The Best Thing on the Menu at RAMMY Finalist Restaurants

Photo credit: David Claypool

Representatives from New Restaurant of the Year finalists. Photo credit: David Claypool.

The finalists for the 2015 RAMMY awards are out. See who received nods advancing them as contenders to win a RAMMY on June 7. As a reminder, only members of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) are eligible, and some categories disqualify those who’ve won in the past five years. Click on the links to see the Best Thing on the Menu!

New Restaurant of the Year: 

·       Crane & Turtle 

·       Fiola Mare

·       The Partisan

·       Republic

·       TICO 

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year:

·       Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier

·       minibar by José Andrés

·       Rasika 

·       The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

·       Trummer’s on Main

Chef of the Year:

·       Victor Albisu – Del Campo

·       Nathan Anda and Ed Witt – The Partisan

·       Cedric Maupillier – Mintwood Place

·       Marjorie Meek-Bradley – Ripple, Roofers Union

·       Johnny Spero  – minibar by José Andrés

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year:

·       Bar Pilar

·       Cashion’s Eat Place

·       ChurchKey

·       Et Voila!

·       Evening Star Café

Upscale Casual Brunch: 

·       Birch & Barley

·       Kapnos – DC

·       Le Diplomate

·       The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

·       Seasons at The Four Seasons

Everyday Casual Brunch:

·       Beuchert’s Saloon

·       The Daily Dish

·       DGS Delicatessen

·       Duke’s Grocery

·       The Liberty Tavern

Favorite Fast Bites: 

·       Cava Grill – Bethesda Row

·       DCity Smokehouse

·       G by Mike Isabella

·       Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza – Friendship Heights

·       Red Apron Butcher – Union Market

Cocktail Program of the Year: 

·       2 Birds, 1 Stone

·       barmini by José Andrés

·       Bourbon Steak

·       Iron Gate

·       Trummer’s on Main

Beer Program of the Year:

·       The Arsenal at Bluejacket

·       Brasserie Beck

·       Granville Moore’s

·       Mad Fox Brewing Company

·       Pizzeria Paradiso – Georgetown

Wine Program of the Year: 

·       Charlie Palmer Steak

·       Fiola

·       Iron Gate

·       Proof

·       The Red Hen

Service Program of the Year: 

·       Bourbon Steak

·       Fiola

·       Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier

·       Rasika 

·       The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

Pastry Chef of the Year: 

·       Agnes Chin – The Grill Room, Capella Hotel

·       Naomi Gallego – Blue Duck Tavern

·       Kendra Grieco – Fiola

·       Michelle Poteaux – Bastille

·       Susan Wallace – BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: 

·       Austin Fausett – Trummer’s on Main

·       Tim Ma – Maple Ave Restaurant, Water & Wall

·       Harper McClure – BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier

·       George Pagonis – Kapnos DC

·       Danny Wells – Republic

Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year:

·       DGS Delicatessen

·       Granville Moore’s

·       Hank’s Oyster Bar – Capitol Hill

·       Hill Country Barbecue Market

·       Ted’s Bulletin – Capitol Hill

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year:

·       Birch & Barley

·       Maple Ave Restaurant

·       Mintwood Place

·       Proof

·       Vermilion

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: 

·       Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

·       DC Brau Brewing Company

·       Dolci Gelati

·       Early Mountain Vineyards

·       New Columbia Distillers

Restaurateur of the Year: 

·       José Andrés and Rob Wilder – ThinkFoodGroup

·       Mike Isabella – Mike Isabella Concepts

·       Fabio and Maria Trabocchi – Fiola, Casa Luca, Fiola Mare

·       Jeff Tunks, David Wizenberg, Gus DiMillo – Passion Food Hospitality

·       Robert Wiedmaier, Brian McBride, Frank Shull, and Joe Lively – RW Restaurant Group

Blue Duck Tavern: ‘Dem Bones

Blue Duck Tavern Bone Marrow

The menu at Blue Duck Tavern is a moving target. It changes with the seasons, or with the chef, but there’s one thing that we hope never goes away: ‘Dem bones. It’s as simple as that. We’re talking about The Best Thing on the Menu: Wood Oven-Roasted Bone Marrow with Horseradish Butter and a Parsley Crust.

Marrow is nature’s margarine (and far more spreadable than butter), so don’t miss out on the perfect bite at BDT. First, smear marrow on still-warm toast, then smash a roasted garlic clove on top before digging in. While you’re feeling guilty about calories (Anthony Bordain calls marrow God’s Butter), remember that it contains essential fatty acids and at least eight vitamins and minerals.

Blue Duck Tavern Dessert

Another stunner comes in dessert form. Pastry Chef Naomi Gallego is a wizard of epic proportions. Just look at this deconstructed Meyer Lemon Ice Box Cake consisting of Lemon Cremeux, graham cake, cream cheese blueberry pearls and Tasmanian pepper meringue.

It looks like an underwater ballet set in a coral reef. Sometimes when things get too artsy, they don’t taste as grand. But this sure does. Nothing says where the hell are you summer more than the pairing of blueberry and lemon.

Bone Marrow not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

The Best Things About #WestEndWednesdays

Westend Bistro Veal

There’s a new bar crawl in town and it has NOTHING to do with souvenir cups, beads, costumes or hooking up with strangers. Rather, you’ll drink exquisite wine paired with food from four standout restaurants in the West End. It goes by the hashtag #WestEndWednesdays and hopes to serve as the solution to a very specific problem: The dramatic explosion of 14th Street, Shaw and H Street coupled with the consistency of old standbys like Penn Quarter and Dupont Circle. These factors have bumped the West End section of our city outside the top five neighborhood dining destinations, and for no good reason.

#WestendWednesdays is a four-stop progressive dinner. April’s follows the path of hors d’oeuvres at Marcel’s followed by an appetizer at Ris, main course at Westend Bistro and dessert at Blue Duck Tavern. Each month the order rotates. Sorry for those who live and die by Blue Duck Tavern’s apple pie.


Standouts on the April menu include roasted veal loin with foie gras ravioli from Westend Bistro and a Portuguese seafood stew from Ris. If these sound appetizing, it’s a shame. April is sold out, and most #WestEndWednesday dishes are off-menu. But based on the expert preparation and creative wine pairings, May is promising too.

Tickets for May go on sale April 2nd at 10:00am and cost $100 before tax and gratuity. In order to retain an air of exclusivity, #WestEndWednesdays are capped at 12 diners. You’ll eat together at a communal table, so brush up on your schmoozing skills. Tickets for May will be available here: