UPDATED!! (March 25, 2015) Cherry Blossom Time.

[ 2 ] March 13, 2015 |
Image via Travis Vaughn

Mari Vanna Cherry Blossom Cocktail Image via Travis Vaughn

UPDATED!!! More reasons to stick close to the Cherry Blossoms this season.  More food, more drinks, cheers!

Bar Dupont is honoring the 103rd anniversary of cherry blossom season in the nation’s capital with two specialty cocktails. The Sake Old Fashioned ($10) is a Japanese take on a classic American cocktail commemorating Japan’s enduring gift of spring blossoms. The Sparkling Blossom ($9) celebrates the beauty of the pink trees by combining cherry liquor, brandy, brandied cherries, and sparkling wine.

Mari Vanna will offer a signature Cherry Blossom Cocktail ($5) and Cherry Pie ($5) in honor of the District’s most famous floral festivity. Bloom enthusiasts looking for an extra kick can enjoy a house-infused Cherry Blossom Shot ($5), to add a little blush to their cheeks.

Salt & Sundry What: The hip lifestyle boutique will endow any customer who utters the words, “Cherry Blossom,” a 10% discount off all Japanese dinnerware.

Cordial Fine Wine & Sprits What: Bubbly enthusiasts should head to Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, which will be offering free, celebratory rosé tastings every Saturday from 12 to 3 pm, and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Peregrine Espresso What: Union Market’s favorite coffee connoisseurs will switch things up by offering patrons Sakura Black – a delicious Japanese black tea blended with sweet sakura cherry blossom leaves and flowers.  

Bazaar Spices What: Bazaar Spices will celebrate with a pop of style! The shop’s gourmet pink-hued popcorn kernels are guaranteed to blossom into perfectly Pink Popcorn that is high in antioxidants and full of fiber & flavor.

Jaleo (DC, Crystal City and Bethesda; www.jaleo.com) will offer the Spanish Garden cocktail, made with gin, chrysanthemum syrup, orange jam, lemon juice and green chartreuse, in addition to several cherry-inspired dishes.

China Chilcano (www.chinachilcano.com) José’s newest restaurant offering contemporary Peruvian cuisine, will offer their Pisco Macerado, a cherry twist on the traditional Pisco Sour made with Macchu Pisco, lime, egg white, Amargo Chuncho bitters, and Guindas Macerados (dried sour cherries soaked in the Pisco for a dark + fruity infusion).

America Eats Tavern (www.americaeatstavern.com), José’s take on American classics, celebrating local flavors inspired by some of the country’s most historic dishes, will offer two specials for the Cherry Blossom Festival: Planked Shad, served with celery root puree, fermented radish, pea shoot, Virginia ham air, and cured shad roe, in addition to the Clover Club cocktail, made with gin, raspberries, lemon, simple syrup, and egg white.

Barmini (www.minibarbyjoseandres.com), an extension of the acclaimed minibar by José Andrés’ where Beverage Director Juan Coronado offers a whimsical journey of classic cocktails and avant-garde technique, will offer several new springtime cocktails.

Oyamel (www.oyamel.com), José’s Cocina Mexicana celebrating the country’s rich regional diversity with the modern fare of Mexico City, will offer Cayo Jarocho, plancha-seared scallops served with a plantain and roasted garlic fritter, fried plantains, blanched English peas, pea puree, and pickled local tomato. The dish is finished with pea shoots and a Worcestershire reduction.

Zaytinya (www.zaytinya.com), José’s award-winning mezze restaurant offering an innovative menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine, will offer Spring Pea Tzatziki, made with pistachios, Greek yogurt and mint. 


Celebrate the Cherry Blossoms!! In its 103rd year, the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20-April 12, 2015) is one of the most celebrated events around the District.  After you have taken in all that the Tidal Basin has to offer, here are a list of places to toast one and/or dine at with Cherry Blossom inspired menu items. 


Image via Zentan, Washington, D.C.

Image via Zentan, Washington, D.C.

Zentan is gearing up to do during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20th – April 12th.  A native of Japan, our Executive Chef Yo Matsuzaki has fond memories of picnicking among cherry blossoms during springtime in Japan. Inspired by these memories, Chef Yo and Zentan will be offering bento boxes to-go during the festival. Options will include a variety of robata grilled skewers such as Sake, Scottish salmon and scallion or Guy, hanging tender steak with shishito peppers. The boxes will also include fun o-nigiri, rice balls and a house made cherry soda from lead bartender Matt Allred. The bento boxes ($16) are perfect for a quick pick up before heading down to view the blossoms. You can call to reserve your box in advance, 202.379.4366.


