The 34th annual RAMMY Award gala, a.k.a. the Oscars for Washington’s restaurant industry, brought together top names in the hospitality world on Sunday night at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Winners were announced in 22 categories—four decided by the public, and the rest by a judging panel of industry experts.
This year’s winners included a number of established chefs and eateries in addition to the popular new restaurants. Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier took home the trophy for “formal fine dining restaurant of the year” after 17 years of serving haute-Belgian cuisine, while Bar Pilar beat out newer 14th Street neighbors for “everyday casual restaurant of the year.” That’s not to say fresh talent wasn’t recognized. Jonah Kim of Ballston’s Yona snagged the “rising culinary star” title for his work at the ramen shop, while Erik Bruner-Yang’s Maketto won “new restaurant of the year.” Purveyors of modern-Asian cuisine shone throughout. Chef Scott Drewno of the Source, who’s helmed the finer-dining Chinese kitchen for nearly a decade, was crowned “chef of the year.”
Like any award gala, the RAMMYs come along with their own bureaucracy and fine print. Nominees are selected from a paying pool of members at the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW); certain notable eateries, like Rose’s Luxury, don’t subscribe and thus aren’t eligible. The finalists also must have been open and operating for a year.
Without further ado, the full list of 2016 RAMMY Award winners. Categories voted on by the public are marked with an asterisk.
Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Le Diplomate
Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year: Bar Pilar
New Restaurant of the Year: Maketto
Chef of the Year: Scott Drewno, The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Jonah Kim, Yona
Pastry Chef of the Year: Alex Levin, Osteria Morini
Wine Program of the Year: The Red Hen
Cocktail Program of the Year: 2 Birds 1 Stone
Beer Program of the Year: Right Proper Brewing Company
Service Program of the Year: Fiola
Restaurateur of the Year: Mike Isabella Concepts
Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: Port City Brewing Company
*Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Northside Social Coffee & Wine
*Upscale Casual Brunch: Blue Duck Tavern
*Everyday Casual Brunch: Duke’s Grocery
*Favorite Fast Bites: Bub and Pop’s
Employee of the Year: Jorge Martinez, The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Manager of the Year: Jennifer Lucy, Estadio
Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Republic National Distributing Company