RAMMY Awards Pivot

As the restaurant industry struggled to adjust to incredibly challenging circumstances during the pandemic, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) adapted its 2021 RAMMY awards accordingly.

Special for this year only, many stakeholders came together to identify categories that speak to 2020 and the myriad of challenges, unforeseen hurdles, and opportunities that arose to let creativity shine.

Recognizing that it would not be fair to assess the industry on performance in 2020, RAMW, the esteemed panel of RAMMYS judges, and the 2021 RAMMYS Chairs Committee, created timely categories that speak to all the ways the region’s industry uniquely met those challenges. Also unique to this year, membership was not a prerequisite for nomination and nearly half of the honors bestowed will be voted on by the public. Votes for these categories will be available online from Monday, August 2, to Thursday, September 2.

Following are the 2021 RAMMY Awards Finalists (*denotes publicly voted category*). Every one of these finalists are worthy of the recognition and our support.


Managers of the Year:

Otgontuya Davaasuren, All Set Restaurant & Bar
Khawla Gasmi, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar, & Eatery
Autumn Harriger, Destination Unknown Restaurants/Espita
Jordan Lee, Thamee Restaurant
Tylyn Mallon, Right Proper Brewing Company
Brian McGahey, Modena Restaurant
Gilbert Mejia, Nobu DC
Robert Micheli, Dirty Habit
Daurio Passaia, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Karina Wilkey, Sunnyside Restaurant Group

Employees of the Year:

Gabriela Araujo, Bresca
Ruben Avila, PassionFish Reston
Freddy Bastidas, Blue Duck Tavern
Adrian Godinez, RPM Italian
Rosa Martinez, Alta Strada & Nama
Mileyda Montezuma, Immigrant Food
Fredy Nataren, Tryst Trading Co.
Celina Nava, Estadio
Alicia Ramos, Convivial
Maria Serrano, Sababa

Formal Fine Dining in a Box:

Brasserie Liberté
Mintwood Place
Rooster and Owl
Saund and Snyder
The Dabney

Most Innovative To-Go Packaging Game:

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab
Oyster Oyster
Rose’s Luxury/Rose’s At Home
Stable DC
Sushi Taro
The Duck & The Peach


Outstanding Covid-Safe Redesign (Indoors or Outdoors):

Ben’s Chili Bowl
Clyde’s Restaurant Group
Equinox Restaurant
Fiola Mare
Glover Park Grill
St. Anselm
The Park at 14th

Most Impressive Pivot to Provisions or Market: 

ANXO Cidery
Bar Charley, El Chucho, and Little Coco’s
Coconut Club
Founding Farmers
Hank’s Oyster Bar/Current Catch
Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Walters Sports Bar

Good Neighbor Award:

Individual Honors:

Erik Bruner-Yang, Power of 10 Initiative
Willa Pelini, Paola Velez, and Rob Rubba, Bakers Against Racism
Anna Valero, Hook Hall Helps
Mark Bucher and Medium Rare, Feed The Fridge
Danny Lee, Support of Immigrant and AAPI Community
Kevin Tien and Tim Ma, Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate – DC
Jon Krinn, Chefs Feeding Northern VA, Taste of DC in VA
David Guas, Bayou Bakery Soup Kitchen, BEAN-EFIT
Micheline Mendelsohn and Spike Mendelsohn, National Guard Inauguration Program, and More
Edward Lee, The LEE Initiative

Company/Organization Honors:

Coconut Club
Immigrant Food
Keany Produce & Gourmet
KNEAD Hospitality + Design
Little Sesame
Peruvian Brothers
Pizzeria Paradiso
Saval Foodservice
World Central Kitchen


*Outstanding Ghost Kitchen or Pop-up Concept*

Ama Ami “homakase”
DC Ghostburger
Denizen’s Brewing Co., Sunday Gravy
Fat Choi Hot Pot
Ghostline/Social Beast
Happy Gyro
Little Sesame @ Sugar Fox
The Red Hen – French Hen

*Coolest Cocktails and Beverages To-Go*:

Cactus Cantina
Capo Delicatessen
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Napoli Pasta Bar
Service Bar
Seven Reasons
Tiger Fork

*Standout Family Meal Packages To-Go*:

Cork Wine Bar & Market
Liberty Tavern
Muchas Gracias
Oohh’s & Aahh’s
Pennyroyal Station
Ristorante i Ricchi
Taco Bamba
Thompson Italian
Unconventional Diner

*Prime Pandemic Patio Scene*:

Caboose Brewing Co.
Hook Hall
La Famosa
Lauriol Plaza
Le Diplomate
Lulu’s Winegarden
Mercy Me
The Salt Line

*Technology Trailblazers*:

DC To Go-Go
Great American Restaurants
Rumi’s Kitchen
Silver Diner
Stellina Pizzeria
The Roost
Think Food Group

*Splendid Holidays at Home Offerings*:

Chef Geoff’s
Et Voila!
Lebanese Taverna
Punjab Grill
Ridgewells Catering


*Festive Foodie Experiences*:

Baker’s Daughter, CSA Box Cooking Classes
Carlie Steiner, Various Virtual Classes
Catoctin Creek, The Art of the Cocktail
Eric Adjepong, Cooking with Eric
Eva Kronenburg, YouTube Cooking Series
Louise Salas and Gina Chersevani, Designated Drinker Show
Kwame Onwuachi, Eat Clean While Quarantined
Mess Hall DC, Some Disassembly Required
Sticky Fingers, Virtual Baking Classes
Xiquet, Cooking with Chef Danny Lledó

*Hottest New Sandwich Shop*:

Bun Papa
Compliments Only
Fight Club
Itty Bitty Sandwich City
Queen Mother’s
Roaming Rooster
Sandi Buns
Your Only Friend

*Stellar Brunches at Home*:

All Purpose – Navy Yard
Call Your Mother
Duke’s Grocery
Farmers Fishers Bakers
I Egg You
The Fainting Goat

The 2021 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award will be given to Glory Days Grill (25 years), La Chaumiere (45 years), Peacock Cafe (30 years), Pizzeria Paradiso (30 years), and Ristorante Piccolo (35 years), dining staples celebrating a significant number of years serving locals and visitors in Metropolitan Washington. Honorable mentions were also given at the RAMMY Nominations Announcement for Wine To Go Program and Sweet Relief, focused on pastry/baked goods to go.

The winners will be announced at The 39th Annual RAMMY Awards Gala on Sunday, September 19, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

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