Great Bars 2013: Sonoma

Long before Spike Mendelsohn became reigning king of Capitol
Hill, Sonoma was an oasis of good wine and small plates in a desert of
dive bars full of fratty Hill staffers. Pennsylvania Avenue may have
evolved since then, but Sonoma’s exposed brick, long cement bar, and rows
of wine bottles still outclass other neighborhood watering holes. The
Monday-through-Friday happy hour in the upstairs lounge offers discounted
drinks and snacks, but the real draw is the extensive, West Coast-centric
wine list. Insider tip: Flashy slices down the street at Mendelsohn’s We,
the Pizza might get more attention, but the $10 Margherita on Sonoma’s
menu is a thin-crusted steal. Restaurant open daily. Lounge open Monday
through Saturday.