rammy_sig_final2When the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington announces the winners of their RAMMYs on Sunday, June 7th, we’ll find out whether Art and Soul can beat Commonwealth, Cork, Adour and PassionFish for the title of New Restaurant of the Year.  We’ll see if Vikram Sunderam of Rasika has better luck with a jury of his peers than he did at the Beard Awards in New York.  And we’ll see another Rising Culinary Star of the Year crowned.

In addition to the nine categories that are decided by a panel of judges, though, there are four RAMMYs whose winners will be decided by popular vote.

And that’s where you come in.

Last year, we were more than a little disappointed to learn that the winner of the “Voters’ Choice Restaurant of the Year” award was the Monocle.  In fact, we suspected a concerted effort on the part of the Monocle and its Capitol Hill clientele to skew the results.  And we promised to let you know when the voting was open this year, so we could help avoid a repeat performance.

It’s time.

Voting opened on Sunday and runs through Saturday for Power Spot of the Year, Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene of the Year, Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year, and YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT.

For each of the first three categories, there are five nominees to choose from:

Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene
CoCo. Sala
The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Willow Creek Farm

One of these things is not like the other things…but the rest of this category’s nominees look pretty good from here.

Power Spot of the Year
BLT Steak
Central Michel Richard
Charlie Palmer
The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Teatro Goldoni

What does it say that only one of these nominees is anywhere near Capitol Hill?  If the nominees’ proximity to one another really played a part in Oceanaire’s win last year, this could bode well for Charlie Palmer.

Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year
Belga Cafe
Liberty Tavern

Apparently there are only four neighborhoods worth gathering in: Barracks Row, Logan Circle, U Street, and Clarendon.  Tough break for EatBar and Liberty Tavern, as they’re likely to draw from the same base of support.
As for YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT – who are we to tell you what you like?  But with so many great choices out there, it’s distinctly possible that the real all-stars could get beat out again.  Another thing to keep in mind: considering the fact that only RAMW members can win in the other categories, it’s distinctly possible that the same rule exists for this one.  So take a look at their membership list and choose wisely.

Once you’ve made up your mind, go to the RAMW site to cast your votes…do it now.  We’ll wait.

All set?  Great.  Thanks for doing your part to help ensure that the RAMMY winners reflect the true vibrancy of the Washington restaurant scene.  If you’re really ambitious, you could encourage others to vote, too…especially since it gives you a chance to recommend your choice for Favorite Restaurant.