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Ruthie’s All-Day and owners of Shirlington’s ChiKo were served up RAMMY wins last night

Ruthie’s All Day Chef Matt Hill (right) and business partner Todd Salvadore (left) are pictured with RAMW President Kathy Hollinger (photo courtesy of Ruthie’s All-Day)

Two restaurants with Arlington ties came home with RAMMY awards last night.

Ruthie’s All-Day in the Arlington Heights neighborhood won “Casual Restaurant of the Year” from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) at their annual awards gala.  Since 1982, the organization has handed out awards to the area’s best restaurants in various categories.

Ruthie’s All-Day opened in October 2020 and has since earned a number of accolades. This includes being named in 2020 one of the best local barbeque joints, one of the highest-rated restaurants in Arlington, and an Arlies award winner.

Owner and chef Matt Hill was also named a James Beard semi-finalist earlier this year.

This might be the biggest award yet for Hill and Ruthie’s All-Day, honored as one of this year’s best restaurants in all of the D.C. area.

“This means so very much to us — everyone including our chefs, prep cooks, runners, dishwashers, managers, waitstaff, baristas, bartenders, hostesses, and so many more — it truly takes a hard-working team to make our little place sing,” Hill wrote ARLnow in an email. “Our goal is to serve everyone and anyone, and we feel so very humbled to be recognized by the RAMW for ‘Casual Restaurant of the Year.'”

When ask what the future might hold for Ruthie’s in Arlington, Hill hinted at possible expansion plans.

“We hope to keep growing and creating more special places for our neighbors to gather and build community over good food,” he said.

Also emerging as winners were Scott Drewno and Danny Lee, known as “The Fried Rice Collective,” as “Restaurateurs of the Year” due in part to their Chinese-Korean concept ChiKO. A location opened in Shirlington late last year, the duo’s only Virginia outpost so far.

“We are honored and humbled to be nominated with these great restauranteurs in the DMV,” Drewno and Lee told ARLnow. “We love the Arlington community and are so happy to have recently opened ChiKo Shirlington!”

The pair also operate ChiKo locations and the contemporary Korean restaurant and pub Anju in the District.

Overall, seven restaurants with Arlington ties were finalists for a RAMMY award. That’s about the same number as recent previous years, though far more than a decade ago.

Besides the winners, this year’s Arlington nominees included Queen Mother’s for “hottest sandwich spot,” Northside Social for its wine program, both Bayou Bakery and Stellina Pizzeria in the “Splendid Holidays at Home” category, and Mark Bucher of Medium Rare also for “restaurateur of the year.”

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