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RAMW Announces 2019 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award Recipients

April 25, 2019

Six iconic DC dining destinations recognized for decades in business

Washington, DC (April 25, 2019) — Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) today announced its 2019 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award Recipients, each acknowledged for decades delighting local diners and visitors alike. The Bombay Clubi RicchiMoby Dick House of KabobSilver Diner, and Taberna del Alabardero will receive the award for 30 years of serving the metropolitan area while Lebanese Taverna will be recognized for 40 years in business across the region. Commemorating longstanding local restaurants and RAMW members who have been in business for more than 25 years, the Honorary Milestone Award is bestowed upon the Washington region’s most celebrated dining institutions and each will be formally dedicated at the 2019 RAMMY Awards Galaon Sunday, June 30, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Honorees will also be invited to participate in a panel discussing the region’s evolving restaurant industry in early June.

“In this constantly changing industry that has witnessed and been part of such notable growth over the past decade, it speaks volumes to have so many restaurateurs of this caliber celebrating such significant anniversaries,” said Kathy E. Hollinger, President and CEO of RAMW. “These operators are true pioneers who paved the way for so many other restaurateurs in the Metropolitan region.”

With four of the six honorees located in the dynamic Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID), the Golden Triangle is especially delighted to be the 2019 Presenting Sponsor of the RAMMYS Milestone Award. “We are so proud to have The Bombay Club, i Ricchi, Taberna del Alabardero, and Moby Dick House of Kabob in our neighborhood,” said Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the BID. “These establishments are trailblazers and are the foundation of DC’s incredible dining scene as well as the new community of critically-acclaimed restaurants in the Golden Triangle and throughout the metro area.”

Ashok Bajaj brought gourmet Indian cuisine to DC in 1989 when he first opened The Bombay Club and founded Knightsbridge Restaurant Group. Since opening 10 more restaurants, the Knightsbridge portfolio concepts have received multiple RAMMY Awards and have been consistently nominated for prestigious awards by the James Beard Foundation including Best Chef Mid-Atlantic, Rising Star Chef, Outstanding Restaurant and Restaurateur of the Year. Ashok Bajaj was also awarded the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award by RAMW in 2017. Bajaj visits each restaurant daily to ensure his high standards are met, and his restaurants are a favorite of high-powered professionals in the city.

In 1989, renowned chef Christianne Ricchi opened i Ricchi, one of the first Tuscan restaurants in the United States. Ricchi, a former director of the National Restaurant Association, quickly became an ambassador for the restaurant industry winning awards such as the “Piero Bargellini Award of Excellence,” given by the city of Florence for revitalization and advancement of Italian culture in the United States, among others. She continues to serve authentic Tuscan cuisine as a foundation of Golden Triangle’s vibrant dining scene.

Since opening the first restaurant in 1989, Mike Daryoush and Moby Dick House of Kabob continue to realize its purpose by never cutting corners when it comes to the quality of food, how it’s prepared and served to guests. Daryoush takes pride in using traditional Persian cooking techniques with a Mediterranean flair and the highest-quality ingredients to make delicious, fresh food in a fast-casual environment. Moby Dick House of Kabob has grown to 24 locations across the region, managing to maintain a refined execution and success. Most recently, Moby Dick won Favorite Fast Bites at the 2018 RAMMY Awards.

Silver Diner first opened its doors in 1989 and founders Bob Giaimo and Chef Ype von Hengst have been committed to delicious diner food ever since. Dedicated to elevating typical diner fare and sourcing from local farmers, Silver Diner offers an array of healthy options for the entire family. Silver Diner now has 15 locations across the region, and its owners were named 2018 RAMMYS Restaurateur of the Year Finalists.

Taberna Del Alabardero first opened its doors in Spain in 1974 and is named for the royal guards outside of the Royal Palace of Madrid. Taberna Del Alabardero brought traditional Spanish gastronomy and wines to the nation’s capital in 1989 and has been a mainstay for beautifully refined Spanish dining and hospitality ever since in one of the most unforgettable dining rooms in the city. Traditional flavors of classic tapas and paellas are the focus while the chefs create new dishes elevating Mediterranean products in an innovative way.

In 1976, Tanios Abi-Najm and Marie Abi-Najm, along with their five young children, escaped the civil war in Lebanon on a cargo ship. In 1979, they opened the first Lebanese Taverna with the money they had saved from working in other restaurants. They kept the original sign from the purchased restaurant, but changed just one word, and thus the “Lebanese Taverna” legacy was born. Their five children now run the restaurant they grew up in, each covering a different specialty within the business that expanded to 12 locations over the past 40 years.

The Bombay Club, i Ricchi, Moby Dick House of Kabob, Silver Diner, Taberna del Alabardero, and Lebanese Taverna, are just several of many restaurants recognized annually at the RAMMY Awards, an anticipated awards ceremony hosted by RAMW every summer in Washington. The Milestone Award was first awarded in 2008 to Ben’s Chili Bowl and other past honorees include Billy Martin’s Tavern,The Monocle on Capitol HillTune InnClyde’s of GeorgetownOccidental Grill & Seafood, and Tony and Joe’s. All RAMMYS finalists and honorees will receive formal awards during the RAMMY Awards on June 30. For more information regarding the awards and sponsorship opportunities, email or call 202-331-5990.

Presented by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), The RAMMY Awards Gala honors the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and organizations of the region’s restaurants and foodservice community. Named the #1 Food & Restaurant event by BIZBASH Magazine since 2009, The RAMMYS celebrate one of Metropolitan Washington’s greatest assets: Its restaurants.

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)
The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Established in 1920, RAMW is an advocate, resource and community for its members. The Association works to promote and sustain the growth and development of the industry while providing its members legislative and regulatory representation, marketing and small business support, programming and events. RAMW strives to serve its members with professionalism and integrity, and provide them the training, education and support they need to grow a successful business.