As Washington, D.C.-area residents shake off the snow and get into full gear for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, several restaurants are gearing up to celebrate the season. Here’s a report from local D.C. public relations gurus. Also, catch some of the most exciting events by reviewing participating restaurants and local businesses here:
Bourbon Steak at Four Seasons
The restaurant is giving a nod to Japan, the source of our beloved cherry trees, as executive chef Drew Adams presents his version of a Katsu Sando: richly marbled cuts of A5 New York Strip Steak, accompanied by aromatic Shiso, Pickled Turnip, and rich Rutabaga Sauce, all sandwiched between an authentic Japanese Milk Bread Parker House Roll. The savory combination is artfully served in a Bento Box – crafted from the Sakura wood of cherry blossom trees, and is available for $100.
The season is inspiring a fruity approach to a French fare favorite. Pan-seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras will be masterfully married with macerated Bing Cherries and Vanilla Essence – and served with buttery Brioche for $28. The profoundly pleasing plate is paired perfectly with Boon Oude Kriek – a 6.5 percent ABV Aged Cherry Lambic. The fruit-style beer is available for just $6, when ordered with the Foie Gras.
In D.C.’s trendy Shaw neighborhood, renowned cake designers and dessert superstars, Tiffany MacIsaac and Alex Mudry-Till, are paying homage to the fanciful season with a cherry-picked twist on a childhood favorite: the Hoho. The inspired cylindrical snack cakes are rolled up and filled with a sweet, tangy Cherry Buttercream Icing inside, and available for $4.50 each.
Occidental Grill & Seafood
The scenic dining spot is welcoming the warmth of Cherry Blossom Season with an effluvious Sour Cherry-Yuzu Gyoza for $10. The fried “dumpling” dessert oozes with a nectarous Sour Cherry-Yuzu Filling, a blend of Cherry Jam and Yuzu Syrup. The edible pouch of goodness is served alongside of a scoop of fragrant, Cherry Blossom Gelato. Fabulously festive and filled with fruit, this multi-dimensional delight is an ideal balance of hot and cold – the quintessential yin and yang.
Siren by Robert Wiedmaier
The Cherry Blossom here encapsulates the enchanting elegance of cherry trees within the setting of a sweet treat. Drawing inspiration from the profound beauty of the beloved floral ornaments, the distinctive dessert unites Toasted Rice Cream, Cherry Compote, Green Tea Cake, crisp White Chocolate, refreshing Butterfly Pea Tea, and Yuzu Gelee. The $12 confection is then garnished with a Dark Chocolate Twig, and Sugar Flowers – ultimately incorporating the prized petals of the ‘Prunus serrulata’ in the most enticing, edible way.
TenPenh Tysons (Tysons Corner, Va.)
Drawing constant inspiration from various parts of Asia, TenPenh is bowing to Japan this season with a Far East take on a classic libation: the Blossoming Boulevardier. Available for $12, the cocktail is carefully crafted with Suntory Toki Japanese Whiskey, Cherry Liqueur, Aperol, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, a dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters, and a house-preserved Cherry garnish.
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery (Arlington, Va.)
Inspired by a culinary custom of the Lenten season and the local splendor of the Cherry Blossom, chef David Guas will serve Sour Cherry Hot Cross Buns for $2.50 each at his Louisiana hangout. Available as a pop-up special for two weeks, each pastry will be jammed with fruit, spice and a glossy glaze – topped with a symbolic iced cross.
Photo credit: E. O’Donnell