With tomorrow being the first day of Spring, that can only mean one thing in DC. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is just around the corner. This year it’s going to be running from March 27th-April 11th, and there’s plenty of stuff to do, and even better, plenty of stuff to eat! Tons of area restaurants are getting festive and offering cherry blossom-themed dishes, drinks, and desserts, so I have taken the liberty of narrowing down this list to a few places I would recommend just for you, and in particular places with featured drinks and desserts. I totally have a sweet tooth, so about half of this list is dessert, but I just couldn’t help myself!
Poste Moderne Brasserie. What’s cool about Poste is not only the food, but the history that comes with it. Located in the original 1841 General Post Office on 8th St. NW, this restaurant is a perfect setting for you to enjoy the cherry blossoms. Executive Chef Robert Weland has mixed up a special drink called the Arborist’s Delight. It’s a blend of 3000 Generations Sochu, Ron Cartavio Gold Rum, cherry preserves, lemon juice, simple syrup, and sparkling wine. For 11 bucks, you too can enjoy your very own “Arborist’s Delight.” For a limited time only!
Co Co. Sala. If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of, it’s chocolate. So, what better to mention then Co Co. Sala? This chocolate boutique and lounge located on F St. NW is ringing in the Spring with the Chocolate Cheery Cordial. Made with dark chocolate and cherry financier, morello cherry gelato, and a cherry blossom yogurt bon bon, I’m almost positive you’ll be begging for more when you finish. Executive Chef Santosh Tiptur and the staff there would love for you to stop in.
Commonwealth Gastropub. Executive Chef Delian Shannon-Dipietro put a spin on a classic with the Tempranillo Cherry Ice Cream Sandwich. The ice cream sandwich is definitely an oldie but goodie, but even better this time around. Tempranillo glazed cherries with a chocolate cookie and cake surround house-made vanilla ice cream and bing cherries to make this sandwich extra-special. Commonwealth is conveniently located just a block away from the Columbia Heights Metro.
Sou’Wester at the Mandarin Oriental. I’d thought I’d throw in another drink just for fun, so if you’re in SouthWest DC, make your way to Sou’Wester. Mixologist Carlton McCoy has prepared not one, but two beverages for your cherry blossom-enjoyment. First up is the Cherry Smash Cocktail, which is made up of Austrian Sour Cherry Liquor, Stoli Vanilla, Lemon Juice, and Cherry Lambic. Have no fear, though, for the designated driver Harriman was one step ahead of you and also mixed up a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail called the Cherry Not So Smashed. This one is made with muddled organic cherries, cherry juice, vanilla syrup, and ginger ale. Something for everybody!
Buzz Bakery. Lately it seems like everywhere you turn there’s a cupcake shop popping up, but Buzz Bakery located in Alexandria is sure to please. Executive Pastry Chef Josh Short has come up with several sweets for the festival. The Cherry Blossom Cupcake is devil’s food cake (my favorite!) and cream cheese frosting decorated with a cherry blossom motif. If you want to supersize it, there’s an 8-inch version of the cake as well. Not in the mood for cupcakes? Short is also offering Cherry Almond Granola and Cherry Cheesecake.
So there you have it…enjoy!