The temperatures are finally rising, which means spring is just around the corner. Spring in DC means cherry blossoms, jazz in the garden, patio dining and new spring menus at DC’s best restaurants. After a long cold winter full of hearty soups and hot chocolate, everyone is craving a fresh spring salad. Here are five salads that have just debuted. Each one is bright, seasonal and full of flavor. Go sample one today!
Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
Blue Duck Tavern has been focusing on providing healthy options to its diners, so it is no surprise that the restaurant’s spring menu features a series of tasty salads. The highlight of the different options is a gorgeous frisee salad with rhubarb, cherry confit and a creamy goat cheese croquette. The dish is topped with a crunchy olive oil crouton and drizzled in a cherry blossom vinaigrette. The tart and sweet ingredients provide a perfect contrast to each other, and the cherries are a purposeful nod to DC’s famous cherry blossom season, which signals the beginning of spring to most DC residents. Indulge in this treat for $11.
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701 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
Artichokes are one of spring’s best vegetables, and Chef Benjamin Lambert of 701 Restaurant is taking full advantage of the season with his new salad. Artichokes and fennel are tossed with sweet and bitter black garlic to create a robust, flavorful salad. The veggies are doused in a thick, creamy dressing made with Dijon mustard and more artichoke. It is sublime, and you will wish you could buy a bottle of it to take home. This salad is on the 701 menu for $13.
1610 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
Spring hints at the beginning of arugula, tomato and avocado season, so Ghibellina’s insalata ghibellina, which features all of these ingredients, is a great way to delve into the season’s bounty. The salad is dotted with pine nuts and cubes of emmentaler cheese, and a rich basil pesto serves as a dressing, bringing together the earthy and nutty flavors of all of the salad components. This salad is available for $9.
717 8th St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
This popular Barrack’s Row restaurant has a burnt romaine spring salad on its menu that is calling your name. After being grilled, the caramelized hearts of romaine are topped with poblano peppers, hunks of avocado and a sprinkling of cotija cheese. Nothing says warm weather fun quite like Mexican food, so the south-of-the-border ingredients in this salad scream hello to spring and goodbye to winter. Enjoy it for $12.
523 8th St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Ambar’s Balkan salad is great year round, but the flavors of the cubed cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers really start popping in the spring. Aged cheese adds an element of depth and texture, and a light olive oil and vinegar dressing highlights, but doesn’t overpower the crunchy veggies. The salad costs $7 and is available on the brunch, lunch and dinner menu. Enjoy it with some house-made bread.
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Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.