The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off this Saturday, March 26 and to celebrate Washington’s signature springtime event, area restaurants are serving up an array of Cherry Blossom inspired entrees, desserts and cocktails.
Cuba Libre's "Cherry-tini" - Pyrat XO Rum, combier, Bing Cherries, lemongrass infused guarapo, with a splash of bitters.
During the 16-day long festival, local chefs and mixologists will “Cherry Pick” their favorite recipes to complement the peak bloom of Washington’s most celebrated natural beauty. And to show off their Cherry-themed concoctions, Washington’s restaurant association teamed up with the Cherry Blossom Festival and DC’s tourism agency to offer a VIP tasting of their culinary delights.
The Cherry Picks tasting featured cherry and "blossom" inspired dishes from local chefs.
The event was held at Zengo in Chinatown, whose executive chef served up a grilled shrimp with a chile-cherry marinade that was to die for! As for the other dishes on display, they were equally de-lish (as the photos below illustrate) — and yes, there was a cherry in every bite!
Bankok Joe's Executive Chef Aulie Bunyarataphan serves up Peking duck dumplings with cherry-hoisin sauce.
Nueske's Wild Cherrywood Bacon served crispy with "Merry Maraschino Cherries" from Tillen Farms.
Old Glory's "Red Stag" bourbon buffalo wings by Executive Chef Richard Brooks.
Test Tube Tasting: a hibiscus flower and cherry martini served in an unlikely container.
Togarashi seared tuna tatake with seaweed salad and ponzu sauce from Ten Penh.
Ten Penh's Executive Chef Bob McGuire proudly serves up his tuna tatake dish.
Cafe Dupont's Maitre D Marc Mover and Executive Chef Silvan Kramer show off desserts. They are also serving a goose liver torchon with cherry-orange compote.
Also available at Cafe Dupont: spring inspired dessert bites.
Cherry pop tarts from Pastry Chef Erica Chirunomula of Ted's Bulletin.
Markette's Cherry Pick: the hibiscus flower and cherry martini served with a lemon grass sugar rim from Quill at the Jefferson Hotel.
For a full listing of resturants offering a special menu inspired by the National Cherry Blossom festival, click here.