RAMMY Awards honor DC area’s best restaurants

WTOP's Jason Fraley recaps the RAMMY Awards (Part 1)

Fully vaccinated restaurant industry professionals gathered Sunday night at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the 39th annual RAMMY Awards.

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) awarded a range of special distinctions following a year unlike any other.

The panel of judges identified categories that spoke to 2020 and the myriad challenges, unforeseen hurdles and opportunities that let creativity and ingenuity shine.

Here’s the list of winners (*denotes publicly voted category):

Managers of the Year:

  • Otgontuya Davaasuren, All Set Restaurant & Bar
  • Khawla Gasmi, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar, & Eatery
  • Autumn Harriger, Destination Unknown Restaurants/Espita
  • Jordan Lee, Thamee Restaurant
  • Tylyn Mallon, Right Proper Brewing Company
  • Brian McGahey, Modena Restaurant
  • Gilbert Mejia, Nobu DC
  • Robert Micheli, Dirty Habit
  • Daurio Passaia, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
  • Karina Wilkey, Sunnyside Restaurant Group

Employees of the Year:

  • Gabriela Araujo, Bresca
  • Ruben Avila, PassionFish Reston
  • Freddy Bastidas, Blue Duck Tavern
  • Adrian Godinez, RPM Italian
  • Rosa Martinez, Alta Strada & Nama
  • Mileyda Montezuma, Immigrant Food
  • Fredy Nataren, Tryst Trading Co.
  • Celina Nava, Estadio
  • Alicia Ramos, Convivial
  • Maria Serrano, Sababa

Finer Dining in a Box: Cranes

Most Innovative To-Go Packaging Game: Oyster Oyster

Outstanding Covid-Safe Redesign (Indoors or Outdoors): Clarity

Most Impressive Pivot to Provisions or Market: Neighborhood Restaurant Group/Neighborhood Provisions

Good Neighbor Award, Individual Honors:

  • Erik Bruner-Yang, Power of 10
  • Willa Pelini, Paola Velez, and Rob Rubba, Bakers Against Racism
  • Anna Valero, Hook Hall Helps
  • Mark Bucher and Medium Rare, Feed The Fridge
  • Danny Lee, Support of Immigrant and AAPI Community
  • Kevin Tien and Tim Ma, Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate
  • Jonathan Krinn, A Taste of DC in VA and To Community and Beyond: Crossing Culinary Bridges Guest DC Chef Series
  • David, Guas, Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery, Chefs Feeding Families
  • Micheline Mendelsohn and Spike Mendelsohn, National Guard Inauguration Program, and More
  • Edward Lee, The LEE Initiative

Good Neighbor Award, Company/Organization Honors:

  • Coconut Club
  • Immigrant Food
  • Keany Produce & Gourmet
  • KNEAD Hospitality + Design
  • Little Sesame
  • Peruvian Brothers
  • Pizzeria Paradiso
  • RASA
  • Saval Foodservice
  • World Central Kitchen

Outstanding Ghost Kitchen or Pop-up Concept: DC Ghostburger*

Coolest Cocktails and Beverages To-Go: Cactus Cantina*

Standout Family Meal Packages To-Go: Ristorante I Ricchi*

Prime Pandemic Patio Scene: Le Diplomate*

Technology Trailblazers: Silver Diner*

Splendid Holidays at Home Offerings: Chef Geoff’s*

Festive Foodie Experiences: Eva Kronenburg, YouTube Cooking Series*

Hottest Sandwich Shop: Roaming Rooster*

Stellar Brunches at Home: Call Your Mother*

The 2021 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award was presented to dining staples celebrating many years of service. Glory Days Grill was recognized for 25 years, La Chaumière for 45 years, Peacock Cafe for 30 years, Pizzeria Paradiso for 30 years, and Ristorante Piccolo for 35 years.

Additionally, The RAMMYS judges panel added two special honorable mentions this year. While these are not official categories, the judges felt these two industry groups deserved a special moment of recognition.

 Wine To Go Program – Honorable Mention

  • Dio Wine Bar
  • Domestique
  • Flight Wine Bar
  • Grand Cata
  • La Jambe
  • Maxwell Park
  • Sonny’s Pizza
  • Squash Club DC
  • Tail Up Goat/Reveler’s Hour
  • The Girl and The Vine

Sweet Relief: Baking and Pastry To Go – Honorable Mention

  • Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
  • Baker’s Against Racism
  • Buttercream Bakeshop
  • Bread and Water Co.
  • Donut Run
  • MASTIHA
  • Pluma by Bluebird Bakery
  • Sunday Morning Bakehouse
  • The Dapper Fox
  • Yellow

Established in 1920, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the food service industry in the D.C. area.

WTOP's Jason Fraley recaps the RAMMY Awards (Part 2)

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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