Here are the 2014 Rammy Award finalists

A head-spinning number of new restaurants opened in 2013, and old favorites continued to serve us well. Which ones were the best? That's the question the Rammy Awards attempts to answer. Finalists for the 2014 Rammys, which will be held June 22, were announced Tuesday evening at the Hamilton.


(istock)

There are seven new categories up for grabs this year, including recognition for cocktail and beer programs, regional food producers, "fast bites" and separate categories for both "upscale casual" brunch and "everyday casual" brunch. The list contains a few surprises, too:  One can't help but hear Big Bird singing "One of These Things is Not Like the Others" when the beloved Tune Inn appears on the list for favorite gathering place of the year alongside Bar Pilar, Cashion's Eat Place, Hank's Oyster Bar and Bistrot du Coin

Only restaurants that are members of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington can be nominated, a caveat which results in several apparent omissions each year. Rose's Luxury, widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the city, is nowhere to be found among the nominees, because it's not a member of the RAMW. Derek Brown's Shaw watering holes are absent from the cocktail awards list for the same reason.

You might get a strong sense of deja vu reading the nominees in some categories. Three of the five nominees for chef of the year -- Haidar Karoum, Tarver King and Cedric Maupillier -- are repeats from last year. The same goes for restaurant group of the year, where Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong's Eat Good Food Group, Jose Andres and Rob Wilder's ThinkFoodGroup and Michael Babin's Neighborhood Restaurant Group all earned repeat nods.

Here's the list. Let us know who you think should win in the comments.

2014 Rammy Award Finalists

* indicates new category

FORMAL FINE DINING RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

Fiola
Marcel's
Minibar
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Trummer’s on Main

UPSCALE CASUAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

Et Voila!
Maple Avenue Restaurant
Oyamel
Proof
Ripple

EVERYDAY CASUAL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

Graffiato
Hank's Oyster Bar - Dupont
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Pizzeria Orso
Toki Underground

NEW RESTAURANT

Del Campo
Doi Moi
Le Diplomate
Table
The Red Hen

CHEF OF THE YEAR

Victor Albisu - Del Campo
Cathal Armstrong - Eat Good Food Group
Haidar Karoum  - Doi Moi, Estadio, Proof
Tarver King - The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Cedric Maupillier - Mintwood Place

RISING CULINARY STAR OF THE YEAR

Erik Bruner-Yang, Toki Underground
Michael Friedman, The Red Hen
Tim Ma, Maple Avenue /Water & Wall
Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Ripple
Johnny Spero, Minibar

PASTRY CHEF OF THE YEAR

Caitlin Dysart, 2941
Naomi Gallego, Blue Duck Tavern
Jason Gehring, Menu MBK
Santosh Tiptur, Co Co. Sala
Tom Wellings, Fiola

WINE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

2941
Estadio
Restaurant Eve
Ripple
The Curious Grape

*COCKTAIL PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

Black Jack
Bourbon Steak
Hank's Oyster Bar – Capitol Hill
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
The Gibson

*BEER PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

Birch and Barley/ChurchKey
Brasserie Beck
Granville Moore's
Lyon Hall
Mad Fox Brewing Company

*SERVICE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

BLT Steak
Blue Duck Tavern
Bombay Club
Marcel's
Rasika

RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR

Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong - Eat Good Food Group
José Andrés and Rob Wilder - ThinkFoodGroup
Michael Babin - Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Mark Kuller - Doi Moi, Estadio, Proof
Gus DiMillo, David Wizenberg, Jeff Tunks - Passion Food Hospitality

*REGIONAL FOOD AND BEVERAGE PRODUCER

Catoctin Creek Distilling Company
DC Brau Brewing Company
Port City Brewing Company
Rappahannock Oyster Co.
Red Apron Butchery

JOAN HISAOKA ALLIED MEMBER OF THE YEAR (chosen by RAMW Board)

Acme Paper and Supply Company
EagleBank
Profish Ltd.
Republic National Distributing Company
SYSCO Food Services of Baltimore

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

Eric "Soup" Campbell - The Hamilton
Molly Horn - Farmers Fisher Bakers
Sandra Sanchez - Acadiana
Stelios Alexandris - 1789
Pablo Lemus - Bourbon Steak

MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Boo Young Kim - District Commons
Jorge Figueredo - Jaleo DC
Kendra Graves - Farmers Fisher Bakers
Robert Hall - Newton's Table
Tyes Zolman - Pearl Dive Oyster Palace & Black Jack

Public-voting categories:

FAVORITE GATHERING PLACE OF THE YEAR

Bar Pilar
Cashion's Eat Place
Hank's Oyster Bar - Dupont
Bistrot du Coin
Tune Inn

*UPSCALE CASUAL BRUNCH OF THE YEAR

Art and Soul
Vermilion
Blue Duck Tavern
Mintwood Place
The Source

*EVERYDAY CASUAL BRUNCH OF THE YEAR

DGS Delicatessen
Et Voila!
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Pizzeria Orso
Ted's Bulletin - Barracks Row

*FAVORITE FAST BITES OF THE YEAR

Bayou Bakery
Buzz Bakery
Amsterdam Falafelshop
Red Apron Butchery
Woodward TakeOut Food

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.

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Tim Carman · March 18, 2014