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

The Partisan: Corned Beef Belly

Corned Beef Belly

The newest Neighborhood Restaurant Group debut, The Partisan, does things just differently enough to get noticed. The menu at the 100-seat restaurant departs from the typical appetizer, entrée, and dessert menu structure opting instead for a tiered clipboard divided by protein.

While most would tell you to skip straight to the page with pig dishes (including a full pig’s head), the Best Thing on the Menu is Corned Beef Belly with Braised Cabbage, Grated Pumpernickel and Pickled Mustard Seeds. The mustard seeds pop in a caviar sort of way and the meat is salty, smoky and tender. We can’t wrap our heads around what this would be like between two slices of rye with all the fixings of a Reuben.

Another top pick is from the charcuterie menu, which you fill out much like a form at a sushi counter. It’s Red Menace: A Calabrian spreadable sausage called ‘Nduja. During the day you can get it spread between two tigelles next door at Red Apron.

Malort Face

The beverage program at The Partisan is also worthy of some serious cheers and glass clinking. Three booze kings, including beer man Greg Engert, put their brains together to create a program most notable for what’s on tap. Draft beer is familiar, so what’s fresh is Jeff Faile’s decision to put four sprits on tap, including malört. I trust Jeff so whole-heartedly that I tried it. While I know I was supposed to make a face and compare malört to the likes of poison or prison time, it wasn’t that bad. It was like Fernet’s brutish cousin. Here are a few places to try it in D.C.

Furthermore, oenophiles can try one of Brent Kroll’s 25 wine drafts, or a rare wine offered by the glass thanks to new technology.

Click here for more photos from the meal.

Corned Beef Belly not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

You might also like The Arsenal or Birch & Barley.

Red Apron Butcher: Sunday Supper

Sunday Supper

People have been putting meat and cheese between bread ever since our favorite Earl, the Earl of Sandwich, couldn’t be bothered to leave his card game to knife and fork his way through a meal. That was on November 3, 1762. Fast-forward 252 years and by god have we (the world) perfected the sandwich concept.

Sandwich shops are popping up in DC as fast as condo buildings with ridiculous amenities. One of the newest to throw their bread into the ring is the Penn Quarter location of Red Apron Butcher located on D Street NW. This new address joins the Red Apron Butchers located in Union Market and Merrifield, VA.

However, you can only get The Best Thing on the Menu: Sunday Supper weekdays during lunch in Penn Quarter. In this messy, nap-inducing hoagie you’ll find pot roast, horseradish mashed potatoes, beet horseradish slaw and Duke’s. Leftovers should fill a sandwich more often (kind of like the Best Thing on the Menu at Capriotti’s)

Burger

Those that insist on the patty approach should try The Dino, a spicy cotechino pork burger topped with broccoli rabe, fontina and tomato aioli on a kaiser roll. It’s like a quick trip to the Italian market (pretend we have one of those).

Sunday Supper not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

You might also like Taylor Gourmet and Bub and Pop’s.