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Here Are the 2020 Rammy Awards Finalists

Rooster & Owl, Trummer’s, and Centrolina appear in multiple categories

Rooster & Owl carrots
Tasting plates place Rooster & Owl is nominated across multiple categories.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Washington’s local dining association on Monday announced the finalists for its 38th annual Rammy Awards, highlighting some of the best participating restaurants, bars, and chefs across the D.C. area.

In late March, soon after D.C. enacted a dine-in ban to combat the novel coronavirus, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) delayed announcing finalists by about a month. Its annual black tie gala is set for Sunday, July 26, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, but RAMW says it’s considering an unspecified date later in the year.

“While we know the Rammys may look different this year, know that we are dedicated to celebrating with all of you in the biggest way we can, at the safest time to do so,” says RAMW president and CEO Kathy Hollinger.

This year’s nominations announcement, usually held during a glitzy tasting ceremony at Clyde’s Restaurant Group’s Hamilton, looked a lot different. Hollinger appeared solo on a live-stream, kicking off the presentation inside 1789, the Georgetown sister spot to Hamilton.

All nominees must be members of RAMW. Several categories have requirements regarding the length of time a restaurant has been operational, and previous winners aren’t eligible to claim the same category for five years after a win. A panel of judges appointed by the RAMW president ultimately decides who wins. Public voting will decide 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. More information on the awards process can be found here.

Take a look below for this year’s finalists. Here’s a look at last year’s winners.

New Restaurant of the Year:

  • Anju
  • Cane
  • Emilie’s
  • Punjab Grill
  • Rooster & Owl

Chef of the Year:

  • Matt Baker, Gravitas
  • David Deshaies, Unconventional Diner
  • Haidar Karoum, Chloe
  • Ryan Ratino, Bresca
  • Kevin Tien, Emilie’s

Rising Culinary Star of the Year:

  • Marcelle Afram, Maydan
  • Faiz Ally, Poca Madre
  • Angel Barreto, Anju
  • Jocelyn Law-Yone, Thamee
  • Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl

Pastry Chef of the Year:

  • Caitlin Dysart, Centrolina
  • Olivia Green, Rooster & Owl
  • Katherine Thompson, Thompson Italian
  • Meagan Tighe, Trummer’s
  • Paola Velez, Kith/Kin

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year:

  • Gravitas
  • Pineapple and Pearls
  • Rasika West End
  • The Conservatory at Goodstone Inn
  • Three Blacksmiths

Restaurateur of the Year:

  • Victor Albisu, Poca Madre, Taco Bamba Taqueria
  • Bo Blair, Georgetown Events (The Bullpen, Due South, Jetties, Millie’s, Surfside)
  • Mark Fedorchak, Stephen Fedorchak, and Brian Normile, The Liberty Tavern Group
  • Yama Jewayni, Katsuya Fukushima, and Daisuke Utagawa, Daikaya Group
  • Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury, Pineapple and Pearls, Little Pearl

Casual Restaurant of the Year:

  • Bantam King
  • CHIKO – Capitol Hill
  • Duke’s Counter
  • Little Pearl
  • Stable

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year:

  • Centrolina
  • Chloe
  • Maydan
  • Poca Madre
  • Unconventional Diner

Wine Program of the Year:

  • Clarity
  • Field & Main
  • Primrose
  • St. Anselm
  • The Wine Kitchen – Frederick

Beer Program of the Year:

  • B Side
  • Caboose Brewing Co. – Vienna
  • Franklin Hall
  • Roofers Union
  • Sweetwater Tavern – Centreville

Cocktail Program of the Year:

  • China Chilcano
  • Colada Shop – DC
  • Officina
  • Royal
  • Service Bar

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year:

  • Brookland’s Finest
  • Lapis
  • Quarry House Tavern
  • Stomping Ground
  • The Salt Line

Upscale Brunch of the Year:

  • Bindaas – Cleveland Park
  • Estadio
  • Seasons at the Four Seasons DC
  • St. Anselm
  • Trummer’s

Casual Brunch of the Year:

  • All-Purpose Shaw
  • Casolare Ristorante + Bar
  • Liberty Barbecue
  • Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
  • The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year:

  • Call Your Mother Deli – Park View
  • Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly
  • RASA
  • Shouk
  • Sloppy Mama’s BBQ

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year:

  • Coastal Sunbelt Produce
  • Congressional Seafood Co.
  • Ecolab
  • Saval Foodservice
  • TriMark Adams-Burch

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year:

  • Arcadia Farm
  • Atlas Brew Works
  • Ayrshire Farm
  • Bluejacket
  • Logan Sausage Co.

Employee of the Year:

  • Yesenia Neri Diaz, Espita Mezcaleria
  • Isael Granados, Roofers Union
  • Yasmin Orozco, Taco Bamba Taqueria – Springfield
  • Kyare Turner, Right Proper Brewing Co.
  • Jose Ventura, Rasika

Manager of the Year:

  • Jamal Flowers, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co. – Alexandria
  • Charlie Idol, Mission Navy Yard
  • Rizza Leguro, Founding Farmers Tysons
  • Jeremy Mancuso, Old Ebbitt Grill
  • Bethany Wagener, Alta Strada – Mosaic

Service Program of the Year:

  • Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
  • Ristorante Piccolo
  • Rose’s Luxury
  • St. Anselm
  • The Red Hen