Cherry Blossom-Inspired Menu Items: 2014 Edition

The Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing, and while it’ll be easy to feast your eyes on the beautiful blossoms, they're not quite blooming yet -- so D.C. restaurants and bars want to provide a different kind of feast.

Plenty of local restaurants are offering a selection of cherry- or Japanese-inspired meals to get you in the mood for spring. Check out our picks below:

  • Cafe du Parc (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in the Willard Hotel) is dishing up grilled Vermont goat cheese on country bread with mache and frisee salad, cherry tomatoes, sherry and dried cherry vinaigrette ($15); a slow-roasted chicken breat with French beans with toasted almonds, couscous with dried cherries and Kriek Lambic sauce ($24), and clafoutis aux cerises (black cherries and vanilla sauce, $10).
  • Russian eatery Mari Vanna (1141 Connecticut Ave. NW) is offering a homemade cherry pie for $6 with their meals until April 13. They previously offered a complimentary cherry vodka cocktail and a cherry vareniki tasting station.
  • Tapas destination Jaleo (three locations in Bethesda, Arlington and D.C.), is toasting the Cherry Blossom Festival with a variety of cherry-inspired dishes, including the Panceta Confitada con Salsa de Cereza (pork belly confit with cherry sauce, $11); the Queso Murcia al Vino Tinto con Mermelada de Cereza y Pan Tostado ("the drunken goat" with Murcia cheese, cherry marmalade and toasted bread, $9), and the Sopa de Frutas Rojas con Helado de Queso (a wild red berry soup with Idiazábal cheese ice cream, $9).
  • Oyamel Cocina Mexicana (401 7th St. NW) is serving up a chile relleno filled with a duck picadillo and topped with a cherry sauce and pomegranate seeds ($14).
  • Zengo (781 7th St. NW) will feature a Dim Sum Lunch Platter, complete with miso soup, shrimp lo mein, and a five-piece dim sum platter for $15. For dessert, the restaurant is offering the Crema Fresca Mousse Cake, made with seven graham cracker crust, yuzu marmalade, warm cherry compote will also be available for just $7. Wash down the meal with a Hanami cocktail, made with bourbon, ginger syrup, cherry hibiscus chutney and fresh lemon juice ($12).

For more cherry blossom-inspired meals, see the list of restaurants on the Cherry Picks Restaurant Program, a National Cherry Blossom-sponsored program run in conjunction with The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.

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