Fairfax County residents don’t have to cross the Potomac to taste some of the best cuisine that the D.C. area has to offer, as decreed by the 2023 RAMMY awards.
Announced at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. on Sunday (July 9), the annual honors from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) feted four restaurants with ties to the Fairfax area — including three in Merrifield’s Mosaic District.
Kirby Club owner Rose Previte was named Restaurateur of the Year by the association, which represents and advocates for the region’s food service industry.
Previte launched Kirby Club (2911 District Avenue) with co-founders Mike Schuster and Mayu Horie last December. Since then, the Mediterreanean restaurant has drawn praise for its atmosphere and flexible portions, landing a spot among the top newcomers in the Washington Post’s spring dining guide.
In addition to Kirby Club, Previte is a co-owner of D.C.’s Maydān, which also focuses on Mediterranean cuisine, and Compass Rose, which serves food from around the world. All three restaurants are part of No White Plates, a collective she co-founded that aims to showcase the culture and stories behind each meal.
“I’m still in shock about this incredible win,” Previte said. “It’s been nearly 10 years since I was working around the clock to open Compass Rose and as anyone in hospitality can tell you it takes a village to run a restaurant, let alone three. Opening Kirby Club was a new level of learning and every day I am grateful for the team that makes every day possible.”
This year’s RAMMY winners also include the fast-casual Indian chain RASA, which was chosen as the region’s Favorite Fast Bite in one of five categories determined by a public vote.
Started by two friends in D.C. who wanted to introduce the area to the diversity of flavors in Indian cuisine, Rasa opened its first Fairfax County location at the Mosaic District (2905 District Avenue, Suite 160) on July 30, 2022. Its menu includes salads and rice and noodle bowls, with chef-created and build-your-own options.
“We are absolutely humbled and thrilled to win the Favorite Fast Bites RAMMY this year,” Rasa co-founder Rahul Vinod said. “Our team works tirelessly day-in and day-out so it is amazing for them to be recognized by the community. We are excited to continue sharing our food and culture with more people!
In addition to the main awards, the RAMMYs bestowed honorary awards on several area restaurants that reached notable milestones, including Artie’s — which has been in Fairfax City for 45 years now — and Four Sisters.
For the latter, the recognition of its 30th anniversary was no doubt bittersweet. Started at Falls Church’s Eden Center in 1993, the family-run Vietnamese restaurant relocated to Merrifield in 2008, but it closed up shop at the Mosaic District in May.
Determined by the public or a panel of anonymous judges, depending on the specific category, the RAMMY awards are intended to celebrate the accomplishments of the D.C. area’s food service industry. Last year, the only winner with local ties was Annandale’s A&J Restaurant, which won the Best Brunch category.
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