Spring is here, and with spring come the cherry blossoms. It’s that time of the year again, and Washington’s restaurants are celebrating the season. Washington’s gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo dates back to 1912, and the trees have graced the Washington tidal basin ever since with their beautiful pink blossoms. This year’s festival started on March 20 and will run until April 13.
Some examples of cherry blossom specials follow: At Oyamel (407 7th St.NW, 202-628-1005), the restaurant’s Mexican menu includes a chile relleno filled with a duck picadillo and topped with a cherry sauce. Zengo’s (781 7th St. NW, 202-393-2929) special dessert is a crema fresca mousse cake with cherry compote.
The three Jaleo locations are including pork belly confit with cherry sauce, “drunken goat” with Murcia cheese and cherry marmalade, and a wild red berry soup on their special cherry blossom menu.
Drinks too are fashioned around the cherry festival. Acadiana (901 New York Ave.NW, 202-408-8848) is offering a black cherry punch - a combination of bourbon, cherry liqueur, simple syrup and club soda; D.C. Coast (1301 K St.NW, 202-216-5988) is celebrating with a District cherry old fashioned that includes house-made cherry blossom tea. At Ceiba (701 14th St.NW, 202-393-3883), the special is a flor de cerezo sparkler incorporating sherry, cherry puree , grenadine and sparkling wine.
Daikaya (705 6th St.NW, 202-589-1600) is including three special cocktails on the menu during the festival: a black cherry old fashioned, a “bark & bite” fizz, and “the gift.”
The southern blossom cocktail at the Park Hyatt (24th and M Sts., NW, 202-419-6755) includes cherry-infused rye, lemon juice, carpano antica, simple syrup and cherry bitters.
These are just a sampling of what’s happening all around town.