2012 RAMMY Award Nominees Announced

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
RAMMY Awards Ballroom courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

They call it the “Oscars of DC restaurants,” a yearly event that brings together the District’s top restaurateurs, chefs and other industry players to recognize the amazing work they do everyday to make this city a culinary capital. The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) hosted the nomination party last night to announce this year’s nominees for its annual RAMMY awards. Cocktails by all of the selected nominees for best beverage/mixology program were flowing (Restaurant Eve’s “42 cloudy” was particularly delicious), and hors d’oeuvres by the nominees for best new restaurant ranged from burratta with cippolini onions and aged balsamic (Graffiato) to foie gras torchon and split pea soup (Fiola).

We Love DC extends a big congratulations to all the nominees, thanks for keeping us well fed and hydrated.

For the full list of nominees read on.

2012 RAMMY Finalists:

Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year
The Ashby Inn & Restaurant
Bourbon Steak
The Oval Room

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year
Birch & Barley
BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant

Casual Restaurant of the Year
Bar Pilar
C.F. Folks
Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge – DC
Mitsitam Native Foods Café
Room 11

Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year
Bistrot Du Coin
Café Saint-Ex
Et Voila!
The Majestic

New Restaurant of the Year
Elisir Restaurant by Enzo Fargione
Hill Country Barbecue Market
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Chef of the Year
Anthony Chittum – Vermilion
Tony Conte – The Oval Room
Haidar Karoum – Proof
Kaz Okochi – Kaz Sushi Bistro
Vikram Sunderam – Rasika

Rising Culinary Star of the Year
Justin Bittner – Bar Pilar
Logan Cox – Ripple
Claudio Pirollo – Et Voila!
Adam Sobel – Bourbon Steak
Ed Witt – 701 Restaurant

Pastry Chef of the Year
Cicely Austin – The Oval Room
Fabrice Bendano – Adour
Peter Brett – Blue Duck Tavern
Alison Reed – Ripple
Susan Wallace – BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant

Wine Program of the Year
Cork Wine Bar

Beverage/Mixology Program of the Year
Bourbon Steak
EatGoodFood Group
Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Room 11

Power Spot of the Year
701 Restaurant
Founding Farmers – DC
The Oval Room
The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Tosca Ristorante

Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene of the Year
Black Jack
The Hamilton
Hill Country Barbecue Market
Mad Fox Brewing Company

Manager of the Year
Anna-Marie Ashe – Smith Commons
Daniel Bortnick – Firefly
Reagan Corbett – Jackson 20
Alex Munoz – Hill Country Barbecue Market
Javier Velazquez – Taberna del Alabardero

Employee of the Year
Julie Albert – Brasserie Beck/Marcel’s
Ting Forester – District Commons
Teo Leiva – Fiola
José Alex Medrano – B. Smith’s
Paris Twyman – Founding Farmers – DC

Restaurateur of the Year
José Andrés & Rob Wilder – THINKFoodGROUP
Meshelle & Cathal Armstrong – EatGoodFood Group
Michael Babin – Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Ashok Bajaj – Knightsbridge Restaurant Group
Jeff & Barbara Black – Black Restaurant Group


You too can have your say and vote via Washington City Paper for the winners in three categories: Neighborhood Gathering Place, Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene and Power Spot of the Year. Votes can be cast on the Washington City Paper and finalists’ websites or at www.ramw.org from April 12-29.

The RAMMY awards will be held on June 24th at the Marriott Wardman Park.

While it was Georgetown that brought me here, it was the city that kept me here. I was born in Colombia but spent my teenage years in London, yet have never felt more at home than in the District. I believe the best way to get to know a place is through its cuisine, and plan my life around sharing good food with good people. Lover of lattes, bacon and bourbon. This is Why I Love DC .Follow me on Twitter or Email natalia(at)welovedc.com

4 thoughts on “2012 RAMMY Award Nominees Announced

  1. @Brandon: The awards are only open to the restaurants who choose to join the RAMW association – the organization behind these awards.

    According to the current roster, Toki Underground is not a member, which would make them ineligible. We still love Toki, though!

  2. Ok Brittany, I have a new question for you. Why is a PR firm that represents many of the (below par) restaurants nominated for a RAMMY award this year, also doing the PR for the RAMMY’s? Conflict of interest, I think think so. Several individuals in the hospitality community (restauranteurs, chefs, and media) have noticed this and will be reaching out to the execs at the RAMMY’s regarding this issue. It just doesn’t make sense.

  3. Brad, the PR firm doing the promotions/PR for the RAMMYs is not involved with choosing the nominees or award winners. The awards are selected in a few different ways–some are publicly voted categories (ie: Power Spot and Neighborhood Gathering Place), others are chosen by anonymous panels of food writers, RAMW members and other folks in the restaurant industry. All of the PR firms representing restaurants in this town promote their client’s nominations, as they should. http://www.ramw.org/ probably has more information if you’re interested.