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Words by Kaylee Dugan
Photos by Nicholas Karlin

RAMMY’s season is in full swing which mean you have an even better excuse than usual to blow an uncomfortable amount of your paycheck on eating out. It all kicked off last night with a reveal of the nominations at The Hamilton, where a handful of the nominated restaurants got to show off why they’re being recognized in the first place. It’s fun to watch D.C. get more and more comfortable being a heavy weight in the culinary world. While we may have more room to grow, last night proved that we have an amazingly talented foundation to lean on.

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Competition was stiff this year, but our favorite cocktail of the night was Kapnos’ Las Cabras, made with Cane Run white rum, Palo Cortado sherry, ginger, honey, lemon, and Peychaud’s bitters. It was floral and lightly sweet, but above all it was incredibly drinkable and I mean that in the most dangerous way.

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Food-wise, no one could touch Kobo’s salmon nigiri, served with an edible flower and some delicate ginger. It was a welcome reprieve from some of the heavier foods in the room. Like Kapnos’ cocktail, the danger here is that I could eat a million of these without even knowing.

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But none of you really care about what I ate or drank, you’re all here for those delicious nominations.

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year

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

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year

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

Upscale Brunch of the Year

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

Casual Brunch of the Year

  • Cava Mezze – Capitol Hill
  • DGS Delicatessen
  • Maketto
  • Republic
  • Sixth Engine

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year

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

Cocktail Program of the Year

  • barmini by José Andrés
  • Indique
  • Iron Gate
  • Kapnos by Mike Isabella
  • Royal

Beer Program of the Year

  • B Side
  • District Commons
  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon
  • Republic
  • Roofers Union

Wine Program of the Year

  • Charlie Palmer Steak
  • Doi Moi
  • Fiola
  • minibar by José Andrés

Employee of the Year

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

Manager of the Year

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

Service Program of the Year

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

Pastry Chef of the Year

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

Rising Culinary Star of the Year

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

Casual Restaurant of the Year

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

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year

  • Central Michel Richard
  • Indique
  • Iron Gate
  • Proof
  • The Red Hen

New Restaurant of the Year

  • All Purpose
  • Hazel
  • Kōbō
  • Requin
  • Whaley’s

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year

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

Chef of the Year

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

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year

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

Restaurateur of the Year

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

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