BTMMY Award Winners

We’re pleased to present the winners of the first ever BTMMY awards. Not to get foodie sentimental, but this has been such a fun year of openings, trends, expansions and events. We’re really lucky to be District diners. Thanks to everyone who voted for their favorite restaurants, bars, chefs, etc.

Now, for the winners:

BTMMY Best Restaurant

Best Restaurant— Rasika

It seems we are curry craving, truffle nan hoarding, palak chaat junkies that can’t get enough of upscale Indian with a twist courtesy of Ashok Bajaj’s culinary empire. Congrats to Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam and his team for churning our consistent, flavorful food that has found a home in the hearts of DC foodies.

Here’s what to get when you go.

BTMMY New Restaurant

Best New Restaurant— Roses Luxury

DC can’t get enough of this Barracks Row newcomer that doesn’t take itself too seriously—between bold instructions on the menu to uncommon food combinations like strawberry pasta—it’s a blast. But, make it a Monday/Tuesday kind of thing because with all the accolades pouring in, and a no reservation policy, it’s bound to be packed. Order the octopus and the brisket. Better yet, bring a group of four and see if you can conquer the whole menu.

BTMMY Best Chef

Chef that is Absolutely Crushing it—Bart Vandaele

Yes, DC is a sucker for celebrity chefs. But we’re willing to bank on Bart Vandaele gaining your votes for other reasons—like his pulled pork stuffed cornbread waffle topped with avocado and a fried egg at B TOO or his Hoegaarden mussels at Belga Cafe. Fun fact, B TOO now does breakfast, just dodge the morning construction taking place out front.

Here’s what to get when you go B TOO.

BTMMY Cocktails

Best Cocktails—The Passenger/Columbia Room

Derek Brown is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to what’s in his shaker. From unique creations to a knack for personalizing cocktails with a guest’s preferences in mind, he continues to come out on top of the imbibing scene. His bar bartending team at The Passenger/Columbia Room is top notch. Make a reservation for the cocktail tasting menu so you can check an item off your DC imbibing bucket list.

BTMMY Beer Garden

Beer Garden— Biergarten Haus

H Street wins out in this category. Biergarten Haus decidedly came in as the beer garden you spent your summer at. And, it doesn’t have to end. The patio is open all year long, thanks to some sturdy heaters. So make your way through some Paulaner, Hofbräu, Franziskaner and other favorites.

BTMMY Sandwich

Hangover Curing Sandwich—Taylor Gourmet

Want to reverse the damages from last night and set yourself up for a great ‘lil Sunday? Start your day with a breakfast hoagie, or just about any hoagie, from Taylor Gourmet. There’s just something special about a sloppy, saucy sandwich with Philly roots that gives you back the spring in your step.

Here’s what to get when you go.

And finally, special congratulations to Julia H. for winning the random drawing for the $200 gift card to Jose Andres restaurants. Next year we’ll be back with bigger and better prizes. Thanks again to everyone who voted.

Graphic design by Curtis Rogers. 

Out of Town Edition: Sbraga (Philly)

Spraga's Brisket

We’re happy to bring you yet another Amtrak-trip worthy restaurant. Hop on the next train to Philly to try creative American fare at Sbraga. But make a reservation first because they just won Restaurant of the Year in the city of brotherly love.

The cuisine at Sbraga is a lot like melting-pot America. Chef Kevin Sbraga pulls from Africa with his piri piri sauce; Thailand with the unexpected herbs in his foie gras soup; the Middle East with his falafel, Japan with his miso ramen and Italy with his lamb rigatoni.

But for those looking for straight up ‘Merican, he also has meatloaf and The Best Thing on the Menu: Brisket with Choucroute, Pastrami Jus and Pickles. This three-bite brisket is memorable because of its salty, sour and creamy flavor profile. 

Spraga's Foie Gras Soup

You might remember the man behind this delectable foie gras soup – Chef Kevin Sbraga – as the most likable person to ever win Top Chef. But I remember him from when we both worked at a restaurant on the Main Line under Chef Georges Perrier. He was very likable back then too, generously sneaking me snacks from the kitchen. Remembering his awesome dishes from Top Chef and his winning personality at George’s, I had very high hopes for his namesake restaurant and those hopes were met and exceeded.

Spraga's Wagyu Carpaccio

The menu, including this melt-in-your-mouth wagyu carpaccio is made simple: Diners make their draft picks for four courses. The damage? An incredibly reasonable $49, with opportunities to supplement with delicacies here and there. By DC standards, this is a steal. Even with the price of your round-trip Amtrak train to Philly!

Spraga's Key Lime Dessert

Finish the evening with desserts that range from classy to kindergarten. We tried this refined take on key lime pie in addition to the dirt pudding, complete with homemade gummy worms. Here’s hoping Chef Sbraga makes his way to DC to open another cool spot.

Brisket not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section. Click here for more photos.

If you liked this, you might also like Zahav, B TOO or Kapnos.

Taylor Gourmet: Cottman Avenue

Taylor Gourmet Cottman Ave

When you enter a Taylor Gourmet you’re likely to be overwhelmed by the many streets of Philadelphia to choose from – 31 to be exact. Some favorites include Federal Street with layer upon layer of cold cuts; Pattison Ave stuffed with roasted pork and broccoli rabe; or the Callowhill with meatballs and marinara.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Cottman Avenue is in another league. It tastes like an afternoon spent gathering ingredients at the Italian Market in South Philly. Pepperoni, roasted red peppers, basil and fresh mozzarella top a fried and breaded chicken cutlet with just the right amount of girth.

We imagine you’ve tried Taylor Gourmet, maybe you’ve ever tried the Best Thing on the Menu. But, have you tried all the different ways to Taylor? BTM presents Teach Me How to Taylor – like Teach Me How to Dougie – but more delicious:

Football Sunday Taylor – Whether it’s a 1:00, 4:25 or 8:25 kick-off, Taylor Gourmet is your best friend on Sundays. Invite your friends and order a couple of larges. They’ll deliver them hot and ready to your house.

Late Night No Inhibitions Taylor – The 14th Street and H Street locations are open until 3:30 a.m. Come when the bars close, order, take a picture of your food and look at the picture in the morning to see what you threw down. You may surprise yourself with photos of fistfuls of risotto balls.

The Morning After Taylor – Breakfast hoagies are back. Good morning Filbert Street – bacon, hot capicola, eggs and American cheese!

Turn that Frown Upside Down Taylor – Have you taken Twitter to air your misgivings about sandwiches no longer on the menu? Consider it an opportunity to actually try something new OR move their current menu items around like a Rubik’s Cube to create your old standby.

I Just Finished a Marathon Taylor – For these rare occasions, the Philly Landfill is your must-order menu item: Genoa salami, roast pork, peppered ham, roasted red peppers and sharp provolone.

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There’s one more we’re waiting to try this December:

It’s My Birthday Taylor – This is when you beg the guys behind the counter to make you their best risotto balls because you plan to stick birthday candles in them in lieu of a cake. It also means you’re turning five…

However you Taylor, we’re super grateful to the sandwich bromance of David Mazza and Casey Patten for bringing a bite of Philly to the District.

Cottman Avenue not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.