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Delicious Deviltry at the RAMMYs

The well-dressed crew from Co Co. Sala accept their Rammy Sunday night. (Len DePas)

Dimitri Mallios poses with his Rammy at the Omni Shoreham Sunday. (Len DePas)

The RAMMYs: All the self-regard of the usual Washington industry-group banquet -- but with much better wine!

Early into Sunday's annual Restaurant Awards Gala, we were told that "restaurants are the center of our communities" -- though haven't we heard the same claim made for newspapers, public servants, etc., at other recent dinners? But let's just give it to the restaurant folks, because they throw a much wilder party: Big ice sculptures, a late-night dance floor, ladies with elaborate tattoos and strapless gowns.

Also: A spirit of conviviality that bordered on the rude, poor emcee Sue Palka of Fox 5 shouting above the din of chefs, sommeliers and maitre d's whooping it up on their night off in the Omni Shoreham ballroom.

Also: People who take "creative black tie" seriously. Dudes in kilts. Heartthrob chef Barton Seaver in a pale linen blazer and jeans, no tie. A pack of fellows in sparkly achkans who turned out, when they took the stage for the "hottest restaurant bar scene," to be the gang from Co Co. Sala. (Other prizes: Robert Wiedmaier of Marcel's and Brasserie Beck, chef of the year; Restaurant Eve, fine dining restaurant of the year. More in tomorrow's Food section.)

And who else but restaurant folks would give a lifetime achievement award to "the dean of Alcoholic Beverage Control attorneys in the District of Columbia," Dimitri Mallios. "He kept me out of jail!" said Paul Cohen of Capital Restaurant Concepts (J. Paul's, Georgia Brown's) in a video tribute.

The veteran attorney took the stage to accept his prize. Said Mallios: "I was told I only had a few minutes to talk, so here's my message -- if you want a liquor license, call Dimitri Mallios, 296-1000."

By The Reliable Source  |  June 9, 2009; 1:02 AM ET
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