More than 1,400 of the metropolitan Washington's restaurant glitterati gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for the 27th Annual Restaurant Awards Gala, The RAMMYS. The "Oscars" of the restaurant community, The RAMMYS celebrate and honor the best restaurants, chefs, sommeliers, and hospitality employees of Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.
From a slate of finalists representing a wide range of styles, cuisines and neighborhoods, Robert Wiedmaier, chef/owner of Washington, D.C.'s Brasserie Beck and Marcel's, took home the 2009 Chef of the Year honors and Alexandria's Restaurant Eve, guided by the hand of chef/co-owner and 2007 Chef of the Year Winner Cathal Armstrong, emerged as 2009 Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year.
The sophisticated and creative Indian cuisine of Ashok Bajaj's Rasika got the nod for 2009 Upscale Casual Restaurant of Year and the oenophile's dream restaurant, Cork, won the 2009 New Restaurant of the Year Award.
The RAMMY Awards honor achievements and excellence in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., restaurant industry. Portions of the proceeds from The RAMMY Awards Gala support the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Education Foundation. A list of winners follows:
<sh>2009 RAMMY Honorees:
<lst>* Chef of the Year: Robert Wiedmaier - Marcel's/Brasserie Beck/Brabo Tasting Room & the Butcher's Block, Washington, D.C.
* Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year — Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Va.
* Upscale Casual: Rasika, Washington, D.C.
* Rising Culinary Star: Anthony Chittum - Vermilion, Alexandria, Va.
* Best New Restaurant: Cork, Washington, D.C.
* Power Spot of the Year: Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C.
* Neighborhood Gathering Place: The Liberty Tavern, Arlington Va.
* Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene: Co Co. Sala, Washington, D.C.
* Pastry Chef of the Year: Kate Jansen - Willow, Arlington Va.
* Associate Member: Belair Produce Inc./Watermark Foods
* Wine and Beverage Program: CityZen, Washington, D.C.
* Restaurant Employee of the Year: Juan Francisco Lopez - Marcel's/Brasserie Beck, Washington, D.C.
* Restaurant Manager of the Year: Ryland Johnson - Zola, Washington, D.C.
* Your Favorite Restaurant: (voted by online/newspaper ballot): Teatro Goldoni, Washington, D.C.
* Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award: Dimitri Mallios
* WHERE MAGAZINE Visitors' Choice Award: The Prime Rib
* 2009 RAMMY Honorary Award: Billy Martin's Tavern
* 2009 RAMMY Honorary Award: Frans Hagen