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Think what you will about DC, but the city does have at least one thing going for it: the Cherry Blossoms. They're so pink and pretty, and even if it means thousands of out-of-towners are going to flock to DC this weekend, to be annoying and take photos of every flower they see, it also means lots of boozey free-for-alls and specialty eats, things we can all love and appreciate.


The Cherry Blossom festival runs March 27 through April 11. Here are some ways that restaurants are taking advantage of the cherry blossoms to rip you off, err... fun things you can eat and drink to celebrate this symbol of enduring friendship between the citizens of Japan and the United States:

  • CommonWealth Gastropub: At this gastropub, it's all about the cherry-themed dessert. They are serving a Cherry Ice Cream Sandwich -- home made vanilla ice cream sandwiched between chocolate cookies and cake, topped with fresh Bing cherries for $8. Yes please.
  • BlackFinn: At the BlackFinn in Bethesda you can indulge in the Cherrytini, a drink that's made with cream, grenadine, Godiva chocolate liquer, and cherry vodka for $11.
  • Belga Cafe: If beer is your beverage of choice (read: You don't want no girly pink martini), look no further than Begla Cafe, where you can get a beer cocktail made with St. Louis Kriek beer and Champagne for $9.95.
  • Sou’Wester: At this restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, $10 gets you the Cherry Smash Cocktail, a drink that is made from Austrian Sour Cherry Liquor, Stoli Vanilla, Lemon Juice, and Cherry Lambic. Or for $4, you can get the Cherry Not So Smashed, a non-alcoholic version of the drink that's made from muddled organic cherries, cherry juice, vanilla syrup, and ginger ale.
  • Co Co. Sala: This amazing, super swanky dessert place is whipping up a chocolate/cherry financiere with cherry gelato and a cherry-yogurt bonbon for $12. (Not even Google could help us figure out what a 'financiere' is, but doesn't it just sound delicious?)
  • Founding Farmers: At this eco-friendly spot that doesn't actually serve eco-friendly food (whoops!), you can enjoy chocolate-cherry French toast for $10 and/or for $9, finish off your meal with a cherry blossom purse pastry that comes vanilla ice cream.
  • Zentan: At Zentan you can indulge in sensational sushi, eat chicken dumplings with almonds and cherries in a sweet and sour sauce, and drink a Singapore Blossom, a drink that's made from CapRock gin, fresh cherry puree, Benedictine Dom, vanilla-infused simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice, all while enjoying cherry blossom artwork that's on display throughout the restaurant.
  • Kellari Taverna: Even the Greeks are getting in on the cherry theme: At this new Greek spot you can get Greek yogurt with sour cherry preserves, walnuts, and Greek honey for $7.95

And, there's also the Family Day/Opening Ceremony at the National Building Museum this Saturday, the National Cherry Blossom Parade on April 10, the Cherry Blossom 10-mile race on April 11 and thousands of other activities inspired by those little flowers and their capacity to unite a city, no a world, with their pinkness.

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