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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 06/18/2007

Silver Diners

By Erin

Last night, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington hosted the 25th annual RAMMY awards in a silver-studded event that paid tribute to some of the area's best dining experiences. The awards yielded few surprises, though the awards selected by the public always spark interesting debates. Mayor Adrian Fenty was among the presenters of awards, which included where to spend, where to splurge on dessert and where to catch a future superstar.

Nathan Beauchamp of 1789 was awarded Rising Culinary Star of the Year. Beauchamp has quickly put his own stamp on the venerable 1789, demonstrating great skill with his meat and fish, all bolstered by seasonal flourishes. Check out my blog post for how to savor his talents for a bargain price.

With casual American fare and a comfortable and homey dining room, Arlington's Tallula was named Informal Restaurant of the Year.

Hot spot Rasika won Best New Restaurant of the Year on the strength of its cutting-edge Indian fare that has garnered much-deserved acclaim since its debut. In a very competitive year, it beat out Blue Duck Tavern, PS 7's, BLT Steak and Farrah Olivia for the honor.

For Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, Eric Ziebold's sublime CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental took home the honor. CityZen, which has dazzled me with everything from its simple Parker House rolls to the intricate carpaccio amuse bouches, beat out 1789, Komi, Restaurant Eve and Vidalia.

For sweet treats, Tabard Inn's longtime pastry wizard Huw Griffith's nabbed Pastry Chef of the Year. Incorporating seasonal fruits into cobblers, pudding cakes and ice creams, Griffith's sweets have been a high water mark at the Inn for quite some time.

With three restaurants in his Alexandria empire, super-chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve won Chef of the Year. One of my favorite talents, I was thrilled to see Armstrong pick up the award. It seemed a fine Father's Day tribute to a man who named his first two restaurants after his children. Restaurant Eve's Todd Thrasher also picked up an award for Wine and Beverage Program of the Year.

In the publicly-chosen categories, Sonoma is the Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year, Zaytinya was voted Hottest Bar Scene of the Year, Georgia Brown's is the Power Spot of the Year and Lebanese Taverna is the people's favorite.

Is Georgia Brown's your go-to spot for a power lunch? Was Rasika your favorite new restaurant of 2006? Which of your favorites made the cut and who was left off the list?

--Erin

By Erin  | June 18, 2007; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Comments

How can a chain restaurant be considered for People's Favorite? If it's an emailed vote, all that means is they had most/all of their employees from their 8 locations vote online. I don't think this was an accurate reflection of Washington's favorite restaurant.

Posted by: People's Favorite | June 19, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

How can a chain restaurant be considered for People's Favorite? If it's an emailed vote, all that means is they had most/all of their employees from their 8 locations vote online. I don't think this was an accurate reflection of Washington's favorite restaurant.

Posted by: People's Favorite | June 19, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

How can a chain restaurant be considered for People's Favorite? If it's an emailed vote, all that means is they had most/all of their employees from their 8 locations vote online. I don't think this was an accurate reflection of Washington's favorite restaurant.

Posted by: People's Favorite | June 19, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

How can a chain restaurant be considered for People's Favorite? If it's an emailed vote, all that means is they had most/all of their employees from their 8 locations vote online. I don't think this was an accurate reflection of Washington's favorite restaurant.

Posted by: DC Paradox | June 19, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

How can a chain restaurant be considered for People's Favorite? If it's an emailed vote, all that means is they had most/all of their employees from their 8 locations vote online. I don't think this was an accurate reflection of Washington's favorite restaurant.

Posted by: DC Paradox | June 19, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

How can a chain restaurant be considered for People's Favorite? If it's an emailed vote, all that means is they had most/all of their employees from their 8 locations vote online. I don't think this was an accurate reflection of Washington's favorite restaurant.

Posted by: DC Paradox | June 19, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

How can a chain restaurant be considered for People's Favorite? If it's an emailed vote, all that means is they had most/all of their employees from their 8 locations vote online. I don't think this was an accurate reflection of Washington's favorite restaurant.

Posted by: DC Paradox | June 19, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I fully support sonoma as neighborhood spot of the year. There is nothing better than their sunday night half-priced wine bottles, sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful sights of capitol hill. such delicious food too.

Posted by: s_mar | June 21, 2007 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I am baffled by the buzz about Rasika. I live in the neighborhood and cannot understand why people will pay %35 for an entree the size of an appetizer. Some items are tasty but it so not worth what they charge.

Posted by: LivinginPennQuarter | June 21, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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