Another benefit of the cherry blossom season, aside from the gorgeous trees themselves, is the opportunity to take advantage of some good eats. Local restaurants play off the theme, creating delicious pink or cherry based food. For a sampling of the inspired dishes, click on through.
Firefly’s mixologist Alice Gaber has created two special cocktails. The “Sakura” (the Japanese name for the flowering cherry tree blossom) is made with cherry vodka, elderflower liquor, fresh grapefruit and white wine ($12.50). The “Cherry Bomb,” made with cherry brandy and sparkling wine is also available for $9. The bar will also serve Hanami Ale for $6, a seasonal beer from Smuttynose Brewery made with natural cherry juice. Hanami Ale is inspired by the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing.
Thinking pink? Oya is home to a rose wine flight, a three-wine flight of pink rose wines from various regions ($12).
Weather permitting, cocktail enthusiasts can enjoy Domaso’s “Bubbly Blossom” on the terrace with views of Georgetown. The drink, available for $11, is a refreshing mix of Prosecco and Campari. The restaurant’s new pastry chef, Kevin Boxx, will serve a Chocolate Cherry Napoleon ($11) with sweet and sour cherries. The decadent dessert is a cherry mousse layered between sheets of chocolate.
Art and Soul joins in the mix with the obvious Cherry Blossom Cocktail ($10) and a surprising addition of Country Sushi – a Maryland crab roll with horseradish soy ($13)
Even more surprising than Art and Soul doing sushi, is Rosa Mexicana doing it… they’re offering Mexican Sushi – a Cherry Blossom Festival Special with choice of four sushi rolls ($7-8). Pair it with a Cerezas Brillante/Sparkling Cherry Infused Margarita, and be confused about your cultural food experience.
Chef Dennis Marron at The Grille at Morrison House is offering an appetizer of cherry wood and tea smoked duck breast with frisée and cherry blossom salad in a cherry vinaigrette ($16).
Mixologist Marcus Garner has created a tempting seasonal cocktail called Bloom ($11), made with Maker’s Mark, elderflower liqueur, Heering cherry liqueurs, fresh squeezed lemon juice and guava nectar, muddled ginger and grenadine sink for Jackson 20. The kitchen will also offer a 3-course cherry blossom inspired menu for $50. The menu will feature cherry elements throughout including pan-seared scallops with almond and cherry chutney and butter pan sauce. Braised beef cheeks will be served with butter glazed carrots and pearl onions, pomme puree, and a dark cherry port sauce.
Rico Wisner at Poste Moderne Brasserie has whipped up a cocktail called the Cerise en Fleur which is made with Skyy Infusions Cherry Vodka, shochu, St. Louis Kriek Lambic, aloe vera juice, and fresh lemon (available for $11). In the dining room, Chef Rob Weland will spice up his popular petit fours with cherry macaroons.
The bar staff at Urbana has worked closely with Chef Alex Bollinger to create the Cherry Sour ($11), which is made with vanilla infused Basil Hayden bourbon, sour cherry purée, sour cherry juice, sours mix and a cherry cotton candy garnish, crafted in the restaurant kitchen. Chef Alex will also serve a chocolate brioche and English toffee bread pudding with bing cherries and cherry gelato ($10).
For more where this came from, check out Washington.org’s comprehensive roundup.