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Here Are the 2022 Rammy Awards Finalists

The winners will be revealed at a gala on Sunday, July 24

A group of people dancing under strobe lights
Attendees at the 2018 Rammy Awards.
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington/Facebook
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

D.C.’s resident dining association announced the finalists for its 40th annual Rammy Awards, providing a snapshot of the state of the restaurant industry in D.C.

The nominee ceremony returned to its normal downtown venue, the Hamilton Live, on Tuesday, April 5. Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) will announce the winners during a black tie soiree on Sunday, July 24, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Coming off a ravaging, two-year health crisis that turned the hospitality industry on its head, these 40th annual awards are especially significant and reason to celebrate the resiliency of the D.C. restaurant world.

Nominees must be members of RAMW, and several categories have requirements regarding the length of time a restaurant has been operational; 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 seven categories* that speak to ongoing pandemic-era aspects of the industry: Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, Best Brunch of the Year, Hottest Sandwich Spot, Outstanding Pop-Up Concept, Splendid Holidays at Home, Standout Family Meal Packages To-Go, and Favorite Fast Bites of the Year. Public voting will begin in late April. More information on the awards process can be found here.

And now, this year’s nominees:

New Restaurant of the Year:

  • Caruso’s Grocery
  • Daru
  • Dauphine’s
  • L’Ardente
  • Oyster Oyster

Chef of the Year:

  • Matt Adler, Caruso’s Grocery
  • Cedric Maupillier, Convivial
  • Shamim Popal, Lapis
  • Michael Rafidi, Albi
  • Rob Rubba, Oyster Oyster

Cocktail Program of the Year:

  • Bresca
  • Serenata
  • Service Bar
  • Silver Lyan
  • The Imperial

Beer Program of the Year:

  • Boundary Stone
  • Caboose Tavern
  • Quarry House Tavern
  • Shelter
  • Sweetwater Tavern

Wine Program of the Year:

  • Albi
  • Northside Social
  • Queen’s English
  • Reveler’s Hour
  • Slate Wine Bar

Rising Culinary Star of the Year:

  • Will Fung, China Chilcano
  • Christian Irabien, Muchas Gracias
  • Kat Petonito, The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells
  • Suresh Sundas, Daru
  • Elias Taddesse, Mélange

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year*:

  • Casta’s Rum Bar
  • Comet Ping Pong
  • Pennyroyal Station
  • St. Vincent Wine
  • The Pug

Best Brunch of the Year*:

  • A&J Restaurant
  • ala
  • Blend 111
  • Maialino Mare
  • Nina May

Favorite Fast Bites*:

  • Happy Gyro
  • Little Miner Taco
  • Little Sesame
  • Pogiboy
  • Sunday Morning Bakehouse

Hottest Sandwich Spot*:

  • Cracked Eggery
  • Mangialardo’s
  • Queen Mother’s
  • The Girl & The Vine
  • Your Only Friend

Outstanding Pop-Up Concept*:

  • A Presto! Italian Foods
  • Bun Papa
  • Della Barba Pizza
  • JUNE
  • Tacos A La Madre

Splendid Holidays at Home*:

  • Bayou Bakery
  • Convivial
  • Kinship
  • Stellina
  • Unconventional Diner

Standout Family Meal Packages To Go*:

  • 2Fifty Texas BBQ
  • Mintwood Place
  • Muchas Gracias
  • Neighborhood Provisions
  • Thompson Italian

Employee of the Year:

  • Raphael Beltran, Et Voila
  • Amanda Bell, All Purpose - Shaw
  • Nicole Burdett, Taco Bamba - Springfield
  • Oscar Iglesias, Moon Rabbit
  • Herman Machado, The Salt Line - Navy Yard

Manager of the Year:

  • Gian Mario Cabiddu, Alta Strada, DC
  • Sylvain Frances, Et Voila Restaurant
  • Rob Heim, Shaw’s Tavern
  • Atul Narain, Rasika and Rasika West End
  • Laure Tartar, Bresca

Service Program of the Year:

  • Chloe
  • Iron Gate
  • Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
  • Rose’s Luxury
  • Tail Up Goat

Casual Restaurant of the Year:

  • Baan Siam
  • La Famosa
  • Makan
  • Ruthie’s All Day
  • The Roost

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year:

  • Albi
  • Anju
  • Nama
  • Rooster and Owl
  • Shilling Canning Company

Pastry Chef of the Year:

  • Rochelle Cooper, The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells
  • Tammy Saunders, Minibar
  • Katherine Thompson, Thompson Italian
  • Alicia Wang, No Goodbyes
  • Aude Buisine, Un Je Ne Sai Quoi

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year:

  • Cranes
  • Jônt
  • Rasika West End
  • 1789 Restaurant
  • Xiquet by Danny Lledó

Restaurateur of the Year:

  • Michael Babin, Neighborhood Restaurant Group
  • Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group
  • Mark Bucher, Medium Rare
  • Andrew Dana and Daniela Moreira, Call Your Mother, Timber Pizza, Turu’s Pizza, Mercy Me
  • Scott Drewno, Danny Lee, The Fried Rice Collective

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year:

  • Congressional Seafood Co.
  • CPA Eats
  • Ecolab
  • MarginEdge
  • Saval Foodservice