Credit: Burtons Grill & Bar/ Laurie Piantigini
Springtime frolickers are busy as bees this time of year with the arrival of March Madness, the Cherry Blossom Festival, and new spring menus, both liquid and otherwise. To make things interesting, we’ve highlighted what we think are some of the more interesting or unique things to eat and drink in the hopes of shaking everyone out of the doldrums of winter. Steakhouses are expanding drinks menus, savory and spicy cocktails take center stage, and light, fresh menus are at the top of everyone’s list of what to eat.
People come from around the globe to attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington. This celebration of spring and friendship includes a list of Cherry Pick Restaurants, and STK is one of the lucky ones chosen to participate. To celebrate, the restaurant is introducing two new menu items: a Cherry Crumb Cake and the Cherry Blossom cocktail.
The Cherry Crumb Cake features layers of crumb cake baked with spiced cherries and drizzled with caramel, while the cocktail is made with cherry-infused Ciroc Vodka, rose water, Basil Simple, Grenadine, a splash of white cranberry, and garnished with a fresh cherry blossom. Show your springtime spirit and order one or both; it will make you blush.
Burtons Grill & Bar
It may be a hike for D.C. residents, but we think the new beverage program at Burtons Grill & Bar in Alexandria, Virginia, is worth the trip. Founder, President, and CEO Kevin Harron recently unveiled a new program that includes hand selected wines and crafts beers and inventive drinks in the bar. As corporate beverage manager Chris Little says, “We believe in creating a seasonally and locally driven menu, following trends that fit our customers’ needs.” Here’s what you can expect: a craft cocktail menu that features 17 house-made, specialty cocktails in four different categories that include shaken, stirred, muddled, and crushed; an expansive wine menu that features 47 wines by the bottle, along with 18 wines by the glass; and a unique domestic and imported craft beer list that includes 12 draft lines and 17 bottled beers.
Tequila seems to be taking over the spirits world lately, and El Centro is right in the fray with its new Tequila to Taste List that launched on March 15. With more than 250 tequilas in its portfolio, the 14th Street and Georgetown locations are going full bear and the Tequila to Taste List includes five different tequila flights that showcase a different brand including Milagro (silver, añejo, reposado); Herradura (silver, añejo, reposado); Partida Ahora (silver, añejo, reposado); Corzo (silver, añejo, reposado); and Milagro Select Barrel (silver, añejo, reposado). Flights are priced $25 per person, with the Milagro Select Barrel priced at $32 per person. Each flight includes three 1.5-ounce pours of tequila. Those who complete one tequila flight can redeem their Tequila to Taste List for a complimentary margarita at El Centro DF 14th on Cinco de Mayo.
Jardenea, even the name evokes the fresh garden bounty of spring, and for savory cocktails this is the place to go right now. The restaurant’s new cocktail menu is being featured in the Jardenea Lounge at the Melrose in Georgetown and features drinks that highlight spicy, smoky, and salty flavors over the sweet stuff. Look for standouts like the Bacon Old Fashioned made with bacon-infused Marker’s Mark bourbon, organic B Grade Maple syrup, and Chocolate Bitters; the Figaro made with Kraken Black Spiced Rum, homemade fig purée, lemon juice, and aged balsamic vinegar; and Black Mamba made with Stolichnaya vodka, squid ink, house-made beef bouillon, and Bloody Mary mix.
Springtime means baby vegetables and lettuces, light, fresh menus, bowling, and bocce ball. Lucky for you, all of the above can be found at Pinstripes in Georgetown — this place has got it goin’ on with its new menu that launched March 23. This new seasonal menu is packed with tasty goodies that are just as nutritional as they are bright and flavorful. Look for new menu additions like the market salad with fresh jicama, red radishes, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, honey spiced sunflower seeds, and marinated watermelon; perfectly seared striped bass paired with wild rice risotto, melted leeks, and fresh salsa; and authentic Calabrese gnocchi with Italian sausage, roasted peppers, and fresh herbs tossed in a light parmesan and Calabrese pepper sauce.