Here Are the Restaurant and Bar Industry Winners for DC’s 2022 RAMMY Awards

Oyster Oyster, Daru, and Muchas Gracias were among the honorees

Oyster Oyster was our readers' favorite new restaurant in 2021. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

DC’s biggest restaurant industry awards, the RAMMYs, returned to semi-normal with a big gala at the convention center Sunday night. The usual recognitions for best new restaurant and chef of the year had paused during the pandemic in favor of honors for innovative to-go packaging and prime patios. But this year, the big accolades were back, along with some Covid-era carryover categories (outstanding pop-up, “splendid holidays at home”).

Another change that’s stuck around? Recognizing at least some restaurants that aren’t members of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington—a move that’s helped make the awards more diverse and reflective of the dining scene. Publicly voted categories like best brunch and hottest sandwich shop were open to all. The other main categories—decided by an anonymous panel of food and media professionals—were limited only to dues-paying members.

Here are the winners:

Chef of the Year: Rob Rubba, Oyster Oyster

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Christian Irabien, Muchas Gracias

Restaurateur of the Year: Scott Drewno and Danny Lee, The Fried Rice Collective

Pastry Chef of the Year: Francois Yann Buisine, Un je ne sais Quoi

Employee of the Year: Herman Machado, The Salt Line – Navy Yard

Manager of the Year: Robert Heim, Shaw’s Tavern

New Restaurant of the Year: Daru

Casual Restaurant of the Year: Ruthie’s All-Day

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Albi

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Cranes

Wine Program of the Year: Queen’s English

Cocktail Program of the Year: Serenata

Beer Program of the Year: Quarry House Tavern

Service Program of the Year: Tail Up Goat

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Congressional Seafood

Publicly Voted Categories

Splendid Holidays at Home: Unconventional Diner

Hottest Sandwich Spot: Mangialardo’s

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Casta’s Rum Bar

Favorite Fast Bites: Little Miner Taco

Outstanding Pop-Up Concept: Bun Papa

Standout Family Meal Packages To Go: 2 Fifty Texas BBQ

Best Brunch of the Year: A&J Restaurant

The 2022 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award recipients were also honored, celebrating a significant number of years serving locals and visitors in Metropolitan Washington: 1789 and The Tombs (60 years), Anthony’s Restaurant (50 years), Bombay Bistro (30 years), Duangrat’s (35 years), El Tamarindo (40 years), Franklins (30 years), La Côte d’Or Café (30 years), Mike’s American (35 years), and Tabard Inn (100 years).

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.