The annual RAMMY Awards, often described as the Oscars for Washington’s hospitality industry, went down Sunday night at the Washington Convention Center. Fitting for the city’s ever-expanding dining and drinking scene, this year marked the biggest blowout yet, with seven new award categories marking excellence in everything from cocktail and beer programs to local producers and brunch.
So who won big? An anonymous panel of judges from different walks of the industry picked from the semifinalists for most categories, while the public chose winners in four others that included Upscale Brunch (Mintwood Place), Casual Brunch (Pearl Dive Oyster Palace), and Favorite Gathering Place (Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont).
Fiola beat out the likes of Marcel’s and Minibar for the title of Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year; its sibling, Fiola Mare, will be eligible after two years in business. Ripple and its head toque Marjorie Meek-Bradley—also a 2014 James Beard semifinalist—continued their run in the spotlight taking awards for best Upscale Casual Restaurant and Wine Program of the Year. Also honored twice: the Red Hen, which won for New Restaurant of the Year, and whose chef, Michael Friedman, snagged Rising Culinary Star of the Year. (Award-themed fun fact: Both Meek-Bradley and Friedman were nominees for Food & Wine Magazine’s 2014 People’s Best New Chef awards.) Among the veteran toques, Haidar Karoum of Estadio, Proof, and Doi Moi was crowned Chef of the Year.
See the full list of winners below, and congratulations to all.
2014 RAMMY Award Winners
Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Fiola
Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Ripple
Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year: Toki Underground
New Restaurant of the Year: The Red Hen
Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Michael Friedman, The Red Hen
Pastry Chef of the Year: Caitlin Dysart, 2941 Restaurant
Wine Program of the Year: Ripple
*Cocktail Program of the Year: Jack Rose Dining Saloon
*Service Program of the Year: Blue Duck Tavern
Restaurateur of the Year: Michael Babin, Neighborhood Restaurant Group
*Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: Red Apron Butcher
+Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Hank’s Oyster Bar (Dupont Circle)
*+Upscale Casual Brunch: Mintwood Place
*+Everyday Casual Brunch: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
*+Favorite Fast Bites: Amsterdam Falafelshop
Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: ProFish, Ltd.
Employee of the Year: Stelios Alexandris, 1789
Manager of the Year: Boo Young Kim, District Commons
* Denotes a new award category.
+ Denotes award from the voting public.