2018 RAMMYS finalists announced at RAMW Nominations Party

And the 2018 RAMMY Award finalists are…

The 2018 RAMMY Award finalists were announced this evening at a Nominations Party at The Hamilton, sponsored by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). Nominees were selected from an eligible pool of restaurants that are members of the association.** It was an evening party like no other, with top food and drink selections from acclaimed restaurants, including Minibar by Jose Andres, Chiko and many more. The initial set of finalist announcements was headlined by renowned, local reporter and personality Eun Yang, NBC4 Washington.

The voting public will decide the winners in four categories: Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, Upscale Brunch of the Year, Casual Brunch of the Year and Favorite Fast Bites of the Year. To vote, navigate to http://www.nbcwashington.com/RAMMYS through Monday, April 30, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. The remaining categories are decided by a panel comprising food and dining journalists, educators and foodservice industry professionals who remain anonymous.

The Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year and Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement awards are selected by the executive committee of RAMW. The Duke Zeibert Award will be announced in April.

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year

  • Coastal Sunbelt Produce
  • Congressional Seafood
  • Streetsense
  • TriMark Adams-Burch
  • USI Insurance Services

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year (The nominee must have been open for at least 2 years prior to December 31, 2017.)

  • Bar Charley
  • Cheesetique – Shirlington
  • Fare Well
  • Right Proper Brewing Company
  • The Daily Dish

Upscale Brunch of the Year (The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2017.)

  • Osteria Morini
  • Seasons
  • Sfoglina
  • The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck
2018 RAMMYS finalists Eatery Pulse_600
2018 RAMMYS Nominations Party

Casual Brunch of the Year (The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2017.)

  • Ambar Capitol Hill
  • Ari’s Diner
  • Ivy City Smokehouse Tavern
  • Maketto
  • Vinoteca

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year (The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2017.)

  • Moby Dick House of Kabob
  • Shouk
  • Stomping Ground
  • Taco Bamba Taqueria

Cocktail Program of the Year (The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2017.)

  • Bar Charley
  • Barmini by José Andrés
  • Espita Mezcaleria
  • Petworth Citizen and Reading Room
  • Royal

Beer Program of the Year (The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2017.)

  • Brasserie Beck
  • Owen’s Ordinary
  • Republic
  • Roofers Union
  • The Sovereign

Wine Program of the Year (The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2017.)

  • Bourbon Steak
  • Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen
  • Le Diplomate
  • Range
  • Trummer’s on Main

Employee of the Year

  • Gerarda Lazo, Pizzeria Paradiso
  • Sharon Rissal, Jaleo, Bethesda
  • Pete Rymshaw, The Salt Line
  • Edgar Salvador, Centrolina
  • Andrea Tateosian, Urbana

Manager of the Year

  • Julio Amador, Cork Wine Bar & Market
  • Daniel Coughlan, Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen
  • Matthew McQuilkin, Pizzeria Paradiso
  • Heidi Minora, Commissary
  • Adam Rigaa, Brasserie Beck

Service Program of the Year (The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2017.)

  • Bourbon Steak
  • Le Diplomate
  • Minibar by José Andrés
  • The Red Hen
  • Tosca

Pastry Chef of the Year (The nominee must have been a pastry chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.)

  • Fabrice Bendano, Le Diplomate
  • Naomi Gallego, Neighborhood Restaurant Group
  • Tiffany MacIsaac, Buttercream Bakeshop
  • Pichet Ong, Maketto
  • Erin Reed, Blue Duck Tavern

Rising Culinary Star of the Year (The nominee must have been based in the Metropolitan Washington area for a minimum of two years.)

  • Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan, Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen & Maydan
  • Carlos Delgado, China Chilcano
  • Daniela Moreira, Timber Pizza Company
  • Michael Rafidi, Arroz & Requin
  • Russell Smith, The Source by Wolfgang Puck

Casual Restaurant of the Year (The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2017.)

  • Daikaya
  • Duke’s Grocery
  • Ivy City Smokehouse Tavern
  • Royal
  • Timber Pizza Company

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year (The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2017.)

  • Centrolina
  • Clarity
  • Iron Gate
  • Maketto
  • Sushi Taro

New Restaurant of the Year (A restaurant that must have opened between December 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 and already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service.)

  • Bresca
  • Chiko
  • Del Mar
  • Maydan

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year (The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2017.)

  • Fiola Mare
  • Masseria
  • Rasika
  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck
  • Trummer’s on Main

Chef of the Year (The nominee must have been a chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.)

  • Kyle Bailey, The Salt Line
  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina
  • David Deshaies, Unconventional Diner
  • Katsuya Fukushima, Daikaya Group
  • Rob Rubba, Hazel

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: (The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2017.)

  • Atlas Brew Works
  • Bluejacket
  • Ivy City Smokehouse
  • Logan Sausage Co.
  • Right Proper Brewing Company

Restaurateur of the Year: (Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for a minimum of 5 years in the Metropolitan Washington area.)

  • Stephen and Mark Fedorchak, and Brian Normiles, Liberty Tavern Restaurant Group
  • Ari Gejdenson, Mindful Restaurants
  • Jamie Leeds, JL Restaurant Group
  • Daisuke Utagawa, Katsuya Fukushima and Yama Jewayni, Daikaya Group
  • Ype von Hengst and Bob Giaimo, Silver Diner & Silver

**Any RAMW member who met all category requirements was eligible for nomination.