Take Your Cherry Pick

Though today's weather may seem like it's out to get our beloved little cherry blossoms, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will kick off no less on Saturday with plenty of events to keep you busy.

You could watch Pat Sajak and former American Idoler Anthony Federov at the parade. Or you could run 10 miles at 8 a.m.

If you're anything like me, however, you might rather eat and drink your way around town, and luckily the festival has plenty to offer the gluttons among us. Numerous area restaurants have created Japanese- and cherry-inspired dishes and cocktails in honor of the festival.

At a media preview of the "Cherry Picks" on Tuesday, I sampled a few of the creations, including the chicken potstickers with spicy sweet cherry sauce from Bangkok Joe's; Cafe MoZu's cherry blossom roll with pink-tinged sushi rice; sake-marinated duck breast with sour cherry barbecue sauce rolled in Mandarin pancakes from Mie N Yu; Hawaiian opah with cherry apple chutney from Oceanaire; and a decadent bing cherry and dark chocolate brioche bread pudding with vanilla bean sherbet from Charlie Palmer Steak.

Check out a full list of the cherry picks here, and then start your own tasting tour. You can always run 10 miles some other day.