And the 2023 RAMMY Awards Nominees Are …

We all gathered earlier this week as the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced the finalists for the 2023 RAMMY Awards. This year’s category changes include a move from Pastry Chef of the Year to Pastry Chef or Baker of the Year, ensuring the area’s many outstanding bakers and pastry chefs can be recognized, and introducing Best Bar as a publicly voted category, recognizing the magnitude of nightlife establishments in the region.
The 2023 RAMMY Awards Finalists are (*denotes publicly voted category*):

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: 

Harmony Group
Keany Produce and Gourmet
Saval Foodservice

New Restaurant of the Year:
Bar Ivy 
Nama Ko

Cocktail Program of the Year
Jane Jane 
Service Bar
Silver Lyan
The Green Zone

Beer Program of the Year:
Boundary Stone
Lost and Found
The Midlands Beer Garden

Wine Program of the Year:
Era Wine Bar
Lulu's Wine Garden
Reveler's Hour
St. Anselm

Rising Culinary Star of the Year:
Marcelle Afram, Shababi Palestinian Rotisserie Chicken
Masako Morishita, Perry's
Kat Petonito, The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells
Jessica and Alfredo Solis, Anafre, Mariscos 1133, Mezcalero
Elias Taddesse, Mélange, Doro Soul Food

*Favorite Gathering Place*:
Chef Geoff's
Crazy Aunt Helen's
Moby Dick House of Kabob
Ruthie's All Day
Tiki on 18th/The Game Sports Pub

*Public Voting Category
*Best Brunch*: 

Founding Farmers
Seasons at Four Seasons
Urban Roast

*Public Voting Category
*Best Bar*: 

Ivy and Coney
McClellan's Retreat

*Public Voting Category*
*Favorite Fast Bites*:

Chef Skip 202
Roaming Rooster
Spice Kitchen West African Grill

Stellina Pizzeria

*Public Voting Category*
*Hottest Sandwich Spot*:

Compliments Only
Fight Club
Grazie Grazie
Soko Butcher

*Public Voting Category*
*Employee of the Year*:

Kodjo "Olivier" Etenda, The Popal Group
Crescencio Martinez, All Purpose Shaw
Nabil Moussa, Le Diplomate
Guillermo Mendoza, The Red Hen
Veronica Rodriguez, Truluck's Ocean's Finest Seafood

Manager of the Year:
Brittany Dye, Circa Foggy Bottom
Christine Kim, Service Bar
Snjezana Jaksic, Ambar Clarendon
Javier Perez, Jaleo
Cesare Sanchez, Maiz64

Service Program of the Year:
Chef Geoff's
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Reveler's Hour
Unconventional Diner

Casual Restaurant of the Year:
Pennyroyal Station

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year:
Moon Rabbit
Rooster and Owl

Pastry Chef or Baker of the Year:
Rochelle Cooper, The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells
Sam Cooper, Bread Alley, Le Diplomate, St. Anselm
Bridie McCulla, Liberty Restaurant Group
Mary Mendoza, Bantam King, Hole in the Wall, Tonari
Teresa Velazquez, Baked and Wired, A Baked Joint

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year:
Blue Rock
Oyster Oyster
The Dabney
Xiquet by Danny Lledó

Chef of the Year:
Matt Adler, Caruso's Grocery
Matt Conroy, Lutèce
Ryan Ratino, Bresca, Jônt
Jon Sybert, Tail Up Goat, Reveler's Hour
Kevin Tien, Moon Rabbit

Restaurateur of the Year:
  • Kyle Bailey, Jon Ball, Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman, and Paul Holder, Long Shot Hospitality
  • Greg Casten and Tony Cibel,  Fish and Fire Food Group
  • Andrew Dana and Daniela Moreira, Timber Pizza, Call Your Mother, Turu's, Mercy Me
  • Zubair, Omar, Fatima, and Shamim Popal, The Popal Group
  • Rose Previte, Compass Rose, Maydan, Kirby Club Similar to past years, publicly voted categories are open to any eligible restaurant or foodservice operation in the region, regardless of RAMW membership.

For the very first time, both the finalists and winners for the five publicly voted categories are chosen by the public. Voting for the public categories opens Tuesday, April 11, and votes can be submitted on NBC Washington until Wednesday, May 31. The winners will be named on Sunday, July 9, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during the 41st Annual RAMMYS — Be There or Be Square!