Thursday, June 27, 2019

Event: The Rammy Awards Gala is this Weekend!

The DC food event of the year is this Sunday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. This is my absolute favorite day of the year – celebrating the best restaurants in the District with the biggest foodies in town. So many hard working individuals and organizations are up for awards this year in over twenty different categories. 

A few of my favorite categories this year include: Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, Cocktail Program of the Year, and Favorite Fast Bites of the Year. Who am I rooting for in each of these categories?! 

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: 

This nominee is a restaurant rooted in its neighborhood where guests come to eat, drink, and get together with friends repeatedly. The great atmosphere and good vibes are as important as the food and drink. The nominee must have been open for at least 2 years prior to December 31, 2018. 

· Duke’s Counter 
· Open Road 
· Perry’s 
· Quarry House Tavern 
· Vinoteca 

I am really hoping Perry’s wins this award this year! I have so many memories at Perry’s. Eating a full omakase dinner with my mom after work on the rooftop, brunching with my girls at their notorious #SundayDragBrunch, grabbing happy hour here before heading to a Capital Laughs show, ordering sushi a la carte with my boyfriend, looking out at Admo from the roof on a perfect summer night. I have always enjoyed Perry’s and love the vibe and food they serve me time and time again. They deserve this award! Have you been to Perry’s before? If not, check it out make reservations here today! 

Cocktail Program of the Year: 

The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its craft cocktail program, evaluated separately from its beer, wine or other beverages. Nominees may be bars, restaurants, or any foodservice establishment with an exemplary cocktail program. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2018. 

· barmini by José Andrés 
· Bresca 
· Daikaya 
· Petworth Citizen and Reading Room 
· Royal 

To me, the nominee who should win this award is so obvious. Barmini by Jose Andres has the most incredible cocktails I have ever tried. Each cocktail is so detail-oriented, so beautiful, and so flavorful. 

The team at barmini never fails to impress me while still making me feel like a part of the family in their lovely cocktail lounge. Every time I step into their place – their home – I feel so special. Each item on the menu is like a present, and watching the team prepare the drinks right at the modern bar makes my eyes go wide every time – as if it’s the first time being there all over again. 

I’ve never met such dedicated, hard-working, inspiring people in the industry who are still so humble and friendly. Make reservations in advance to barmini here! 

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year: 

This nominee is a delicatessen, quick-serve restaurant, mobile food vendor, or coffee shop (with food menu) that demonstrates a dedication to good food and good service in a fast-casual environment. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2018. 

· Little Red Fox 
· Rasa 
· Shouk 
· Taco Bamba Taqueria 

All of these “fast bite” spots are delicious, but the Israeli street-food eatery, Shouk, has my heart. The idea behind the fast-casual Israeli chain was to create an interesting plant-based menu that could help minimize meat-intake. The menu offers eggplant burgers, polenta fries, and traditional Israeli-style falafels wrapped inside of a fresh pita, which can all be ordered with a side of harissa, Israeli ketchup, tahina, cashew labneh or almond feta. After eating at this spot, I was inspired to make my own Israeli-style Christmas dinner for my family, with homemade falafels, fresh schug and spicy harissa, a sweet healthy lemon date ball dessert, and other fresh market eats from the Middle East. Check out the DC fast-casual spot here.

Are you excited about any other categories or nominees? You can find the full list here. 

What are you wearing on Sunday? I got my dress from Rent the Runway – the fashion service that allows me to wear the most beautiful designer dresses for cheap! Last year I broke my budget by buying a $300 jumpsuit. This year, I am renting a high-end gown that cost $400 – for $50 bucks!! If you haven’t tried out this incredible service, go online to check it out or walk on over to their brick and mortar shop in Georgetown. 

We hope to see you there on Sunday!

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