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Jeff Black Against the Bloggers, Off-Color Political Jokes, Tiny Hats and More From the Rammy Awards

The rowdy team from Café Saint-Ex taking the stage
The rowdy team from Café Saint-Ex taking the stage

[Photos: R. Lopez]

Last night's Rammy Awards were not just an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the fine men and women of DC's restaurant industry, but also a chance to gather, get drunk and say funny things. NBC4's Tom Sherwood set the tone with some jokes about DC politicians that no one was expecting to hear, while restaurateur Jeff Black finally got the courage to speak out against the tyranny of the food bloggers. While aforementioned bloggers were awkwardly seated next to his cheering team of employees. Here are your hangover observations.

1) Bloggers were all in uproar after restaurateur Jeff Black's acceptance speech in which he said, "I started out scrubbing pots and pans and cleaning toilets and doing a lot of crappy shit... But you work your way up. It's great to see respect being given to people that work in the business that do the long hard hours, not the bloggers and not the people on the outside." He went on to rally the audience into cheers with his speech long after the music began to play.

2) That said, all the bloggers showed up to the after-party at Black's Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene winner Black Jack, where pizzas showed turned up like magic and guys from The Source, Bourbon Steak and Bandolero were playing bocce in the back.

3) Capitol Hill's beloved Tune Inn won an Honorary Milestone award a year after a major fire forced the longtime watering hole to rebuild. Owner Lisa Nardelli gave a nice speech thanking her community: "We rebuilt and we came back better and stronger."

4) On his company's 116-year wait to win Associate Member of the Year, an Adams-Burch rep said: "Like great wine and great sex, it was a long time in coming." Sure?

5) For the political humor junkies, NBC4's Tom Sherwood served as the most politically incorrect presenter with jokes about why certain DC politicos couldn't be there: Mayor Vince Gray perhaps seeking asylum in China, Kwame Brown was "still being fitted for his orange jumpsuit" and as for former DC councilman Harry Thomas, sentenced to three years in prison: "Harry Thomas wanted to be here, but he's having his own Rammy Awards."

6) Accepting for Neighborhood Gathering Place, Café Saint-Ex's John Snellgrove got political with a nod to another neighborhood restaurant at the center of a debate about voluntary agreements: "I want everyone here to support Hank's Oyster Bar in their fight."

7) Apparently Adour pastry chef Fabrice Bendano's skill with the macarons has shifted the restaurant's clientele to 90 percent ladies.

8) In an attempt to NOT pull a Tom Sherwood, presenter April Fulton of The Salt deadpanned: "We're not allowed to tell jokes at NPR."

9) Fabio Trabocchi on winning for best new restaurant upon his return to DC: "I guess this is what it feels like, homecoming." Also notable — the man-hug between GM Federico Galeotti and bar manager Jeff Faile.

10) Bourbon Steak GM Mark Politzer on the Fine Dining win: "Adam Sobel finally won something!"

11) The Mitsitam Café is the first museum restaurant to ever be nominated for and win a Rammy Award. Quote chef Richard Hetzler: "We started trying to change museum dining and at the end of the day I think we have."

12) While last year the porron pitchers were contained to Proof's after-party, this year they were passed around for messy drinking at the main event.

13) This year's Rammy theme was for everyone to wear hats. Though the crowd was disappointingly light on the joke-hats, the best by far was food writer David Hagedorn's — a Monopoly top hat piece gluesticked to his head.

Any other favorite moments from the night? Leave 'em in the comments.

· 2012 Rammy Awards Winners: Black Restaurant Group, Vikram Sunderam, Mitsitam Café, More! [-EDC-]
· All Previous Rammy Awards Coverage [-EDC-]

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