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 Red Hen: Burrata

Red Hen Burrata

There are hundreds of reasons to get yourself down Rhode Island Ave. to The Red Hen. This charming, edgy and entertaining spot has helped put Bloomingdale on the map.

We’ll stick with just a few reasons though, starting with The Best Thing on the Menu: Burrata with Broccolini Marinati, Pickled Red Chiles, Mint & Vin Cotto. Burrata, Buffalo mozzarella’s brother from another mother, is super soft and oozes cream when pierced with a knife. Instead of going the tomato/basil route, Chef Mike Friedman surprises diners with bitter broccolini and peppers that manage to be sweet, sour and spicy. You’ve been warned; once you go burrata you never go back.

There’s also something special to drink at The Red Hen. We’re willing to bet our burrata that you haven’t tried orange wine. Whether it’s a trend or just a fad remains to be seen, but it sure is luscious. There are eight different orange wines to choose from at the restaurant, hailing from Slovenia, Croatia and Italy. The taste will take your breath away. Did someone fortify your wine with Scotch? Is there actually a full bouquet of flowers from UrbanStems in there? No, in fact, orange wine is simply made by producing white wine more like red wine, where the stems, skins, seeds, etc. have a longer maceration period.

Red Hen Rabbit Sugo

Pair your first glass of orange wine with The Best Pasta on the Menu: Saffron Fettuccine with Rabbit Sugo, Cinnamon, Grilled Kale & Mustard Breadcrumbs. Let’s all admit that rabbit is the new duck. And, according to the Twittersphere, duck is the new pork belly. Rabbit, though totes adorbs in the flesh, is elegant and perfect for pasta. This brilliant bowl is a bit autumnal, so we hope to eat it come October (Read: Please keep on the menu!).

Red Hen Octopus

One last can’t miss dish is the Grilled Octopus with Shelling Beans, Frisee, Crispy Capers & Romesco Sauce. The octopus is flame kissed and super smoky and Romesco is the best sauce, it just is.

Though an appetizer, the octopus dish is the perfect size. We have a special appreciation for The Red Hen because it bridges the divide between small plate lovers and big plate purists by offering medium-size plates that can in fact be split among friends without feelings getting hurt. Click here for more photos of the meal.

Burrata not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.