09 Apr 2024


RAMMYs Finalists: Local Favorites Plus Categories you can vote on!

One of our local favorites, I Egg You, is a finalist! Congrats to all the finalists! Via screenshot.

Yesterday afternoon, the Restautant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced their finalists for their yearly awards, known as the RAMMY Awards. You can see the full list here, but we thought it would be great to highlight our local finalists, because they make our already wonderful food landscape here on the Hill even better.

Without further ado, here are our local highlights:

New Restaurant of the Year: Hiraya and I Egg You. Who could choose? Both restaurants bless us with bold takes on old favorites while also introducing us to beautiful flavors with which we may not be familiar. We have yet to try Hiraya upstairs, but it’s on our list. (The café blew our minds.)

Cocktail Program of the Year: No, none of our beloveds in this immediate area are in this category (no, The Wells? Crimes against gin-manity!) but we’re going to have to adopt Bar Spero into our geographical boundaries only because we cannot stop thinking about the Dead Lady cocktail we had last night. Mezcal, Galliano and other magic make for a girly-looking cocktail that is about as girly as Lola Beltrán belting out a ranchera.

Beer Program of the Year: A good beer goes a long way to brighten a dour mood… or to lubricate the wheels of a trivia-cheating scandal. We are delighted to see Red Bear Brewing Co. and Atlas Brew Works in this category. Fun fact: If you plan a brew crawl on foot between the Atlast Ivy City and Navy Yard locations and Red Bear, you would be covering a distance of about 4 miles, which could mean that you could indulge in more delicious food and beer while doing some exercise if you bike, run or walk. Not saying you should, just that you might want to.

Wine Program of the Year: Amazingly, we have yet to make it to Irregardless, but we’ve heard great things around the interwebs. Congrats!

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Matt Sperber, Any Day Now. One of our many Dream Day scenarios involve taking a walk down to the riverfront, stop in and enjoy the art at the Rubell Museum and then have the perfect scallion pancake-wrapped breakfast, accompanied by cassava hash browns or maybe that incredible, fragrant papaya Caesar. So yes, we agree.

Best Brunch: While we have yet to catch brunch at Duke’s in Navy Yard, their humongous burgers, delicious elote and other goodies have not gone unnoticed. This is one of the categories in which you can decide the winner, along with Best Gathering Place, Best Bar and others.

Favorite Fast Bites: Andy’s Pizza and Arepa Zone are both relatively local (look– we sometimes co-opt Union Market and you can’t stop us). We have yet to have the pizza at Andy’s but it’s got a strong fan base. But our allegiance to Arepa Zone runs deep, even if we all know that arepas are truly Colombian and not Venezuelan (jkjkjk don’t come after me, my Venezuelan peeps).

Employee of the Year: Jonathan Aseff, Shilling Canning Company. We have nothing but nice things to say about Shilling, and we’re so excited for this special recognition for their staff! (And yes, not on the Hill, but we see you, Annabelle! Annabelle on the Hill, when?)

Manager of the Year: Uros Jojic, Ambar Capitol Hill. Big congratulations to a local one-of-a-kind, and to their manager, for running a tight, tasty ship! Angel Guillen from El Cielo and Victoria Gradia, KNEAD Hospitality + Design (Gatsby and Bistro Du Jour) also got nods– congrats!

Casual Restaurant of the Year: Love to see La Famosa in this lineup. We are going to need a Jibarito when we’re done here.

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: See our earlier entry on Shilling Canning.

Pastry Chef or Baker of the Year: Rochelle Cooper, Eastern Point Collective and Isabel Coss, Lutèce, Pascual. The way we wanted to scream SHAKIN BAKER when we saw Rochelle Cooper last night was alarming (which is why we didn’t do it). But Rochelle’s joyful creations, ice creams and delightful treats for The Duck and The Peach and La Collina bring a smile to our face whenever we see them on Instagram or get to sample them. And although we have yet to have all that Isabel Coss has to offer at Pascual, the chocolate tres leches cake we had recently can only be described as “stupid good.” How can you choose?

Chef of the Year: Katarina Petonito, Eastern Point Collective. A triad of places that gets nothing but raves, The Duck and The Peach, La Collina and The Wells (which does not have a full menu, but their bites are just delicious) are the three restaurants in our area that make part of Eastern Point Collective and you love to see it.

Restaurateur of the Year: Kyle Bailey, Jon Ball, Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman, and Paul Holder, Long Shot Hospitality; Andrew Dana and Daniela Moreira, Timber Pizza, Call Your Mother, Turu’s, Mercy Me; Zubair, Omar, Fatima, and Shamim Popal, The Popal Group. This reads like a list of a perfect day: Call Your Mother for breakfast, brunch and a riverside stroll at The Salt Line and a fancy dinner at Pascual.

Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you for taking care of us! Don’t forget to vote for the people’s choice over on NBC-4 here through May 31.

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