Cherry Blossom Fest: Events
Sat., April 2
The festival rolls on this weekend with a range of great events. On the Mall Saturday? Bring the little ones to the Jefferson Memorial from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., where they’ll learn to sketch the breathtaking blossoms (materials provided), or head to Hains Point and East Potomac Park for the Cherry Blossom Regatta from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cheer on your favorite sailboat. Saturday night, Cherry Blast III kicks off at 8 p.m. and lasts until midnight at 700 Water St. SW, where DJs and visual performance artists will let you rock out (almost) all night. Tickets $10; 21+ only; ID required and admission includes one free drink. Oh, there are fireworks, too. In Virginia, celebrate the beauty of Asian film at the Workhouse Arts Center (9601 Ox Hill Rd., Lorton, Va.), where it debuts the Cinematic Tourist Series: Japanese Film Animation and Cultural Workshops on Friday and Saturday. The weekend event includes contemporary and classic flicks coupled with artist workshops so you can learn how to make your own masterpieces. Demonstrations also include Japanese arts and food. Check website for tickets and details; tickets $5–$7.
Cherry Blossom Fest: Food
Through April 10
D.C.’s restaurant community gets into the spirit of the festival with plenty of cherry-blossom-theme dining options. Cuba Libre offers a tamarind barbecue duck breast with a cherry chimchurri ($25) plus two rum cocktails for $9 each (try the coconut cherry frozen: three olives cherry, lemongrass-infused Guarapo, coconut puree and cherry juice). Café Promenade offers a set menu throughout the festival for $44 per person, including an amuse bouche and entrees such as a cherry herb-crusted filet mignon or salmon with cherry pistachio rice. Save room for the cherry vanilla gelato. Kellari Taverna adds to the festivity with a Kellari cherry cocktail ($7) and a cherry-blossom salad ($16.95) with shrimp, arugula, dried cherries and a cherry balsamic dressing, among other cherry-centric options. Asia Nine displays its Eastern roots with a three-course prix-fixe menu with two drink options (opt for the cherry bellini), starters that include crispy shrimp with a sweet cherry marmalade or a cherry crème salmon crostini—and that’s before the stuffed flounder and dessert. Take your cherries with a Mediterranean twist at Neyla with a duck dish paired with dried cherry or a dark chocolate cherry crème brûlée (ask about the cherry cocktail specials, too). Next week, we’ll pass along our tips for cherry blossom sweets.
C&O Canal Trust Birthday Bash
Sat., April 2
Weather looks sunny for the weekend, so celebrate the 40th anniversary of the C & O Canal Trust with a family-friendly festival. The 20,000-acre national park celebrates with a new initiative that you can take part in from any mobile device. Starting Saturday, 40 “hidden gems” will be unveiled—one per week. The discoveries you won’t want to miss include maps, itineraries and points of interest throughout the park—you can act like your own personal park ranger from any mobile device. The festival, along the canal near the Georgetown Visitor Center, welcomes guests with door prizes, lock demonstrations and boat rides. For more details, check out the official Canal Discoveries website.
Through Sun., April 10
There’s no shortage of family fun this weekend. First, as part of the National Cherry Blossom festival, Yards Park hosts a day of family activities on Saturday to enjoy outside and along the river, including lantern and boat-making, moon-bounces, trapeze-school demos and sake and sushi tastings from Mie n Yu. At Synetic Theatre (4041 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va.), you can catch one of the last runs of “The Magic Paintbrush” through April 10. The story is set in ancient China, where an orphan who wants to be an artist is given a unique gift (the paintbrush), but the child struggles not to use it recklessly. Details: Synetic Theatre tickets, $12 in advance, available online or $15 at the door. Family day, free.
Music to (Your) Ears
Sat., April 2
Two musical options for the weekend: First, embrace your inner Rat Pack mentality with by taking in “Simply Sinatra” performed by the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra at the Hylton Performing Arts Center Saturday at 8 p.m. The orchestra performs with guest vocalist Steve Lippia—whose pipes have been likened to Sinatra’s. D.C. legendary jam band Cravin’ Dog celebrate 25 years together with a blowout at The Barns of Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va.; wolftrap.org) on Saturday night at 7:30. Rolling Stone lauded the Dogs as a “veteran indie band with some major league charm.” Details: Tickets for Hylton start at $150 for performance and reception, contact 703/993-8621 or email@example.com for details; Wolf Trap tickets $16 general admission, available here.
Apple of Your Eye
Through April 17
A bit of a tech fiend? Even if you’re not getting your Apple a day, don’t miss (someone playing) the guy you wish you were at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (641 D St., NW): Steve Jobs. “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” starring the always-brilliant Mike Daisey, will make you question your technological lust as he waxes about the labor that actually goes into making a pretty pink iPod. Due to popular demand, the show has extended its run to April 17. Though it touches on a serious subject, be prepared for lots of laughs, too. Details: Tickets start at $35; available online or by phone 202/393-3939.
Delicious Food Trucks
Starts Thurs., March 31
Bought into the gourmet food-truck trend yet? Find more trucker experiences outside of Chinatown Coffee Co. The H Street joint brings back weekly happy hours with drink and coffee specials combined with delicious eats from a different D.C. food truck for you to enjoy every Thursday. It kicks off Thursday, March 31, with Takorean’s tasty Korean tacos—choose from marinated beef, chicken or tofu, add slaw (spicy kim chi or milder romaine), and top off with accoutrements such as hot sriracha or cilantro. The two-hour treats go from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the corner of 5th and H St., NW with $3 beer specials and a selection of vino and absinthe. Mark your calendars: Next Thursday is the infamous Red Hook Lobster Pound truck. For a full schedule, visit Chinatown Coffee Co.’s website here.
Charity Events This Week
Help Japan: Eats
Through the end of April
Got Facebook? Fan EatWellDC and they’ll donate $1 for each new friend to the American Red Cross to help victims of the tsunami. If you dine at any of the restaurants (The Heights, Logan Tavern, Commissary and Grillfish), the group will donate $2 for every bottle of wine sold.
Wine, Dine Children’s Medical Center
Mon., April 4
Join others at the Black’s Bar & Kitchen (7750 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, Md.) for a special wine dinner with a certified oenophile from Ravenswood Winery to raise funds for the Children’s National Medical Center. Eight courses of sumptuous dishes are paired with equally delicious wines. Reservation required for dinner, priced at $115 per person; 301/652-5525.