Sonoma Wine Bar and Bistro Refreshes its Dining and Menu

Sonoma Virginia Beach
Fried green tomatoes with roasted corn pico de gallo, shaved mahon and basil-
avocado creme.

After 13 years, Sonoma at Virginia Beach Town Center has hit refresh. The result? A lighter yet still upmarket dining room, an über-convivial bar area and a connected-yet-separate, more casual outlet called Quirks for burgers, tacos, bowls, tequilas and craft beers.

“We’re still fine dining at Sonoma, but it had gotten stuffy,” says executive chef/GM Mackenzie Hess. “That’s not society anymore.” So they painted walls fireball orange and pale oak and erected reclaimed wood partitions. They also draped Sonoma’s tables, counterintuitively to the lighter approach, to signal that while much of the menu is new—steak tartare, snapper in coconut broth with cucumber-pineapple kimchi and smoked cilantro bulgur—Sonoma clings to its core. “We’re for people who are looking for interesting food,” says Hess. “Not the same dish or bottle of wine you can get elsewhere.” 189 Central Park Ave., Virginia Beach. SonomaTC.com

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Marisa Marsey
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Marisa Marsey is a food, beverage and travel writer whose awards include 1st place Food Writing from the Virginia Press Association. A Johnson & Wales University representative, she has sipped Château d'Yquem '75 with Jean-Louis Palladin, sherpa-ed for Edna Lewis and savored interviews with Wolfgang Puck and Patrick O’Connell.

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