Announcing the Rated ART Line-Up
Gala season is here, and we’re barely two weeks away from Rated ART! This year our spring fundraising event will highlight the role of risk-taking and inspiration in art making, by bringing you creative (and edible) combinations.
To help us do that, we’ve recruited some of your favorite restaurants, chefs, and mixologists to invent a drink and a dish inspired by the artwork of AAC’s Resident Artists. So here we are to reveal the Rated ART pairings and partners!
But before we get to that, how about a little dessert first…
We were so thrilled to hear that three of our Rated ART restaurant partners were named as finalists in this year’s RAMMYs, we just have to share this sweet news!
If you’re not familiar with the RAMMYs you must not get out much…er…that is, let AAC educate you. Each year the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) hosts a gala that not only helps fund the association, but also celebrates and recognizes the culinary caliber of DC-area restaurants and the chefs and staff who make them successful.
This year there are 21 categories. Everything from Employee of the Year to Beer Program of the Year is represented in these distinct awards.
Hank’s Oyster Bar – Capitol Hill is vying for the title of Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year. Nominees in this category “demonstrate a dedication to dining excellence, service and value in a casual environment.” (Come to Hank’s for the May 7 Happy Hour with our Rated ART Host Committee, and judge for yourself!)
Restaurateur of the Year nominees are pretty élite. They “must be a working restaurateur or restaurant group who sets high standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship,” and have been in the restaurant business in the DC Metro area for at least 5 years. That sounds daunting, but our partner Robert Wiedmaier’s group: RW Restaurant Group is one of the prestigious nominees in this category!
Ok, now on to the main dish…the Rated ART Restaurant Partners and their AAC Resident Artist Pairings:
PinStripes – Georgetown – Change your frame of mind at PinStripes! This exciting “dining and entertainment venue features a bistro with exceptional Italian/American cuisine and wine; bowling and bocce; a year-round outdoor patio and fire pit; and event space/party rooms.” Paired with AAC Resident Artist Becca Kallem, you can expect something fun from PinStripes!
Mussel Bar and Grille – “Inspiration for Robert Wiedmaier’s Mussel Bar is an old-world Belgian roadhouse serving Bière, Moules & Frites, the kind of place where Chef in his youth would head late night to unwind with kitchen colleagues, eat simple food and listen to good music.” This is the kind of attitude and approach that got Wiedmaier’s group in the running for the Restaurateur of the Year. Mussel Bar is paired with AAC Resident Artist Hedieh Ilchi.
Tazza Kitchen – “A casual eatery” that “highlights ingredients sourced from dozens of farmers and food artisans, wood-fired cooking, and influences from Southern Italy and Baja California.” Tazza will be using the artwork of residents Pam Rogers and Roxana Geffen to inspire their drink and dish.
Bayou Bakery – Founded by New Orleans-born chef David Guas, Bayou Bakery offers “discerning guests a range of comforting options in a casual, rustic counter-service gathering place.” Artwork by resident artists Michele Colburn and Alice Whealin will serve as the inspiration for Bayou’s Rated ART drink and dish.
Hank’s Oyster Bar – Chef Jamie Leeds cooks up ‘Urban Beach Food” at Hank’s, which is “named after Leeds’ father, who she credits as her inspiration for becoming a chef.” A veteran of the RAMMYs, Hank’s was named Best New Restaurant in 2008 and Best Neighborhood Restaurant in 2012, with multiple nominations in 2005, 2006, and 2007. AAC Resident Artist Dawn Whitmore‘s work will be the inspiration for Hank’s.
Lyon Hall – “A bustling brasserie…overseen by Executive Chef Matt Hill, prepares freshly baked bread, house-cured charcuterie, and handcrafted cheeses on a daily.” Lyon Hall is paired with Resident Artist Rachel Schmidt.
Petwork Citizen and Reading Room – “A neighborhood literary bar and restaurant with friendly service, tasty food and delicious cocktails” complete with a Free Book Library. Petworth Citizen will create a cocktail inspired by the artwork of AAC Resident Bridget Sue Lambert.
Crane and Turtle – “A chef-driven, neighborhood restaurant that celebrates the marriage of chef Makoto Hamamura’s great passions – Japanese and French cooking.” Resident artist Jessica van Brakle‘s artwork will inspire Crane and Turtle’s Rated ART dish.