In the Washington, DC Metropolitan area restaurant industry, no single award holds the same esteem as the respected Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) ‘RAMMY’ awards. In August 2010, I was there for the monumental opening of Carmine’s DC, the New York outpost of the famous family-style restaurant on Tuesday, August 3rd and to interview Alicart restaurant group CEO, Jeffrey Bank. In less than one year, Carmine’s DC, the largest restaurant in Washington, DC with more than 20,000 square feet and 700 seats, has proven itself worthy of the attention (and palates) of DC’s elite. Last night it was announced that Carmine’s received a RAMMY nomination for Power Spot of the Year.
Bank said, “I’m Very proud of my DC staff. Opening a restaurant is always hard work- opening the largest restaurant in DC with 700 seats, 13 private party rooms, and with a VIP secret service entrance made it even more challenging, but my staff did an amazing job. We received a 2 star review in the Washington Post, great blog reviews and even a mention on the cover of the NY Times about the amazing amount of political fundraisers that go on at Carmines (13 in one day was our record). The city has been great, welcoming our reasonably priced, great value, high quality southern italian family style cuisine.” He adds, “So yes I feel like a proud dad.”
The Rammy for Power Spot of the Year according to the RAMW, “is a restaurant frequented by movers, shakers and decision makers. It best exemplifies “how the nation’s capital works.” The nominees for the 2011 Rammy Power Spot of the Year are the following:
- The Bombay Club, Washington, DC;
- Carmine’s, Washington, DC;
- Equinox, Washington, DC;
- The Palm, Washington, DC;
- The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Washington, DC
What sets apart Carmine’s from the other nominees? Carmine’s has been open less than one year. The other nominees have longstanding presence in the DC dining scene. The Palm, with two DC locations opened its first location in 1972. The Bombay Club, part of Ashok Bajaj’s empire has been serving up some of DC’s best Indian food for over 20 years. Also, nominated for three Rammy’s Todd and Ellen Gray’s Equinox has been a pillar in the community since 1999. Besides Carmine’s the newest kid on the block is Wolfgang Puck’s, The Source that opened in 2007.
So who will take home the title of Power Spot of the Year? You decide! The public will decide the winners in this category. The winners for Power Spot of the Year is determined entirely by the public vote tallies. Votes can be cast through a special ballot appearing in The Washington City Paper on April 28 or online at ramw.org.
The Rammy’s 2011 gala where one finalist will ultimately win the Power Spot award, will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on June 26th. In addition, Rammy awards will be granted to 16 categories of local culinary and beverage superstars. Good Luck to all of the nominees! I’ll see you there!