Liaison Capitol Hill DC encourages guests and locals to share their Cherry Blossom shots on FacebookTwitter or Instagram with #LiaisonBlossoms for a chance to win a two-night weekend stay in our Cherry Blossom Photo Contest?.*  A winner will be selected on April 18.  Guests can also order a ready-to-go picnic lunch for two, featuring our famous fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, and a cherry soda from Celebrity Chef Art Smith’s Art and Soul restaurant. The picnic meal ($40) is perfect for a blanket-top lunch under the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin.  Looking more for a staycation? The Liaison’s Cherry Blossom Getaway package includes Cherry-Inspired Cocktails from Art and Soul restaurant, metro passes, a liaison tote bag and a chance to win a free DC stay.  To book this offer visit affinia.com/cherry or call 1-866-246-2203 and mention promotional code CHER15.

To celebrate the city’s famed trees, Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC introduces the new Cherry Blossom Getaway offer to revel in the true beauty of the season.  The Cherry Blossom Getaway is available from March 27 to April 12, 2015 for a minimum two-night stay with daily rates starting at USD 445. The full offer includes:

·         Special Welcome Amenity featuring a Cherry Blossom pastry treat; official Cherry Blossom Festival collectable pin, festival brochure and area map; and 10% off purchases at Freer & Sackler Gallery’s gift store

·         Daily USD 50 dining credit for Muze, Empress Lounge and/or In-Room Dining

·         Overnight parking

·         High-speed Internet

·         Access to The Spa’s daily Cherry Blossom Yoga

Complimentary to all hotel guests, The Spa will offer daily Cherry Blossom Yoga at 7 am in the garden among the trees, March 23 to April 3, 2015; yoga is open to non-hotel guests March 28 and 29, 2015 for USD 25.


Newly opened Thai restaurant, Mango Tree, located at 929 H Street, NW, 20001 at CityCenterDC, will offer a unique bite to commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Priced at $28, the Red Curry with cherry glaze and roasted Jurgielewicz Farm duck breast served with plum and apricot is sure to please any palate.  For additional information and reservations please call (202) 408-8100, or visit www.Mangotreedc.com.

nopa Kitchen + Bar, located at 800 F Street, NW, 20004, will also offer a special cherry blossom cocktail during this years National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Created by Bartender Jimmy Ponce, the Cherry Picker is made from a combination of rosemary-chocolate infused High West Oat Vodka, red currant syrup, lime juice, cherry herring, rose flower water and is garnished with a brandy cherry and chervil.  The delicious cocktail is is priced at $12.  For reservations or additional information please call (202) 347-4667 or visit www.nopadc.com.  Photos available upon request.

Park Hyatt Washington, located at 1201 24th Street NW, 20037, invites guests to reinvigorate after a cold winter with its Spring Cherry Blossom Package.  Guests will receive a pot of Cherry Blossom Green Tea from Park Hyatt Washington’s rare and vintage tea selection, breakfast for two at Blue Duck Tavern each morning, and a children’s backpack filled with sightseeing supplies to explore the famed blossoms and historic landmarks on the National Mall.  Rates begin at $309 per night plus tax and the package is available March 2 through April 26, 2015.  For reservations please call (800) 778-7477 or visit www.parkhyattwashington.com.

Additionally, Park Hyatt Washington is offering up a special Cherry Quina Cocktail that will be available in Blue Duck Tavern and its Lounge for the duration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Priced at $14, the Cherry Quina Cocktail is made with Plymouth gin, housemade cherry tonic syrup, Bittercube cherry bark bitters, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and topped with club soda.  For reservations, please call (202) 419-6755 or visit www.blueducktavern.com.

Daikaya, the popular izakaya and ramen shop located at 705 6th Street, NW, 20001, will be offering a festive savory dish, dessert and cocktail during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Guests can take pleasure in Cherry Blossom Rice, a House-Made Caramel with salted cherry blossoms, or the Hanami, persimmon-infused sh?ch? with salted cherry blossom foam.  Dishes are priced between $3 and $5 each, and the cocktail is priced at $14.  For reservations or additional information please call (202) 589-1600 or visitwww.daikaya.com.  Photos available upon request.

Also located in the bustling Chinatown neighborhood at 781 7th Street, NW, 20001, Zengo will offer unique bites to commemorate the 103rdanniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Zengo will feature a Dim Sum Lunch Plattercomplete with miso soup, shrimp lo mein, and a five-piece dim sum platter for $15.  For dessert, a Crema Fresca Mousse Cake, made with seven graham cracker crust, yuzu marmalade, warm cherry compote will also be available for just $7.  Additionally, Zengo has created a Hanami cocktail, made with bourbon, ginger syrup, cherry hibiscus chutney and fresh lemon juice for $12.  For reservations or more information, please call (202) 393-2929 or visitwww.richardsandoval.com/zengodc.

