there in late March. Co-owner Jared Rager said the new spot will offer casual, moderately priced dining on the first floor, with fine dining and an intimate lounge area upstairs.

Mendocino Executive Chef Drew Trautmann is designing a New American menu that will reflect Italian influences with pizza, handmade pastas, wood-grilled meats and fish, and a few favorites from Mendocino, including a Kobe beef burger. The menu will emphasize local, organic and naturally raised ingredients.

The restaurant will also offer an impressive 60 wines by the glass - more than half in the casual downstairs dining room.

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God knows we need some edible food on the Hill!

Very cool--I walked past the space the other day and wondered what was going in!

Jennifer

from today's Roll Call:

New and Coming Soon. The owners of Georgetown's Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar are updating the space formerly occupied by Barolo and Il Raddichio at 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE and expect to open Sonoma there in late March. Co-owner Jared Rager said the new spot will offer casual, moderately priced dining on the first floor, with fine dining and an intimate lounge area upstairs.

Mendocino Executive Chef Drew Trautmann is designing a New American menu that will reflect Italian influences with pizza, handmade pastas, wood-grilled meats and fish, and a few favorites from Mendocino, including a Kobe beef burger. The menu will emphasize local, organic and naturally raised ingredients.

The restaurant will also offer an impressive 60 wines by the glass - more than half in the casual downstairs dining room.

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from today's Roll Call:

New and Coming Soon. The owners of Georgetown's Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar are updating the space formerly occupied by Barolo and Il Raddichio at 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE and expect to open Sonoma there in late March.

YES!

:biggrin: Things are lookin up on the Hill. :biggrin:

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Exultation! Salvation! Jubilation! There's hope for the Hill! (At least I hope there's hope...)

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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On the minus side, I notice they've carefully selected one of the few possible alternate locations where it will be just as hard to park as it is in Georgetown. :smile: At least this one will be Metro-accessible, which should be good for wine sales.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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I actually think it already is. We just need to convince restaurateurs of the same! *Sigh*

SWEET!

Give the Hill 3 or 4 years and it's going to be one of the best neighborhoods in DC!

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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Great news. Although it's somewhat sad to see Barolo go. I always enjoyed dinner there.

Radicchio had declined considerably, although it was still a reliable option with kids.

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

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SWEET!

Give the Hill 3 or 4 years and it's going to be one of the best neighborhoods in DC!

Speaking as a Hill resident myself, we love it. It's a truly walkable neighborhood, unlike some of the more affluent stretches of DC that are considered more "desirable." It still could use more good food places, including a good food market (which is on the way, apparently).

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

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I think it is too, just need the restaurant scene to improve and a couple more upscale drinking places (that's aren't tiny and deafening like tapatinis)

it's definately getting better. . .on a side note, fiancee went to tapatini's last night and loved it. .course, it could be that wednesday night is ladies get free wine. nah. . .that couldn't be it.

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When one comes into the city from the 'burbs for a night out, distance and parking are always paramount in the consideration - unless you do Metro, which is usually doable. (My perfect world would be where I didn't have to drive FOREVER to get what I'm looking for. But then, peace, quiet, privacy and space do have their advantages...) Having come to the Hill this past summer when we discovered Eastern Market, it is great that there seem to be new restaurants in that area. Can't wait to try it out!

Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---

Brillat-Savarin

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I have to admit to being mostly ignorant about Capitol Hill. Made a trip to Tapatini's at the request of a CH dweller recently and it was like visiting a whole new world. I think it's pretty cool that for non-residents, it's become a destination.

I want to try Belga Cafe and now this spot (because personally I'm a fan of Mendocino).

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hey everyone,

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, I've been pretty busy working on getting Sonoma up and running (as quickly as possible?!?). We are excited to be opening our second restaurant/wine bar and very excited to be in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Thank you for all of the encouraging posts over the last few months, they've been nice to read throughout this process. We are sending out the first round of email invitations to some "preview" events and I'm guessing that many of you were early subscribers on our website. I think it would be great it we could organize an eGullet "preview" event for many of you. Since there are a lot of industry people, I'd probably arrange it for a Sunday or Monday night... So, if you get an invite, when you respond, mention that you'd like to be involved in the eGullet event, so we put you on the appropriate list.

I'm not saying that this group would get any special treatment, but then again...

...maybe I am.

Looking forward to hosting you all and many thanks again for all of your support and encouragement.

Warmest regards,

Jared Rager

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar

Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar

Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar

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Me and the missus and some friends were lucky enough to attend a preview dinner last night at Sonoma. I hope the management won't mind if I share some thoughts.

First, this place is going to kill like Anakin Skywalker when it opens. There is nothing like it within walking distance of the Capitol, especially on the House side, and I see it being a prime spot for business lunches and dinners for the crowd who don't necessarily want to drink beer out of mason jars at some of the other hill hangouts.

The downstairs isn't completed yet and the walls aren't decorated but you can tell it's going to be a neat little space. I was surprised at how small, but I guess that's not necessarily bad. We didn't get to see the upstairs. The downstairs came off as upscale but appropriately casual.

The bar is basically in the same place as it used to be, but instead of beer taps they've put in some new fangled system of wine taps. It looks like they had maybe 25 or 30 taps on hand to do wine by the glass. Very cool, and though they didn't have wine lists printed yet I think they had just about any kind of Italian varietal you could want.

The food, offered from a preview of the casual menu, was very good. Certainly better than anything in the area from the Capitol up to Monmartre. In fact, I liked Sonoma better - though it might just be because I'd pick Italian over French if forced to at the point of a chef's knife. Without question better than anything I've had over on Eighth St.as well - acknowledging the fact that it's kind of like comparing apples and oranges since Sonoma isn't trying to serve bar food.

I had a grilled apple salad with roasted pistachios and watercress (if the wine allows me to remember correctly) that was very good. First course was a little plate of small meatballs on a bed of uber-creamy polenta. Lots of veal in the meatballs, methinks. Very tender and good to the point that I threw a little temper tantrum when I saw the girlfriend's fork sneaking over.

Third was a rib-eye (more like maybe a half a ribeye) that was nonetheless grilled perfectly and served with some really nice fried potatoes and poached garlic.

Dessert was panna cotta with strawberries that was good but not grand. The pistachio ice cream was way better. And by that I mean that I was licking the plate.

All in all, I came away very impressed and very optimistic. The Hill is in desperate need of exactly what I think Sonoma is looking to be. The staff was extremely knowledgeable when it came to wine (but you'd expect that from the Mendocino crew) and very polite and friendly.

Once they get up and running (they said opening is probably middle of next week) I sense many a glass of wine and plate of meatballs will be enjoyed at the bar by the Hill crowd. And if the bar menu was any indication I look forward to seeing what they come up with upstairs.

In short, for a preview dinner I give Sonoma 4 lightsabers out of 4. Strong with the Force is this one.

<img src= "http://forums.egullet.com/uploads/photo-14279.gif"><p>You haven't had foie gras until you've had it in Big Piney, Wyoming...

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In short, for a preview dinner I give Sonoma 4 lightsabers out of 4.  Strong with the Force is this one.

I had a similar experience yesterday, and I share your enthusiasm for having Sonoma on the Hill. Jared told me their wine bar has about 40 bottles, whereas Mendocino has only about half that. I can't wait to explore the food further.

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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