The Dish: RAMMY Time

by Catherine Trifiletti

Photos by Tony Brown

As Washington’s restaurant scene threatens to burst at the seams, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMY awards (July 30 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center) has staked its claim as the premiere local standard. Industry folks descend on the annual event to support their establishments and peers looking to snag one of the 20 coveted accolades. Outlined below are this year’s nominees for best new restaurant and best cocktail program. Win or lose, these 10 standout drinks and dishes have the promise to keep Washingtonians satisfied all summer long.


Iron Gate | 1734 N St NW

Rako Tiki Melo ($14) – Siembra Metl mezcal, passion fruit puree, Lindera farms vinegar and Rakomelo. 

Spirits manager Nick Farrell capitalizes on his well-established and trusting customer base to experiment with off-beat ingredients.

Indique | 3512 Connecticut Ave NW

Rickshaw Ride ($13)- Amrut single malt whisky, Dolin sweet and averna.

Classic cocktails reinvented with traditional Indian flavors. “Our mission is to educate people about the diversity of India,” says co-owner Surfy Rahman.

Barmini |501 9th St NW

Floral Cloud ($20) – Gin, lemon, creme de violette, maraschino and hibiscus cloud.

Divine Wind ($18)- Lavender infused Shochu, orange liqueur, butterfly pea, lime and citrus singani.

The Royal | 501 Florida Ave NW

RHCP (Red Hot Chili Passion) ($13)- Peychaud’s Apertivo, white rum, coconut lime oleo saccharum, passion fruit and firewater tincture

The diverse Latin American- influenced cocktail menu, crafted by bar manager Drew Larsen, also includes drinks on tap, like housemade vermouth and rock candy infused rye.

Kapnos | 2201 14th St NW

Flower Power Sour ($14)- Lavender bitters, lavender cordial, fresh lime and egg white

Bar director Taha Ismail is pushing boundaries at Mike Isabella’s Greek concept with unexpected drink combinations from a menu he adjusts every other month.


All Purpose | 1250 9th St NW

Buona- ($18) Tomato, pepperoni, mozzarella, chili honey. basil and grana

New Jersey native Mike Friedman returns to his Italian-American roots with updated classics, including chewy and thick-crusted pies.

Requin | 8296 Glass Alley #110, Fairfax, Va.

Spanish Octopus- ($18) Summer vegetable cous cous salad, tahini and feta

In constant pursuit of balance, Jen Carroll achieves French Mediterranean-inspired great- ness at her eatery bound for the Wharf this fall.

Whaley’s | 301 Water St SE #115

Seafood Tower- ($65) Sustainable assortment of seafood

Hazel | 808 V St NW

Kanpachi Crudo- ($16) Hawaiian Kanpachi with grapefruit ponzu, avocado mousse and watermelon radish with grapefruit segments, black lime and puffed amaranth

Whether it’s his grandma’s zucchini bread or influence from his wife’s Korean roots, Rob Rubba’s cuisine is eclectic and exciting at every turn.

Kobo | 5455 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase, Md.

A Message to the Fauna- A5 wagyu beef, hokkaido sea urchin, black truffle and wasabi leaf

Brothers Piter and Handry Tjan bring an intimate and spectacular omakase 12 course tasting experience to diners at the 8 seat counter in Chevy Chase’s Sushiko.

This article appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Washington Life Magazine.


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