It’s our favorite time of year: the celebration of spring’s awakening with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. So mark your calendars. From March 26 through April 10, 2011, Washington will celebrate the blooming of the Capital’s magnificent cherry trees and our favorite area restaurants will share in the festivities by serving up creative cherry-inspired cocktails and dishes.
Newcomer Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar (801A 9th Street, NW, on the corner of 9th & H Streets) will offer a festive Cuban-inspired dish created by Concept Chef Guillermo Pernot of Tamarind BBQ Duck Breast served with smoked plantain crema and Bing cherry chimichurri. For the perfecting pairing, two rum cocktails incorporating freshly squeezed juices and sugarcane will quench your thirst after a day of sightseeing. The Cherry Tini is made from a combination of Pyrat XO Rum, Combier, lemongrass infused Guarapo, Bing cherries and a dash of bitters, while the Coconut Cherry Frozen is made with Three Olive Cherry, lemongrass infused Guarapo, coconut puree and a splash of Marischino cherry juice. Yum. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at (202) 408-1600 or visiting www.CubaLibreRestaurant.com.
ZENTAN (1155 14th Street, NW), located in the ultra-chic Thomas Circle hotel, Donovan House, is the perfect spot for celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival with its inventive global Asian cuisine. The restaurant also showcases artwork depicting cherry blossoms and guests will enjoy sensational sushi and the bold Asian flavors found in famed chef Susur Lee’s dishes. During the festival, the restaurant will also feature a thirst quenching Blossom’ed Lychee Milk and Broken Cherry Cookie combo. This unique cocktail is made with lychee, nigori sake and vodka, topped off with a splash of milk foam, and it is served in a shot glass. The drink is presented with a blend of brandied cherries, lychee bits and almond cherry cookies. For more information call (202) 379-4366 or visit http://www.zentanrestaurant.com.
Situated in Bethesda Row, Redwood (7121 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda) will offer a Cherry Pop cocktail made from a combination for St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, cherry simple syrup and sparkling wine. Coinciding with the blooming trees, this blossoming cocktail will be available from March 15th through April 15th. For reservations or additional information please call (301) 656-5515 or visit www.redwoodbethesda.com.
Park Hyatt Washington (1201 24th St. NW) will be celebrating the festival by offering the Sakura cocktail, exclusively available in the 60-seat Lounge, known for its comfortable seating and “Capitol Hill” glass-enclosed booths flanking a distinctive marble and glass bar. The Sakura cocktail includes Crop Vodka, made from certified organic grain, house made cherry blossom syrup, fresh cherry puree, and topped off with Thibault-Janisson Virginia sparkliing wine. For additional information, please visit www.parkhyattwashington.com.
AGAINN, located at 1099 New York Avenue, NW, will be offering a variety of cherry-flavored creations during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Cherrio cocktail is made from a combination of vodka, cherry herring liquor, fresh lemon juice rosewater and egg whites. Also available is the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat Beer. Those with a sweet tooth will want to order the special Cherry Trifle. For reservations or additional information please call (202) 639-9830 or visit www.againndc.com.