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Aug 23, 2006 05:23 PM

Former DC Hound in for the Labor Day Weekend -- Any good suggestions? Sonoma closed...

Have surfed this board and decided upon Sonoma for a party of 5 for dinner Saturday night and I am totally bummed that they're closed. Looking for a meal where we can linger a bit, but am trying to be budget conscious, and was hoping for reasonable prices (especially wine). Any other options with great food? We're staying on the Hill, but would also consider worthwhile Arlington options since that's where my sister lives. No limits on cuisine, but a nix on Thai (Bangkok 54 was a backup plan that my mother nixed).

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  1. Not sure about the lingering bit, but how about the newly-opened Ray's the Classics across from the AFI theater in Silver Spring? Great food, quite reasonable prices, particularly the wine list, and gracious owner. You won't be rushed, but you could always retreat to the bar afterwards if you wanted to linger without monopolizing a table....

    3 Replies
    1. re: tfbrennan

      Won't be rushed? Doesn't/didn't the Ray's in Arlington have a time limit of some kind on tables? I've only had the pleasure of one visit to Ray's (in Arlington), and it was outstanding. and time at the table wasn't an issue for us. Just had some trace memory of a possible limit, so wanted to mention the possibility - apologies if this is off-base.

      1. re: Geoff

        Ray's the Classics is definitely not a time-limited experience. They take reservations, and are in a slow open period for now, where it appears they're taking care not to be overwhelmed in its first month, e.g. the back dining room was not yet in use the last I heard. We enjoyed at least a 2 1/2 hour meal in its first weekend of business, without any hint of being hurried. Other than the superb food, it is very different place than Ray's the Steaks.

        1. re: tfbrennan

          Great to know that - thanks for setting the record straight.

    2. On the Hill, the Park Cafe has gotten mixed reviews on this board, but I've really liked it. If that's not an option, there's always Montmartre or Bistro Bis, both of which have good wine lists.

      1. Tallula in Arlington (Washington Blvd and N. Pershing) has a very reasonable, well-considered wine list and an eclectic American menu along with small plates. Entrees will run you in the low to mid $20's.

        1. You might want to consider hopping on the metro to Cleveland Park and visiting Dino. They have a nice wine program, often have great specials, and have joined the crowd with whom you can get small tastes as well. Dinner bill can add up, but if you order carefully this does not have to break the bank. And it's a friendly place; i don't think lingering would be a problem.