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Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse to Receive Coveted Award

Accompanying images can be viewed starting on page 1 of the February 2019 issue pd

By P.L. Wolff

It was in mid-January that Paul Katinas, owner of Dupont East’s storied restaurant — now celebrating its 75th anniversary year –- received the phone call from New York that changed everything for the good for him and his extended family.

It was a call rarely received by any restaurant owner in the District. It was from a representative of the James Beard Foundation announcing that Annie’s Paramount was one of just five winners across the nation of its prestigious America’s Classics Award, which the Foundation states “is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food reflecting the character of their community.”

Annie’s joins more than 100 restaurants that been so honored since this award category was established 20 years ago. The five awardees from each of the five designated regions. This year’s winners will be celebrated at the annual James Beard awards event in Chicago at the Lyric Opera that will include a gala reception featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.

As stated by the Foundation’s CEO, Clare Reichenbach, “[i]n an industry where longevity is quite an achievement, it is important to honor and celebrate the establishments that have stood the test of time, like the restaurants being recognized as America’s Classics this year. These restaurants provide not only wonderful culinary experiences, but are important and enduring pillars in their communities.”

When we talked with Paul Katinas, what seemed to be his greatest satisfaction in being awarded this national recognition is his gratitude for the how the award “truly honors [his] family’s heritage.” This theme was also shared in a letter he sent to customers and friends of the establishment: “To receive an award of this magnitude is really quite remarkable. It belongs not only to all our past and present family members and employees, but most importantly to all our past and present customers.”

An especially nice tribute in the form of a short video was posted on Instagram by New York-based photographer and friend of the restaurant Danny Kim when he visited Annie’s shortly after the award became known. Also shown is a response by Paul Katinas and a link to viewer comments that add to the celebration.