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Posted at 4:04 PM ET, 04/11/2007

On Restaurants

By Erin

Last week, I posted a few nibbles of news, but this week marks the first of a weekly blog segment to let you know about openings, special events and what is in season on the menu on the local restaurant scene. If you see a new spot or hear of a cool tasting menu or event, drop me a line at Restaurants@washingtonpost.com.

After the jump, read about a popular sushi spot opening a casual sibling restaurant, three other imminent openings, special Cherry Blossom Festival-themed dishes and a spring delicacy coming out of its shell.

A Sweet Deal
This Monday, treat yourself to guilt-free chocolate with Sweet Charity. The event features chocolate tastings from dozens of local chefs, chocolate sculptures and an auction. There will be a fashion show of chocolate- and confection-based attire modeled by local athletes and celebrities including DeShawn Stevens, Chester Taylor and Darnerien McCants. Local bakers and Food Network stars Warren Brown and Duff Goldman will also be on hand, filming the event for Goldman's "Ace of Cakes" show. Tickets cost $75 in advance. A splurge like this won't save your waistline, but it will give you a karma-enhancing opportunity to savor sweets.

Cherries Pickings
The cherry blossoms are on their way out, so send them off with a tasty tribute from one of the following restaurants:

The Hay-Adams Hotel ushers in the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade with a special Asian-inspired five-course dinner with sake pairings. The dishes include a pepper-crusted beef tenderloin in puff pastry, salmon carpaccio and prawns. The hotel has brought a Japanese sake master for the event to explain the sake-making process. Dinner is $150 per person, but a portion of the proceeds benefits the National Park Service's cherry tree preservation efforts.

Taberna del Alabardero will open for lunch and dinner this weekend in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Though the restaurant's signature paella is almost irresistible, there will be two special cherry dishes on the menu this weekend: Hazelnut- and cherry-encrusted venison and an almond sponge cake with cherry compote would probably taste sensational with a pitcher of sangria.

TenPenh offers a special four-course cherry blossom menu through this Saturday ($45; $55 with sake pairings). The dishes include oysters, wagyu skirt steak and a Japanese-style parfait.

Shelling Out
Thanks to a mild early winter, soft shells are appearing early around town. The delectable little crustaceans do not usually molt until the first full moon of May, but they are already appearing on menus around town. Oceanaire Seafood Room and BLT Steak are two notable soft shell destinations. Where have you found them?


New Around Town
WasabiSito, the little sister to the Farragut-area Wasabi, opened yesterday in Arlington. With minimal seating -- and no conveyor belt like its D.C. sibling -- the tiny operation focuses on take-out sushi and Japanese dishes. Thrillingly, it is just down from the Italian Store, making Lyon Village a premier take-out destination.

Soon to Come
Several local restaurants are poised to open in the coming weeks. Liberty Tavern, an American restaurant next to Clarendon Ballroom, will have a bar on the first level and a dining room upstairs with pizza, salads, sandwiches and a Sunday brunch. The projected opening is in the next two weeks.

Brasserie Beck, profiled today in the Food section, anticipates opening in the next week with French bistro fare, including bowls of steamed mussels.

The Ballston-area location of Vapiano, a European chain billing itself as "fresh casual" serves up pizzas, salads and pastas beginning April 26.

--Erin

By Erin  | April 11, 2007; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Comments

Best softshells - at Sputnik Cafe outside Annapolis. Can't beat 'em!

Posted by: jp | April 11, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

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