Restaurant industry professionals and their allies gathered 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. 

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:

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/Owner of RIS Restaurant, for her excellence and community leadership.

2023 RAMMYS major sponsors included Events DC, NBC Washington, Amazon, National Landing Business Improvement District, Club Glow, DoorDash, Chase, Stratus Firm, Design Foundry and many more industry supporters. 

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