With cherry blossoms taking over the capital, area restaurants are quick to get in on the fun. And what's more fun than a cupcake?
A cupcake with a conscience.
According to Pamela’s Punch (and confirmed by the store's website) Crumbs Bake Shop’s cupcake of the month is a charitable cherry blossom. During the cherry blossom festival Crumbs is donating 15 percent of sales to the Red Cross’ Japanese relief efforts.
Crumbs isn’t the only District cupcakery with cherry blossoms on the brain. Georgetown Cupcake has a vanilla and cherry cupcake with fondant cherry blossom topper for sale until April 12th. Cake Love, with locations on U Street NW, in Silver Spring, and Northern Virgina, has a special vanilla cupcake with cherry butter cream to honor the trees. Even the new cupcake kid on the block, Sprinkles, is getting in on the action with a cherry cupcake that used pureed cherries in both the cake and the frosting.
If you can’t get enough of cherry blossom specials check out the List’s series on blossom-inspired dishes .
Though there are a few notable restaurant openings in the near future, no opening has been as blogged about as Medium Rare. The Cleveland Park steakhouse/neighborhood restaurant opened Monday with a prix fixe menu that included artisan bread, a house green salad, and steak with house-cut fries. Cleveland Park 2.0 offered a sneak peek before the grand opening. Capital Bites was won over, writing, “This restaurant is a temple of simplicity.”
Medium Rare wasn’t the only new restaurant making waves this week. Toki Underground opened Friday at 1234 H Street to good reviews. H Street Great Street remarked after tasting the food at a soft open, “Our only initial concern is when we're ever going to be able to get a seat there again.” DC Event Junkie was also pleased with Toki, saying, “there is no better way to top off a great weekend than recovering in a big steaming bowl of ramen!”
Monday brought another new restaurant to the H Street Corridor, The Queen Vic, which claims to be a real gastropub for D.C. DC Event Junkie needs a little more time to be convinced.
Spring is a busy time for District restaurants, with new restaurants opening up at least once a week.The Washington Post is tracking Fabio Trabocchi’s Fiola, which is set to open on Friday.
Penn Quarter Living writes that PAUL Bakery (801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) will open in Market Square on May 2.
Cleveland Park 2.0 reports that first D.C. location to Penn Quarter.
The 42 Bus is keeping its eye on Bistro 18 in Adams Morgan as it gets ready to open “sometime soon.”
With Monday’s beautiful weather it is easy to see why market opens and street/truck vendors have been in the buzz. DC Street Vendor says that Monday was a great day for food vendors, those who stayed through the winter said, “business has picked up considerably.”
Business is good for farms and farmers markets, too. H Street Great Street says, “The H Street FreshFarm Farmers' Market (625 H St) returns in just a couple weeks and there will be a handful of new producers joining our market this year.”
U Street Girl is excited about Smuckers Farm, a new farm-to-market store that is set to open by end of April.
A new market opened in Mount Vernon this weekend, according to Life in Mount Vernon Square.
Out of network:
•The Hill of Home chose the best cakes on Capitol Hill.
•U Street Girl enjoyed the pulled pork at Standard.
•Tyler Cown’s Ethnic Dining Guide tested Rinconsito Caribeno in Adams Morgan.
•Fred Foodie shares thoughts on newly opened Sumittra Thai in Frederick, Maryland.
•Florida Girl in DC had brunch at BaBay on Capital Hill saying, “the Vietnamese twist on brunch was a refreshing way to break up the whole eggs-bacon-pancakes rut.”
• Brunch and the City had a mixed experience at Leopolds's Kafe in Georgetown.
• Dining in DC says that Chima Brazilian Steakhouse is great for carnivores, but "If you’re not a meat eater, it’s not for you."
• Carry on Curry enjoyed the new concept at A Stone's Cove in Herndon saying, "the restaurant gives me the impression that they want to impress."
• DC Wrapped Dates tried the new Latin food truck Sabora Street and scored the pork well despite the greasiness.
• The Plight of the Pumpernickel says that her meal at Himalayan Heritage was worthing coming back.
• Bethesda Foodie tried Seasons 52, set to open April 11, in a food blogger event and was impressed by the low-cal kitchen.
Recent TBD blog network recipes
•Will Blog for Food posted a recipe for sandwich bread.
•DC Loves Food posted a recipe for apple strudel.
•Eat More Drink More has one way to prepare Spring chicken with a recipe for butterflied roasted chicken.
•I Flip for Food offers another chicken option, pairing roast chicken with risotto.
•For a spring chicken picnic Plum Pie spices up boring chicken salad sandwiches with cranberry and pecans.
•Mango Tomato shared a warm chocolate challah bread pudding to chase away the chill of April showers.
In other food news:
The Westover Beer Garden in Arlington is working on conforming to regulations, starting with handicapped accessible bathrooms and an entertainment permit.
Cleveland Park's Dino has been nominated for Rammys for both its wine program and pasta maker.
City Stream says more alcohol is being produced in the D.C. area, including the first vodka since prohibition.
DC Eater watched Bibiana's chef Nick Stefanelli win the Master Chef Showdown on Tuesday.
Thinking ahead Foodie Events
This weekend will bring some great food and great prices. Friday, Cuba Libre in Penn Quarter celebrates National Empanada Day with $1 empanadas during their happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, the cherry blossom and Japanese festivities continue with Sakura Matsuri, the annual Japanese street festival. There will be sake tastings and beer gardens as well as lots of Japanese food.
According to Borderstan, “the No. 68 Project is hosting nine theme parties with celebrity chefs and mixologists from New York and D.C., based on themes “discovered” in Chinese fortune cookies.” There are still two more events of food and discourse. One on April 10, featuring Daniel Singhofeni Executive Chef/Eola, and the second on April 17, featuring Jaime Montes de Oca, Jr., Executive Chef of Zentan.
If all of this cherry blossom hype and rich food has you in a need of a drink, next week there’s a great event for you. According to GregsListDC, Yelp’s drink week offers 50 per cent discounts all day on select drinks at select bars in the District.
Capital Cooking says Cultural Tourism DC's Embassy Chef Challenge is her favorite food event of the year.
Sunday April 10, the cherry blossom closing ceremony and wine tasting will be held at Savour.