- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Washington restaurants continue a tradition: Cherry Picks in honor of the 94th National Cherry Blossom Festival through April 9.

The Caucus Room (401 Ninth St. NW; 202/393-1300) features seared foie gras with celery root puree and port-soaked cherries.

At Citronelle (3000 M St. NW, 202/625-2150), Michel Richard combines the foie gras with sauteed dried cherries and anise.

Main courses are as varied as:

• Grilled filet of rib-eye with cherry mole at Finn & Porter (900 10th St. NW; 202/719-1600).

• Duck breast with sour cherry barbecue sauce and mandarin pancakes at Mie N Yu (3125 M St. NW; 202/333-6122).

• Hawaiian opah with cherry apple chutney at Oceanaire Seafood Room (1201 F St. NW; 202/347-2277).

Chef Robert Weland’s tribute at Poste (555 Eighth St. NW; 202/783-6060) combines venison with bing cherries, chocolate sauce and cashews.

Chef Bryan Voltaggio of Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NW; 202/547-8100) is featuring preserved bing cherry and dark chocolate brioche bread pudding.

Notti Bianche (824 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202/298-8085), is serving cherry, chocolate and almond whipped cream cake.

At Bangkok Joe’s Dumpling Bar & Cafe (3000 K St. NW; 202/333-4422), chef-owner Aulie Bunyarataphan is preparing a three-course menu featuring cherries: Thai chicken potstickers with spicy sweet cherry sauce; cherry-roasted duck breast with cherry rice pilaf; and warm cherry custard roll with sweet cherries and caramel sauce.

FOR EASTER

The Fairmont Washington’s Colonnade (2401 M St. NW, 202/457-5000) again is the site of a sumptuous Easter buffet April 16 featuring “flavors of the Chesapeake.” Hot selections include salmon with leek and chardonnay fondue; rack of lamb; miniature beef rib-eye medallions, and herb-crusted veal loin.

The Easter Bunny will make an appearance to pose for photographs with children. Price for brunch is $75 including champagne and orange juice; $35 for children under 12.

Chef Jamie Stachowski will prepare a four-course Polish Easter Dinner at Restaurant Kolumbia (1801 K St. NW; 202/331-5551); $55, $80 with wine pairings. The menu includes such dishes as blood duck soup with dried fruit; braised red cabbage and quail, and truffle parsnip pierogi with brown butter and raisin sauce.

Fogo de Chao (1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/347-4668) is extending its hours on Easter. Lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $38.50; dinner, 4 to 9:30 p.m., costs $44.50.

WINE DINNERS

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. every Friday through April 14, Dino (3435 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/686-2966) offers a BBB Happy Hour. For $20 per person, guests can sample a 3-ounce tasting of Barolo, Brunello or Barbaresco, the three Bs from Italy’s Piedmont region, paired with antipasti. The selection of wines will change each week.

Dino’s special wine dinner tomorrow features the wines of Judd’s Hill Winery in Napa, Calif. The five-course dinner will be paired with wines from the owner’s 14-acre vineyard; the price is $75.

Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until April 19th, guests who spend at least $20 per person on food are eligible for a 33 percent discount on bottles of wine priced over $50.

Chef-owner Bob Kinkead will host Robert Long of Long Vineyards in the eastern hills of Napa on Monday for a seven-course wine dinner at Colvin Run Tavern (8045 Leesburg Pike, Vienna; 703/356-9500). The 6:45 p.m. dinner will include such dishes as herb-crusted halibut with wild mushrooms, lobster with a white wine sauce, and angel food cake with rhubarb puree; the cost is $175, all inclusive.

On April 10 at 7 p.m., Cafe Atlantico (405 Eighth St. NW; 202/393-0812) will host a wine dinner with importer Alfredo S. Bartholomaus, a native of Chile, featuring wines from Chile and Argentina. The four-course nuevo Latino dinner created by chef Katsuya Fukushima costs $75, all inclusive.

MAGIC TOUCH

Primi Piatti (2013 I St. NW; 202/223-3600) and Finemondo (1319 F St. NW; 202/737-3100) owner-chef Savino Recine and some slight-of-hand artists offer magical experiences at both restaurants on Saturday evenings. Mr. Racine, who is a mentalist-magician as well as chef, will demonstrate his flair for illusion between 7 and 10 p.m. at Primi Piatti. At Finemondo, mystery artists will perform.

At his Tosca restaurant (1112 F Street NW, 202/367-1990), chef Cesare Lanfranconi next month will introduce specialty four-course menus focusing on a seasonal ingredient next month.

The special menu for April ($65) will feature artichokes; the regular dinner menu is also available. Artichoke and pecorino cheese tart and honey-caramelized upside-down artichoke cake are some of Mr. Lanfranconi’s imaginative dishes.

Clyde’s of Gallery Place (707 Seventh St. NW; 202/349-3700) is offering brunch with a Southern flair on Saturdays and Sundays. Taberna del Alabardero (1776 I St. NW; 202/429-2200) is serving Spanish tapas and sangria as a late afternoon break from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Guests in the bar have a choice of 20 half-priced tapas prepared by chef Santi Zabaleta, along with $3 glasses and $12 pitchers of sangria.

Chef-owner Gerard Pangaud has launched three-course prix fixe menus at his restaurant, Gerard’s Place (915 15th St. NW; 202/737-4445). Prices are $29.50 for lunch and $59 for dinner, when an $85 tasting menu is also available.

Pinzimini (801 N. Glebe Road, Arlington; 703/537-4200), the Italian diminutive for “pinzimonio,” the word for a vegetable dip, opened March 1. The restaurant bills itself as a modern Italian steakhouse. It features an antipasti bar and highlights Tuscan-style dishes.

Indigo Landing (1 Marina Drive, Alexandria; 703/548-0001) is scheduled to open on Daingerfield Island — south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport — early next month. Bryan Moscatello, formerly of Denver’s Adega Restaurant, will be executive chef, specializing in contemporary Southern Low Country cuisine.

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