2015 Cherry Blossom Food and Drink Specials

Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with special cocktails, picnic items, Japanese dishes, and free tastings.
Left: the "Jido"($16) featuring a hibiscus ice sphere at Bourbon Steak. Photograph courtesy of Bourbon Steak. Right: the "District Cherry Old Fashioned" from DC Coast. Photograph courtesy of DC Coast.

It’s time for the pinkest month of the year. Between March 20 and April 12, the National Cherry Blossom Festival welcomes spring with dance parties, fireworks, and more. Want to join in on the fun? Check out these food and drink specials offered at restaurants and bars around town.

Jaleo
480 7th St., NW; 2250 Crystal Dr, Arlington; 7271 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda
Jose Andrés’ Spanish restaurant gets festive with tons of cherry. Dine on a selection of special dishes, including a grilled lamb T-bone with cherry sauce, or a wild red berry soup with Idiazábal cheese ice cream. Wash it down with the “Spanish Garden” cocktail, made with gin, Green Chartreuse, orange jam, lemon juice, and chrysanthemum syrup.

Zentan
1155 14th St., NW
This Thomas Circle restaurant is offering $16 takeout bento boxes for those who want their robata skewers on-the-go. Options include Scottish salmon with scallion, as well as steak with shishito peppers–both served with onigiri rice balls on the side. Naturally, the deal includes a housemade cherry soda.

The Graham Georgetown Hotel
1075 Thomas Jefferson St., NW
Sip a $7 Cherry Graham, with brandied cherries and rum, while you watch your server set brandy-soaked cherries on fire for dessert ($8).

China Chilcano
418 7th St., NW
Jose Andrés’ new Peruvian restaurant offers a special cocktail for the occasion: Pisco Macerado, a twist on the classic Pisco Sour with dried sour cherries soaked in Pisco.

Café Bonaparte and Malmaison
1522 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 3401 K St., NW
Both bistros will be serving a set of three cherry-themed cocktails, made from cognac, gin, champagne, and sake ($12).

Lincoln Restaurant
1110 Vermont Ave., NW
Have cherries with your gnocchi, donuts, salad, or pulled pork sandwich. The latter features cherry mustard on a potato roll ($13).

Teddy & The Bully Bar
1200 19th St., NW
No drink specials here, but you can try a coffee-rubbed lamb loin made with cherry port reduction ($18), or a cherry clafoutis, a French version of a cherry pie ($9).

The Hay-Adams
800 16th St., NW
This hotel’s cherry blossom menu leaves the best for last. Start with nods toward Japan with hamachi sashimi and nori-wrapped Wagyu strip steak, and finish the night off with a cherry-and-pistachio financier.

Art and Soul restaurant at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel
415 New Jersey Ave., NW
Try the picnic lunch for two under the blossoms ($40), featuring fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, and cherry soda. Cocktail fans can sip cherry-inspired drinks at the bar.

America Eats Tavern
1700 Tysons Blvd., Tysons
Two specials will be available at Jose Andrés’ American eatery in Virginia: planked shad with celery root purée, and a Clover Club cocktail with gin, raspberries, lemon, simple syrup, and egg white.

Barmini
855 E St., NW
New springtime cocktails abound at Barmini, the high-concept cocktail lounge adjoining Minibar. Try the Violet Fizz ($16) with crème de violette, cream, gin and lemon, or the Juana Giallo ($14) with Yellow and Green Chartreuse, Galliano liqueur, saffron, and orange blossom.

Oyamel
401 7th St., NW
Check out the Cayo Jarocho dish, celebrating Mexican fare. It involves plancha-seared scallops with plantain and roasted garlic fritters.

Zaytinya
701 9th St., NW
Spring pea tzatziki, topped with pistachios, Greek yogurt, and mint, will be available at José Andrés’ Mediterranean restaurant.

RareSweets
963 Palmer Alley
Visit this CityCenterDC bakery, which will honor President William Howard Taft with his favorite snack: deviled almonds. The President Taft Deviled Almond Sundae ($7.50) includes deviled almond ice cream, cherry compote, and hot fudge.

ENO Wine Bar
2810 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
On April 1, Andrew Stover of Siema Wines and Sarah Dwyer of Chouquette will partner up for a special event celebrating all things spring. Try a wine flight–featuring cherry notes–for $20, plus cherry chocolates for $4 each.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar
931 H St., NW
Daniel Boulud’s first DC brasserie celebrates with a duck pistachio paté and a sakura ganache with green tea, yuzu, and cherry. Also on offer: “The Fairchild” cocktail with gin, maraschino liqueur, yuzu, and “cherry blossom” essence.

Mango Tree
929 H St., NW
Specials include a cherry-glazed duck breast with red curry sauce and Thai basil, as well as a “Tiger Queen” cocktail with Stoli vanilla, Luxardo cherry, brandy, amaretto, and orange zest.

Bourbon Steak
2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Try a creative cocktail called Jido ($16), featuring a mix of gin and housemade calpis (a fermented milk beverage) poured over a hibiscus ice sphere infused with orange flower water and lemon juice.

DC Coast Restaurant
1401 K St., NW
Check out the “District Cherry Old Fashioned,” as well as a house made cherry blossom tea.

Renaissance Dupont Circle Hotel
1143 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Food specials include ramen with pork belly, enoki mushrooms, and fish cakes, as well as panko-breaded crispy chicken. Finish your meal off with a sake-tini. Also available: a complimentary cherry blossom-inspired punch tasting offered daily from March 12 to April 16 at 5:30 PM.

Occidental Grill & Seafood
1475 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Celebrate cherry blossoms with a sherry tasting on March 30 from 6 to 9 PM. Six bartenders will present their version of a spring cocktail. Guests get to try all of ’em, and then vote for their very favorite. $35 per person.

Cordial Fine Wine & Sprits
1309 5th St., NE
Free rosé is the best kind of rosé, so stop by this Union Market shop for complimentary tastings every Saturday from 12 to 3 PM or Sunday from 1 to 4 PM, between March 20 and April 12.

Peregrine Espresso
1309 5th St., NE
Add some pink to your coffee with the “Sakura Black” — a Japanese black tea made with sweet sakura cherry blossom leaves and flowers — offered at the Union Market location.

Bazaar Spices
1309 5th St., NE
Pick up some Himalayan pink salt from this shop, or be even bolder with some pink-hued popcorn.

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Harrison Smith

Harrison Smith (@harrisondsmith on Twitter) has contributed to the Washington Post and Chicago magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]