Rammys Go to Lutèce, Baked and Wired; Filomena, Old Europe, Cafe Milano and Ris Lacoste Honored

Restaurant industry professionals and their allies gathered July 9 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the 41st Annual Rammy Awards, as Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced winners and a range of special distinctions in a number of categories celebrating excellence in long-standing categories that range from individual professional honors to accolades celebrating culinary concepts and service.

Georgetown got some extra love this year with the Popal Group’s Lutèce awarded for its service program and Teresa Velazquez of Baked and Wired, A Baked Joint, awarded “Pastry Chef or Baker of the Year.” Georgetown anniversaries were recognized: Filomena Ristorante (40 years) and Cafe Milano (30 years). In nearby Glover Park, Old Europe (75 years) was applauded. And in the West End, beloved Ris Lacoste — chef and owner of Ris Restaurant and former 1789 chef — got the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award. 

Even a Georgetown restaurant not yet open or constructed was recognized in a video by the Georgetown Business Improvement District shown to the audience: Stephen Starr’s and Nancy Silverton’s Osteria Mozza in the old Dean & Deluca space on M Street. The narrator in the video did sample food at Lutèce and Yellow cafe.

This year’s category changes included 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 were recognized, and introduced Best Bar as a publicly voted category, recognizing the magnitude of nightlife establishments in the region. Similar to past years, publicly voted categories were 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 were chosen by the public.

The 2023 RAMMY Awards Winners are (* asterisk denotes publicly voted category):

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Saval Foodservice

 New Restaurant of the Year: Causa/Amazonia

Cocktail Program of the Year: Service Bar

Beer Program of the Year: Shelter

 Wine Program of the Year: Reveler’s Hour

 Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Marcelle Afram, Shababi Palestinian Rotisserie Chicken

 Favorite Gathering Place*: Tiki on 18th/The Game Sports Pub

 Best Brunch*: Urban Roast

Best Bar*: Exiles

 Favorite Fast Bites*: RASA

 Hottest Sandwich Spot*: Compliments Only

 Employee of the Year: Nabil Moussa, Le Diplomate

 Manager of the Year: Brittany Dye, Circa Foggy Bottom

 Service Program of the Year: Lutèce

 Casual Restaurant of the Year: Pennyroyal Station

 Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: L’Ardente

 Pastry Chef or Baker of the Year: Teresa Velazquez, Baked and Wired, A Baked Joint

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Xiquet by Danny Lledó

 Chef of the Year: Kevin Tien, Moon Rabbit

 Restaurateur of the Year: Rose Previte, No White Plates: Compass Rose, Maydan, Kirby Club

The 2023 Honorary Milestone Rammy Award recipients were also honored, celebrating a significant number of years serving locals and visitors in Metropolitan Washington: Filomena Ristorante (40 years), the Grill From Ipanema (30 years), Old Europe (75 years), Cafe Milano (30 years), Jaleo (30 Years), National Democratic Club (70 years), Artie’s (45 years), Four Sisters (30 years), and Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse (75 years). The John G. Laytham Exceptional Leadership and Impact Award was given to Michael F. Curtin Jr., Chief Executive Officer of DC Central Kitchen, for his significant contribution to the region’s foodservice industry and giving back to the community. The Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award was given to Ris Lacoste, chef and owner of RIS Restaurant, for her excellence and community leadership.

Major sponsors for the 2023 Rammys included Events DC, NBC Washington, Amazon, National Landing Business Improvement District, Club Glow, DoorDash, Chase, Stratus Firm, Design Foundry and many more industry supporters. For more information regarding the 41st Annual RAMMY Awards and its winners, email therammys@ramw.org.

D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb is flanked by Shawn Townsend, President & CEO, RAMW, Photo by Bill Starrels.

Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto at the Rammys. Photo by Bill Starrels.

Yes, of course, there were oysters at the Rammys. Photo by Bill Starrels.

Georgetown veterans: Linda Greenan, Jack Evans, Ginger Laytham and Paul Cohn. Photo by Bill Starrels.

LRA CEO Linda Roth with Danny Lledó, winner of Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year for Xiquet by Danny Lledó. Courtesy photo.

Yes, of course, there were scallops at the Rammys. Photo by Bill Starrels.

The fabulous drag queen Tara Hoot. Photo by Bill Starrels.



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