Sonoma offers Sunday dinner to soldiers

Over the next few months, the owners and staff of Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar will raise a glass to honor injured soldiers through a series of dinners for them and their families.

Sonoma hosted its first “Sunday Night Dinner” in coordination with Walter Reed Medical Center on Oct. 28 for 30 people, including foundation staff members, active-duty Marines and Army reservists, and their families. The second dinner will be held at Sonoma on Dec. 17.

The meals, underwritten by Sonoma owners Eli Hengst and Jared Rager, were inspired by a report by Bob Woodruff of ABC News about how injuries sustained by veterans extend far beyond the initial physical trauma.

“I had heard that it’s tough for wounded vets and their families to eat out because of logistics, finances and, of course, their injuries,” Hengst said in a statement. “The idea for the dinner was inspired by reading about the difficulties many soldiers face, but honestly, our goal is pretty modest: get the soldiers out for an evening of good food with their families and friends, and let them know how much we appreciate them.”

In addition, Sonoma is directing half of the sales proceeds of its Yakima Cellar “Elephant Mountain Vineyard” Syrah 2004, priced at $45, to the Armed Forces Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans and their families, and other similar organizations.

For more information about the dinners, call (202) 544-8088 or visit

Upcoming dinners: On Monday, Dec. 17, Sonoma is hosting its Walter Reed dinner for family, staff and active-duty soldiers for a family-style, seasonal holiday dinner. On Tuesday, Jan. 15, and Tuesday, Feb. 19, Sonoma owners and staff will bring dinner to the National Naval Hospital in Bethesda.