Top industry professionals gathered tonight at The Hamilton Live at The Hamilton as Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced finalists for the 2019 RAMMY Awards, the winners of which will be announced at a black-tie gala on Sunday, June 30.

Any RAMW member who met all category requirements was eligible for nomination. The selection process for the finalists, and ultimately the winners, involves two esteemed groups, the voting public and an anonymous panel of volunteer judges, consisting of food and dining journalists, educators and foodservice industry professionals. The voting public will decide the winners in four categories: Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, Upscale Brunch of the Year, Casual Brunch of the Year and Favorite Fast Bites of the Year. Votes for these categories can be cast online at through Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at 5:00 pm.

RAMW honors two additional members with the Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year, presented to an Allied member who best exemplifies the commitment to and support of RAMW, and the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award, given for dedication and leadership that has helped transform Washington’s restaurant scene into today’s vibrant restaurant industry. These awards are determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee. The Duke Zeibert Award recipient is announced each year in April.

New in 2019, the awards program amended its awards policies and procedures which guide judging criteria in each category, kicking off programs and promotions celebrating the region’s outstanding restaurants and the people who power them. The Awards categories, eligibility, judging criteria, and Awards Governance and Procedures can be found at

The finalists for the 2019 RAMMY Awards are:

Service Program of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in service across the restaurant – from the reservation process to the host station, to every element of the dining experience. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2018.

  • Ambar – Clarendon
  • Carlyle Grand Cafe
  • Iron Gate
  • Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, & Stone Crab
  • The Riggsby