2012 RAMMY Awards Recap

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Jeff and Barbara Black at the RAMMYs
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Sunday night some of the city’s big names and key players in the restaurant industry got glammed up and gathered for the 2012 RAMMY awards. After the jump, you’ll find the full list of winners, as well as a little recap and commentary from yours truly.

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Blackjack wins Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene Award
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Fine Dining Restaurant: Bourbon Steak
Upscale Casual Restaurant: BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant
New Restaurant: Fiola
Restaurateur: Jeff & Barbara Black, Black Restaurant Group
Casual Restaurant: Mitsitam Native Foods Café
Chef of the Year: Vikram Sunderam, Rasika
Pastry Chef: Fabrice Bendano, Adour
Rising Culinary Star: Ed Witt, 701 Restaurant
Restaurant Manager: Reagan Corbett, Jackson 20
Restaurant Employee: José Alex Medrano, B. Smith’s
Wine Program: Cork Wine Bar
Beverage/Mixology Program: Estadio
Joan Hisaoka Associate Member: Adams-Burch
Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award: Anthony A. Williams
Honorary Milestone: The Tune Inn
Neighborhood Gathering Place*: Café Saint-Ex
Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene*: Black Jack
Power Spot*: Founding Farmers
Where Magazine Visitors’ Choice Award*: McCormick & Schmick’s

* Denotes a People’s Choice Award

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Fiola wins New Restaurant of the Year
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Chef Fabrice Bendano of Adour
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The big winner of the night was decidedly Jeff Black, who took home three RAMMYs–Upscale Casual Restaurant, Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene and Restaurateur. Of course, everyone was also talking about Black because of his restaurateur acceptance speech, in which he reminded the room a couple of times  that it was “not about the bloggers.” The heart of Jeff’s speech (and what he tells the Washington Post the heart of his speech was) was point on: the RAMMYs are meant to honor the people in the restaurant industry, working in kitchens to give the dining public across the city a great meal and a great experience. I would say the good food writers in this city (print publication, blog or otherwise) are well aware that the RAMMYs are about the restaurant industry and the people who power it from the inside. So no hard feelings, Jeff? We can all get along? Okay.

Other highlights of the night included presenter and NBC4 reporter Tom Sherwood making several prison jokes about some of DC’s politicians, the often intense Fabio Trabocchi delivering his acceptance speech for Best New Restaurant in his very serious, Italian accent, while thanking his team and wife, and the Tune Inn being honored for its 65 years in business and recovery from the fire that closed the bar for several months last year.

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Chef Vikram Sunderam of Rasika
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

If you’re curious to learn more about some of the winners, take a look through our archives at the chefs who take the helm some of this year’s RAMMY-award winning restaurants:

  • Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak, 2012 RAMMY winner for Fine Dining Restaurant
  • Fabio Trabocchi of Fiola, 2012 RAMMY winner for New Restaurant
  • Ed Witt of 701 Restaurant, 2012 RAMMY winner for Rising Culinary Star
  • Haidar Karoum of Proof/Estadio, 2012 RAMMY winner for Beverage/Mixology Program
  • Billy Klein of Café Saint-Ex, 2012 RAMMY winner for Neighborhood Gathering Place

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at) welovedc.com.

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