D.C.'s restaurant industry celebrated itself Sunday night at the Rammy Awards, a gala for local restaurateurs and their achievements. More than 1,600 people filed into the Marriott Wardman Park, many decked out in garden attire for the evening's "Restaurants in Bloom" theme, to see who would take home the night's top prizes. Scroll down to see the Rammy winners, but if we were handing out awards for last night, here's who would have won:
Best reference to an unsavory profession in an acceptance speech: "I remember when there were hookers on the corner ... we've weathered through." -- Bar Pilar manager Jonathan Fain on the character of 14th Street NW when the restaurant opened more than eight years ago.
Second-best reference to unsavory profession in an acceptance speech: "14th Street has changed dramatically," said Bar Pilar owner Mike Benson, remembering when the restaurant was under construction. "We had pimps coming in, 'What's going on here?' We're building a restaurant. 'For who?' "
Best one-liner about a D.C. politician: "He's like a soda machine, he takes cash easily." -- Presenter Tom Sherwood of NBC4 on former D.C. Council member Michael Brown.
Most genuine acceptance speech: "People wonder whether Chinatown will lose its character. Please do not worry. We have to move on just like everybody else." -- Linda Lee, an advocate for businesses in Chinatown, who received the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award.
2013 Rammy Award winners:
(Note: To be eligible for a Rammy Award, a restaurant must be a member of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, which explains why critical darlings like Little Serow were not among the nominees or winners.)
FINE DINING RESTAURANT: Blue Duck Tavern
UPSCALE CASUAL RESTAURANT: Estadio
NEW RESTAURANT: Mintwood Place
CASUAL RESTAURANT: C.F. Folks Restaurant
CHEF: Fabio Trabocchi -- Fiola
RESTAURATEUR: Ashok Bajaj -- Knightsbridge Restaurant Group
PASTRY CHEF: Beverly Bates -- Vidalia
RISING CULINARY STAR: Scot Harlan -- Green Pig Bistro
RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE: Luis Noriega -- Zengo
WINE PROGRAM: Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier
BEVERAGE/MIXOLOGY PROGRAM: Room 11
JOAN HISAOKA ASSOCIATE MEMBER: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (not coincidentally, this is where the awards ceremony was held)
DUKE ZEIBERT CAPITAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Linda Lee
HONORARY MILESTONE: Clyde's of Georgetown
NEIGHBORHOOD GATHERING PLACE: Nellie's Sports Bar
HOTTEST RESTAURANT BAR SCENE: Bar Pilar
POWER SPOT: P.J. Clarke's