Masa 14, located at 1825 14th Street, NW, 20009, will offer two featured dishes and one cocktail to celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Latin-Asian fusion hot spot will offer a delicious Pork Kushiage, with miso BBQ, Japanese mustard, and scallion for $9, as well as Seafood Okonomiyaki, cabbage pancakes with shrimp, squid, cabbage, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and nori for $11.  Masa 14 will also be serving up a cherry blossom-inspired cocktail called the Rosy Rickey, made from a combination of bourbon, house-made cherry simple syrup, fresh lime and soda for $12. For reservations or more information, please call (202) 328-1414, or visit www.masa14.com.

Ambar, located at 523 8th Street, SE, 20003, will be showcasing a Kajmak Bar from the Balkan Peninsula during this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Kajmak Bar will feature three flavors including spicy crab, blue cheese, and cured salmon, served with crispy lavash chips for $12.  For the perfect pairing, guests can indulge in a Podgorica, grappa rakia, aji Amarillo, passion fruit, mango and lime for $12.  For reservations and more information, please call (202) 813-3039 or visit www.ambarrestaurant.com,

El Centro D.F. with two locations at 1819 14th Street, NW, 20009, and in Georgetown at 1218 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, 20007, will also be participating in the cherry blossom fun with a variety of specials.  Both restaurant locations will be offering Pork Carnitas with slow-roasted pork shoulder, guacamole, pickled onion habanero salsa, and charro beans for $16, as well as a Chicken Zarape, made with bacon, panela cheese, cotija cheese, pico de gallo chipotle sauce, crema fresca and creamy white rice for $17.  A Cherry Blossom Margarita, made from a combination of hibiscus infused blanco, cherry simple syrup, house-made sour mix, fresh lime will also be available for sipping, and priced at $12.  For reservations or more information about El Centro D.F. Georgetown, please call (202) 333-4100 or visit www.richardsandoval.com/elcentrogtown. For reservations or more information about El Centro D.F., please call (202) 328-3131 or visit www.richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf.

Toro Toro, located at 1300 I (Eye) Street, NW, 20005, will offer the featured On the Run Exec Express Lunch Buffet available Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at a special price of $28 per person (tax and gratuity not included) in honor of this years 103rd Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Buffet offers the choice of a soft drink, iced tea or lemonade, as well as the chef’s daily showcase of Pan Latin favorites along with a rotating selection of Toro Toro’s signature salads, ceviche and carved meats.  Additionally, Toro Toro will offer two festive specials including Cachapas, duck carnitas with corn pancakes, Oaxaca cheese, and tomato jam, priced at $10, as well a theManhattan de Toro Cocktail with Old Forester bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters brandied cherry, priced at $12.  For additional information or reservations please call (202) 682-9500, or visit www.richardsandoval.com/torotorodc/.

Nage Bistro, located at 1600 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, 20036, will offer both sweet treats and cocktails for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  Guests can indulge in a festive “Ice Cream Sandwich”, heirloom corn cookie, strawberry ice cream, dusted with strawberry and mint, priced at $10.  Pair the Pink Pagoda, a cocktail of Rose, elderflower liqueur, champagne and rose water, priced at $10, with any of Nage’s locally sourced American fare.  For additional information and reservation please call (202) 448-8005, or visit www.nagedc.com.

Bibiana Osteria Enoteca, the modern Italian eatery located at 1100 New York Avenue, NW, 20005, will offer a classic Italian dessert with a celebratory twist during this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival.  Guests can take pleasure in the Amarena Cherry Mini Cannoli priced at $10.  For additional information or reservations please call (202) 216-9550, or visit www.www.bibianadc.com.

The Oval Room, located at 800 Connecticut Ave., NW, 20006, is the perfect place to enjoy a meal after admiring the Cherry Blossoms during this year’s festival.  Guests will have the opportunity to order a Sashimi Of Stone Bass, sashimi of stone bass from Japan with rose water gelee, sweet and sour rice with dried cherries, topped with candied cherry blossoms from Japan, which is priced at $15.  Or for something sweet, one can indulge in Cherry Infused Ice Cream with a lush chocolate cake that is garnished with kirsch cherries, candied cherry blossoms, and toasted pistachios, which is priced at $10.  For the perfect pairing try one of Oval Room’s Sakura Spritzers with Umeshu, New Amsterdam gin, rose water, mint leaves, and topped with sparkling wine, priced at $12.  For additional information or reservations, please call (202) 463-8700, or visit www.ovalroom.com.

