On the first day of spring, The Bird welcomed new friends and old to its recently decorated nest to launch their Bird & Blossom pop up restaurant in the Logan Circle neighborhood. The menu and décor celebrate the Cherry Blossoms that turn Washington, D.C. into a floral paradise. Highlighting the flavors of Japanese cuisine, the restaurant kicks off on March 21st and remains open through April 15th.

The Bird & Blossom concept allows the talented Executive Chef @Ryan_Hackney to create unique dishes with a variety of Asian spices and flavors with a one-of-kind five-course menu ($50). His first course options include a Shitake Salad with chicken thigh, mustard greens, and kombu or Porcini Dashi made with orchids and radish. Chef Ryan’s creativity is not only displayed by his unique combination of flavors and textures but in his stellar plating techniques.

Snowflakes may have been hitting the streets outside the night of the launch party, yet The Bird created a warm, cozy spring vibe inside. Bird & Blossom’s interior transports you to the Japanese countryside with lovely pink cherry blossoms adorning the bar and bar ceiling. Pink and white parasols hang from the ceiling along with paper lanterns lighting the way to the kitchen. Our experience began with sake upon seating.

Chef @Ryan_Hackney‘s Foie Gras is a personal favorite of mine, and this new version is served with black garlic, miso, and sunflower seeds. My mouth is watering as I type this description! During the launch, there were three items on the tasting menu to get his guests excited for the five-course menu. We first sampled adorable Suntory-Hudson Valley Foie Gras in mini crunchy waffle cones topped with an edible flower petal.

Photo credit: Robel Atklit @Rovitii

Suntory-Hudson Valley Foie Gras

Everyone at my table eagerly devoured the spoons filled with Pink Oyster Mushroom Salad. Chef Ryan’s attention to detail in choosing this type of mushroom illustrates how the theme of the concept is meticulously incorporated into every bite of his dishes.

Chef Ryan Hackney prepping the Pink Oyster Mushroom Salad. Photo credit: Robel Atklit @Rovitii

Jingisaka Crudo with yuzu, tamari, and egg yolk is also featured on the menu along with two ramen dishes. The first made with pheasant, 7 spice, and broccoli and the second option will include salmon, uni, and tobiko. While The Bird is known for its fowl-based dishes, given fish is a staple in Japanese culinary culture, Chef Ryan incorporated this original seafood dish for the exclusive menu.

Uni-Salmon Toast with flying fish roe was the third item on the tasting menu.

Bar Manager, Jim Coleman, hand-crafted unique cocktails that partnered perfectly with Chef Ryan’s creations. We sampled his Tokyo Sour, Yuzu Japanese 75, and Lemongrass Martini. The Tokyo Sour was my favorite of the three. Jim used a Japanese whiskey that is milder than the American whiskey we are accustomed to and pours red wine on the top layer. I was pleasantly surprised that the lighter whiskey did not overpower the spices used in the dishes and instead balanced the flavors. For an additional $20 you can pair these cocktails with the five-course meal.

Tokyo Sour

Yuzu Japanese 75

Lemongrass Martini

Native to Washington, D.C., Chef @Ryan_Hackney, is no stranger to the culinary scene in the city. He has worked at some of D.C.’s most renowned restaurants such as Iron Gate, Marcels by Robert Weidmaier, Bibiana, and 701 to name a few.

What makes Chef Ryan stand out is his natural ability to balance working in the kitchen and meeting his customers. This also has him running up and down the stairs countless times each night. Chef Ryan and the entire Bird staff are fun and professional. The Bird is the type of restaurant you look forward to returning and trying a new dish.

Just like the Cherry Blossoms themselves, Bird & Blossom won’t be around for long! Make your reservations now on The Bird’s website!

The Bird – 1337 11th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Written by Lisa M. Comento