Cherries aren't just for pies and Shirley Temple garnishes anymore.
As Washington waits for its most beautiful time of the year -- cherry blossom season -- nearly 100 area restaurants are getting into the spirit with Cherry Picks, a city-wide collaboration bringing cherry blossom-inspired food and drinks to tourists and locals alike. The promotion runs concurrently with the National Cherry Blossom Festival festival, March 20 to April 14.
You'll find cherries in every food and drink combination you can imagine, from a Cherry Blossom Bento Box at KAZ Sushi Bistro to foie gras with preserved cherries, cocoa brioche and whipped Moscato at Charlie Palmer Steak. There's also an extensive selection of creative cocktail combinations like Jaleo's Sakura DC (gin, cherry blossom syrup and triple sec), Washington's Cherry Temple Cocktail (vodka, tart cherry juice, maraschino liqueur and vanilla simple syrup) at The Hamilton and the Sparkling Geisha (sake, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and sparkling wine) at Tonic Foggy Bottom.
Here are 10 places to try cherry blossom-inspired menus during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Sea Catch Restaurant
Cherry blossom-inspired oyster shooters and Kumamoto oysters with crushed cherry ponzu
Del Frisco's Grille
Cherry mojito with muddled cherries and fresh mint
Sour Cherry Pavlova (pistachio meringue topped with amaretto sour cherries and almond cream)
Extensive cherry menu including cherry empanadas, lamb chops with cherry wheat beer brine, cherry chocolate pecan pie and red snapper with cherry grits.
Ben's Next Door
Chicken and waffles with cherry compote
M Street Bar and Grill
14 cherry-themed cocktails like Chocolate Covered Cherries (Godiva and black cherry vodka), M Street Cherry (sparkling with w/ a shot of cranberry juice and grenadine) and Life Is Like A Bowl Of Cherries (black cherry vodka, amaretto, sweet vermouth, grenadine and soda).
Policy Restaurant and Lounge
Roasted Duck Bao Buns (candied jalapenos, steamed bao buns, pickled onions w/ cherry hoisin sauce)
Sea Bass Crudo, Spicy Tuna Roll, Cherry Cr?me Br?l?e
Sherry cherry crispy goat cheese salad (sherry-soaked cherries, corn nuts and greens topped with sherry vinaigrette and crispy goat cheese)