Cuba Libre, located at 801 9th Street, NW, 20001, will offer Cherry Blossom inspired Cuban dishes during this year’s festival.  Cuba Libre will offer a savory entrée special, the Chuleta de Puerco, Serrano ham wrapped center cut rib pork chop with sweet potato crema, roasted kale, and amarena cherry jus, priced at $23.50, as well as a sweet special, Empanadas de Cerezas with goat cheese, sour cherries, toasted pistachio, and sweet cherry mostarda, which is priced at $7.50.  For additional information or reservations, please call (202) 408-1600, or visitwww.cubalibrerestaurant.com/en/washington/.  Photos available upon request.

Mio Restaurant, located at 1110 Vermont Avenue, NW, 20005,will offer a variety of a la carte specials to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Diners at Mio will have to opportunity sample their signature Latin American cuisine with Cherry Blossom influences.  Standouts not to be missed include Tiradito de Chillo, snapper sashimi with candied kumquats, cherry and lime Vinaigrette, and crystallized culantro;Ensalada de Burrata, burrata cheese, warm pancetta, cherry vinaigrette, heirloom tomatoes, and focaccia croutons, or Crema de Malanga,Cream of Taro Root; Ratatoullie de Berenjena, seasonal squash, tomato and eggplant ratatouille, and shaved reggiano; Camarones y Vieira, pan seared scallop and crisp shrimp with smoked parsnip puree, and a black cherry reduction; Mero Crocante, phyllo grouper with butter poached fingerling potatoes and a Caribbean sour cherry emulsion, or Chuletón de Ternera, seared milk veal chop with yucca gallete and oregano brujo brown butter.  For dessert, there is Dulce de Acerola with reserved Caribbean cherry and brulée queso fresco, or Tarta Cereza Negra, black cherry cobbler.  Prices range from $12 to $35 each.  For additional information or reservations please call (202) 955-0075, or visit www.miorestaurant.com.

City Tap House, located at 901 9th Street, NW, 20001, will be serving three Cherry Blossom inspired specials.  Guests will enjoy an appetizer of Roasted Foie Gras Terrine with almond crumble, black cherry jam, and arugula priced at $18. For the featured Cherry Blossom entrée, there is the Muscovy Duck Breast with charred spring onion, sun chokes, tart cherry gastrique, and Parmesan gnocchi priced at $28.  End dinner on a sweet note with a very festive Cherry Clafoutis with vanilla, kirsch, and chocolate gelato, which is priced at $9.  Additionally, City Tap House will devote five of their tap lines to pour Hitachino Nest Beer out of Japan to help kick-off the festival.  For additional information or reservations please call (202) 644-9433, or visit www.citytaphousedc.com.

The Arlington farm-to-table restaurant, Copperwood Tavern, located at 4021 Campbell Ave, 22206, will offer a celebratory cocktail during this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Guests can indulge in the Cherry Collins made with maraschino cherry infused moonshine, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, soda, garnished with cherry and lemon and served in highball glass.  The Cherry Collins is priced at $11.  For additional information or reservations please call (703) 552-8010, or visit www.copperwoodtavern.com.

Sushiko Chevy Chase, located at 5455 Wisconsin Avenue, 20815, will introduce a unique dish inspired by this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival.  Guests can enjoy Madai Blossom with kombujime seabream, cherry gelée, cucumber, tomato, and melon water.  This special entrée will be available exclusively during the Cherry Blossom Festival, priced at $18.  For additional information or reservations please call (301) 961-1644, or visit www.sushikorestaurants.com.

To honor this years 103rd Cherry Blossom Festival, Red Velvet Cupcakery, with two locations in Penn Quarter at 505 7th Street, NW, 20004, and Reston Town Center at 11939 Democracy Drive in Virginia, 20190, will offer one cupcake and one individual tart this March during the festival.  Starting March 20th to March 26th, one can enjoy a New York Cheesecake Cupcake with a graham cracker cake, cherry pie filling, and whipped cream cheese topping.  Then from March 27th to April 2nd, guests can order a Cherry Tart with an individual piecrust and almond cherry filling. The cupcakes are priced at $3.25 each or $36 for a dozen.  For more information, delivery or custom orders, please call the Penn Quarter location at (202) 347-7895 or the Reston Town Center location at (703) 464-7075.  Additional information can be found online at: http://redvelvetcupcakery.com.

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Category: Announcements, Food.Fun.Stuff., Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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