Here Are the Winners of Washington’s 2017 RAMMY Awards

Hazel was named best new restaurant.
Here Are the Winners of Washington’s 2017 RAMMY Awards
Restaurant folks partied it up at the Washington Convention Center. Photo by Jessica Sidman.

Everyone and their bartender descended on the Washington Convention Center last night for the annual RAMMY Awards gala. Among the highlights of the so-called Oscars of DC dining: Hazel was named best new restaurant and the Cava group claimed restaurateur of the year.

The winners are mostly decided by a panel of anonymous industry experts, but a few categories—brunch, “fast bites,” gathering place—are voted on by the public.

If you’re scratching your head over some of the top picks, consider these rules: 1) Restaurants must be members of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington to be eligible for nomination. That’s why you won’t find Pineapple and Pearls or Bad Saint. 2) Past winners can’t be nominated in the same category for five years. Therefore, obvious contenders like Right Proper Brewing Company and ChurchKey weren’t in the running for best beer program.  3) A lot of the categories require that the restaurants have been in business for one or two years, so you won’t find a lot of hot new spots.

Chef of the Year: The nominee is an executive chef or chef de cuisine who demonstrates consistent standards of culinary excellence. The nominee displays a dedication to the artistry of food and may be from any type of establishment. The nominee must have been a chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.

WINNER: Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Amy Brandwein, Centrolina
Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto, Paper Horse
Austin Fausett, Proof
Katsuya Fukushima, Bantam King, Daikaya and Haikan

New Restaurant of the Year: A restaurant that must have opened between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016 and already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service.

WINNER: Hazel
All Purpose
Kōbō
Requin
Whaley’s

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in food, service and atmosphere and shows dedication to sophisticated culinary techniques in a fine dining environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2016.

WINNER: minibar by José Andrés
Fiola Mare
The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Sushi Taro
Trummer’s On Main

Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a dedication to dining excellence, service and value in a casual environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen
Daikaya
The Daily Dish
Duke’s Grocery
Mandu, 18th Street

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service in an upscale casual environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Proof
Central Michel Richard
Indique
Iron Gate
The Red Hen

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Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant rooted in its neighborhood where guests come to eat, drink, and get together with friends repeatedly. The great atmosphere and good vibes are as important as the food and drink. The nominee must have been open for at least 2 years prior to December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen
The Front Porch at Evening Star Cafe
Lauriol Plaza
Petworth Citizen & Reading Room

Upscale Brunch of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service for its brunch in an upscale environment. Brunch may be offered as full-service, buffet, or prix fixe. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Convivial
Del Campo
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
The Source by Wolfgang Puck

Casual Brunch of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a dedication to dining excellence, service and value in a casual environment for brunch. Brunch may be offered as full-service, buffet, or prix fixe. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Republic
Cava Mezze – Capitol Hill
DGS Delicatessen
Maketto
Sixth Engine

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year: This nominee is a delicatessen, quick-serve restaurant, mobile food vendor, or coffee shop (with food menu) that demonstrates a dedication to good food and good service in a fast-casual environment. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Cava Grill
Beefsteak
Chase the Submarine
G by Mike Isabella
Taco Bamba Taqueria

Cocktail Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its craft cocktail program, evaluated separately from its beer, wine or other beverages. Nominees may be bars, restaurants, or any foodservice establishment with an exemplary cocktail program. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Kapnos by Mike Isabella
barmini by José Andrés
Indique
Iron Gate
Royal

Beer Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its beer program. Brewery restaurants and brew pubs are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their craft beer. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Jack Rose Dining Saloon
B Side
District Commons
Republic
Roofers Union

Wine Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its wine program. The nominee’s wine program best suits the cuisine and style of the restaurant while enhancing the dining experience. Wine bars are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their offerings. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2016.

WINNER: Charlie Palmer Steak
Bourbon Steak
Doi Moi
Fiola
minibar by José Andrés

Employee of the Year: The nominee is a non-managerial front or back of the house employee who serves as a model employee by displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image.

WINNER: Joseph Cassis, PassionFish Bethesda
Noe Alfaro, Republic
Heather Berry, Bar Pilar
David Perry, RIS
David Trezevant, Carmine’s Family Style Italian Restaurant

Manager of the Year: The nominee is a non-owner manager or general manager in the food service industry who displays the highest level of professionalism and leadership. This person must be an inspiration and mentor to all his/her co-workers displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image.

WINNER: John Grace, The Hamilton
Julio Amador, Cork Wine Bar
Christine Gibson, Iron Gate
Matthew McQuilkin, Pizzeria Paradiso
Margaret Perry, Kyirisan

Service Program of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in service across the restaurant – from the reservation process, to the host station, to every element of the dining experience. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2016.

WINNER: The Source by Wolfgang Puck
The Bombay Club
minibar by José Andrés
Ripple
RIS

Pastry Chef of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant pastry chef who prepares desserts and baked goods and demonstrates a high standard of excellence and culinary artistry. The nominee serves as an inspiration to other food professionals. The nominee must have been a pastry chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.

WINNER: Jemil Gadea, Masseria
Mollie Bird, Kyirisan
Tiffany MacIsaac, Buttercream Bakeshop
Brandon Malzahn, Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants
Erin Reed, Blue Duck Tavern

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: The nominee is an “up and coming” chef who demonstrates exemplary talent, shows leadership and promise for the future. The nominee must have been based in the Metropolitan Washington area for a minimum of two years.

WINNER: Ryan Ratino, Ripple
Sasha Felikson, Doi Moi
Miranda Rosenfelt, Sally’s Middle Name
Rob Rubba, Hazel
Piter & Handry Tjan, Kōbō and Sushiko

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: This nominee is a food or beverage artisan who creates a product that is then utilized by chefs and restaurants. Nominees in this category may be cheese makers, coffee roasters, vintners, brewers, distillers, bread bakers, chocolatiers, honey producers, farmers, an ice cream/gelato company and many more. When the artisan is a restaurant or restaurant group, the products created must be utilized by chefs and/or restaurants outside of the maker’s restaurant group. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2016.

WINNER: DC Brau Brewing Company
Atlas Brew Works
Logan Sausage
New Columbia Distillers/Green Hat
Right Proper Brewing Company

Restaurateur of the Year: The nominee must be a working restaurateur or restaurant group who sets high standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for a minimum of 5 years in the Metropolitan Washington area.

WINNER: Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenochristos, and Brett Schulman, Cava Group, Inc.
Ari Gejdenson, Mindful Restaurants
The Kuller Family, Fat Baby Inc.
Jamie Leeds, JL Restaurant Group
Daisuke Utagawa, Katsuya Fukushima, and Yama Jewayni, Daikaya Group

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: The award is presented to an associate member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW. This award recipient is determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee.

WINNER: Acme Paper & Supply Co.
Coastal Sunbelt Produce
DC Brau Brewing Company
USI Insurance Services
The Veritas Law Firm


Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.