Editor's Note: Today we welcome DC-based Foodspotting Ambassador Lisa Mathias to our blog! See below for five intriguing cherry blossom dishes she recommends in the capital city.
Spring is underway and one of the most popular cities to visit this time of year is Washington, DC during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival! This is the festival’s 100th year, commemorating Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the District of Columbia. Until the end of April, the city will host events to celebrate cherry blossom season and many DC-area restaurants have whipped up cherry-themed drinks and dishes to put both residents and tourists in the cheery - or should I say cherry? - mood.
The Festival’s official website provides an excellent rundown of restaurants offering these dishes in their “Cherry Picks Restaurants” list. I found a few delicious entrees, desserts and cocktails that highlight the ingredient nicely...
Cherry Blossom Cupcake @ Hello Cupcake This local cupcake shop is currently featuring a cupcake made of a Meyer lemon cake filled with French cherry preserves, topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting and includes a fondant cherry blossom. The combination of lemon with cherry gives the dessert a nice balance of sweet and tart.
Duck Breast with Belgian Beer @ Belga Cafe This popular Barracks Row eatery combines Kriek beer with both sour and sweet cherries to create a Belgian-influenced, cherry-themed sauce for roasted duck breast.
Cherry Blossom Rickey @ Chef Geoff's This cherry blossom-inspired concoction is comprised of maraschino cherry liqueur, cherry puree, gin, almond syrup and lemon juice. The cherry and lemon in this drink give it a fruity taste and invokes the feel of a springtime sangria, perfect for a warm day.
Sour Cherry Pavlova @ The Hamilton This dessert is big enough to share, yet light enough to make you feel satisfied without getting cherry overload. It includes a pistachio meringue with almond cream topped with amaretto-soaked cherries. The crisp, outer shell breaks into a softer interior that, with the cherries and pistachio crumble, has just the right amount of sweet, sour, crunchy and smooth.
Cherry Blossom Menu @ The Federalist This three-course menu features Atlantic flounder with pickled cherries, cherry balsamic, candied orange and chocolate mint. Next, there’s the duck breast with duck confit agnolotti, salsify and a jus of Kirchwasser (a cherry brandy). Their cherry-inspired dessert is cherries jubilee with cherry compote, pistachio cake and Tahitian vanilla ice cream. You can order each as a standalone dish or all three as a prix fixe meal for $42.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lisa Mathias likes to tell stories, written or visualized, through blogging, photography and videography. She's a digital design continuing-ed student and Foodspotting's DC Ambassador. Follow Lisa on Foodspotting and Twitter!