Ocean City Today

Voting now open for Stars of the Industry Awards

Dining public can select favorite restaurants, bars
By Kara Hallissey | Mar 08, 2018
Susan Jones

Restaurant Association of Maryland Stars of the Industry award finalists

Maryland's Chef of the Year:

1. George Batlas – Manor Tavern

2. Rashad Edwards - George Martin Group

3. Jon Kohler - Pairings Bistro

4. Enzo Livia - Il Pizzico

5. Julian Marucci - Tagliata

Craft Brew Program of the Year:

1. The Ale House- Columbia

2. The Brass Tap at the Fitzgerald - Baltimore

3. Pizzeria Paradiso - Hyattsville

4. Wet City - Baltimore

5. White Rabbit Gastropub - Frederick

Maryland's Favorite New Restaurant:

1. Ekiben - Baltimore

2. The Elephant - Baltimore

3. Heritage 485 - Prince Frederick

4. Medium Rare - Bethesda

5. The Turn House - Columbia

Maryland's Favorite Restaurant:

1. Lewnes' Steak House - Annapolis

2. The Prime Rib - Baltimore

3. Stanford Grill - Columbia

4. Sunset Grille - Ocean City

5. Woodmont Grill - Bethesda

Maryland's Favorite Bar or Tavern:

1. Cancun Cantina - Hanover

2. Dock Street Bar & Grill - Annapolis

3. The Horse You Came In On - Baltimore

4. Looney's Pub - Bel Air

5. Upper Deck Sports Bar and Grill - Mt. Airy

Heart of the Industry:

1. Boris Bobrov (Server) - AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar

2. Brian Cieslak (Sous Chef) - Preserve

3. Ryan Galliant (Bar Manager) - Hudson Coastal

RAM Allied Member of the Year:

1. Acme Paper & Supply Co., Inc. - represented by Andy Attman

2. Heartland Payment Systems - represented by Chrissy Mayhew

3. Prime Souce Purchasing, Inc. - represented by Bessie Marino

4. The Schmid-Wilson Group - represented by Rob Schmid

5. UnitedHealth Group - represented by Kimberlee Vandervoorn

RAM Restaurateur of the Year:

1. Kyle Algaze - Iron Rooster

2. Bob Giaimo - Silver Diner

3. Mike Isabella - Mike Isabella Concepts

4. Charles Levine - Citron

5. Jay Taustin - The Embers Restaurant/BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar

Ocean City's Favorite Boardwalk Treat:

1. Dumser's Dairyland

2. Fisher's Popcorn

3. Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard

4. Thrasher's French Fries

5. The Wrapper

Ocean City's Favorite Crab House:

1. BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar

2. Crab Alley Restaurant & Seafood Market

3. The Crab Bag

4. Hooper's Crab House

5. Phillips Crab House

Ocean City's Favorite New Restaurant:

1. Braddah Barney's

2. Dry Dock 28

3. Northside Pit & Pub

4. Rare & Rye

5. Shotti's Point

Brice & Shirley Phillips Lifetime Industry Achievement Award:

Susan Jones – Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association

Maryland Hospitality Hall of Honor:

1. Harrison Group - Ocean City

2. Waterman's Seafood Co. - Berlin

3. Ocean Odyssey - Cambridge

4. Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel - Ocean City

5. Market Street Inn - Salisbury

6. DaVinci's by the Sea - Ocean City

7. Macky's Bayside Bar & Grill - Ocean City

8. Annie's Paramount Steak & Seafood House - Grasonville

Cornerstone of the Industry Award:

1. Blackwall Hitch - Annapolis

2. Cafe Mezzanotte - Severna Park

3. Glory Days Grill - Statewide

4. Tino's Italian Bistro – Columbia

(March 9, 2018) The dining public can vote for their favorite bars and restaurants in 11 categories until Wednesday, March 28, through the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s 64th annual Stars of the Industry Awards, which recognizes the best establishments in the state.

Patrons can vote for their favorite restaurants and bars online at marylandrestaurants.com/gala or on the Maryland Restaurant Awards Facebook page, facebook.com/marylandrestaurants.

Sunset Grille in West Ocean City is vying for Favorite Restaurant and Jay Taustin, owner of Embers, BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar and Captain’s Galley, is up for Restaurateur of the Year.

“Every vote counts toward ensuring that your favorite finalists get a much deserving win,” said Kim Schlosser, communications and events manager for the Restaurant Association of Maryland. “Keep in mind that there are two voting methods. Our online voting platform as well as ‘liking’ your favorite’s official photo on the RAM Facebook page.”

The Harrison Group, Waterman's Seafood Company, the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel, DaVinci's by the Sea and Macky's Bayside Bar & Grill will all be inducted into the Maryland Hospitality Hall of Honor.

Since the gala is taking place in Ocean City for the first time, there are also three new resort-only categories: Favorite New Restaurant, Favorite Crab House and Favorite Boardwalk Treat including staples such as Dumser's Dairyland, Phillips Crab House, Thrasher's French Fries, Fisher's Popcorn, the Crab Bag, the Wrapper and BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar.

In addition, new Ocean City restaurants such as Dry Dock 28, Rare & Rye and Shotti’s Point are competing for honors.

“The finalists with the highest total number of votes combined from both voting methods will win,” Schlosser said. “We had over 20,000 votes last year and are hoping for even more participation this year.”

Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, will receive the Brice and Shirley Phillips Lifetime Industry Achievement Award.

“I am thrilled and quite excited,” Jones said. “In fact, I teared up and found out right before the trade show ended. People don’t normally get me by surprise, being I am such a planner.”

Jones said she was elated and honored to receive an award in Brice and Shirley Phillips’ name.

“Brice and Shirley were amazing people and have done so much for Ocean City and the state,” Jones said.

Buddy Trala, owner of Sunset Grille, credits the hard work of his managers, kitchen and floor staff for the Favorite Restaurant accolades. The West Ocean City establishment took home the award in 2011.

“It is great and I am happy,” Trala said. “We’ve had the same chef and sous chef since [Sunset Grille opened in 2004]. We would be the only ones to win the award twice. It is great for Ocean City and we are lucky to be here. There are some great finalists in other categories too. Ocean City is the best town in Maryland.”

Taustin, who is vying for Restaurateur of the Year, has been vacationing in Ocean City since he was a little kid. At 16 years old, he started working in restaurants washing dishes and bussing tables before moving to the resort full time at 21 years old.

“I’ve been working in the industry for 49 years,” Taustin said. “It has been neat. I’ve been getting phone calls and messages from people I have not spoken to in a long time. Vote for me.”

Winners will be announced on Sunday, May 6, at the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s Stars of the Industry Awards Gala – A Shore Thing, at the Clarion Resort on 101st Street.

“We look forward to having support from the entire town of Ocean City and truly showcasing what our industry represents,” Schlosser said.

For more information or to vote, visit marylandrestaurants.com/gala and facebook.com/marylandrestaurants.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.