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Posted at 03:31 PM ET, 06/25/2012

Rammys roundup: Rasika, Fiola and Bourbon Steak among top winners at annual awards gala


The “life-affirming grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup,” as Tom Sietsema called it, is one of the reasons Fiola won the Best New Restaurant prize at the 2012 Rammy Awards. (Astrid Riecken - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

The winners of the 2012 Rammy Awards were announced last night at the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s annual gala. There were plenty of familiar names among the victors in the food and beverage categories, which we rounded up with commentary from Post food critic Tom Sietsema’s most recent review of the establishment:

Chef of the Year: Vikram Sunderam, Rasika

“No other Indian restaurant of my acquaintance surpasses the range and the richness offered by lead chef Vikram Sunderam.”

Best New Restaurant: Fiola

“You can order a life-affirming grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup at lunch, and a clutch of spaghetti bejeweled with Santa Barbara-fresh sea urchin and gorgeous prawns at dinner. It took him some time, but chef Fabio Trabocchi has figured out what, and how, his audience wants to eat at his eagerly awaited restaurant.”

Fine Dining Restaurant: Bourbon Steak

“The name primes patrons for the expected, and I’m fond of the kitchen’s thick, dry-aged rib-eye ... But Bourbon Steak’s sophisticated cocktails and people-watching opportunities (Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry is a semi-regular, and Tom Hanks has dropped by) heighten the experience.” [Note: A previous version of this post referred to Bourbon Steak chef David Varley, who was replaced by Adam Sobel in 2011]

Upscale Casual Restaurant: BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant

“One of the area’s best sources for retail seafood flows into a bar and dining room that aren’t much to look at but definitely deliver. Fried clams, pure and simple, whisk you to the shore; grilled branzino is delivered whole.”

Casual Restaurant: Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe

“Located on the ground floor of the National Museum of the American Indian, this nod to the culinary traditions of Indians from around the Americas is both a tasty and an eye-catching place to eat on the Mall.”

Rising Culinary Star: Ed Witt, 701 Restaurant

“I’m happy to welcome Witt’s wit on the plate: his ham and cheese ravioli, for example. He rolls out the pasta, which incorporates a little whole-wheat flour, stuffs the pockets with cheddar cheese, spoons a delicate mustard sauce over them and tops off the dish with crisp sails of baked prosciutto and fresh basil. Each packet is like a tiny grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich as conceived by an Italian maestro.”

Pastry Chef: Fabrice Bendano, Adour

“While a diner might expect to see a souffle on a high-end French menu, pastry chef Fabrice Bendano’s contribution is first-rate and fun: a towering cloud of sugar, eggs and hazelnuts that comes with a side of orange sorbet and granite.”

Wine Program: Cork Wine Bar

“You have to appreciate a watering hole where you can always find at least 50 wines by the glass and where the server knows your preference for Lucian Crochet Sancerre rose months after you last admired it here.”

Beverage/Mixology Program: Estadio

“The white sangria is lovely, but unless you drink it quickly, its ice dilutes the pleasure. Tequila, grapefruit juice and a splash of fizzy cava, garnished with a sprig of rosemary, lends itself to more leisurely sipping. As for the boozy, crushed-ice ‘Slushitos,’ they’re amusing a few slurps in, but you probably won’t want to make a night of them.”

Check out the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s web site for a full list of winners.

By  |  03:31 PM ET, 06/25/2012

Categories:  Restaurants

 
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