Photo of Ryan Ratino by Laura Hayes
Photo of Ryan Ratino by Laura Hayes

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Ripple has been a breath of fresh air lately thanks to the deft and sometimes daring cooking of its young executive chef, Ryan Ratino, who stepped in when Marjorie Meek-Bradley departed.

He snagged a couple of great reviews for his work at the Cleveland Park stand-by and is a finalist for a 2017 RAMMY award in the category of rising culinary star of the year. Ripple is also nominated for service program of the year. 

But somehow that’s not enough. The restaurant will serve its last meal on June 24. 

“I guess now’s as good as a time as ever because I’m working on something as well,” Ratino says. “It sucks, I wish it would have lasted a little longer. I was hoping to ride it out through the Michelin guide but I guess it’s part of business.” 

Fortunately, Ratino’s plans involve staying in D.C., though he’s not ready to announce them yet. 

The following letter was sent out to the restaurant’s regular customers earlier today:

Dear friends,

It is with great sadness that we will be closing Ripple later this month. Despite a great sense of pride and accomplishment for everything that our team has achieved over the last seven years, the reality of a slowing business means we will no longer be able to serve our guests in Cleveland Park.  We will remain open through dinner service on June 24th, and hope you will be able to join us over the coming days to share another memorable meal with us, or perhaps a glass or two of wine at the bar.  

We believe that our food is as good as it ever has been, and less than a month ago we received our highest rating ever from Tom Sietsema in The Washington Post Spring Dining Guide. But, unfortunately, our reviews and recent acclaim have not translated to the bottom line.

We are deeply grateful for your support over the past seven years. We have made fantastic lifelong friends. Couples have met at Ripple, gotten engaged at Ripple, and even celebrated their weddings at Ripple.  We have been fortunate to have a warm, wonderful staff who have built connections with our guests and provided memorable meals.  Some of our staff have even gotten married after meeting here! This has always been a place about family, and we will dearly miss all of you – our extended family. Whether you found us in June of 2010, or had your first meal with us much more recently, we are forever grateful and hope we can serve you again – either at Roofers Union in Adams Morgan, or somewhere else in the future.

We are grateful to our wonderful staff, some of whom have been with us from the very start. We will try to help them find new jobs – either at Roofers Union or at other restaurants.  It is because of the talented chefs and servers and dishwashers and line cooks that we were fortunate enough to win Best Upscale Casual Restaurant, as well as Wine Program of the Year in 2014 from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, in addition to numerous awards for our wine and beverage program.  To all the members of our team over the years, we can never thank you enough.  You are the best and we wish you all the best.

We have a wonderful landlord whose family operated a restaurant here starting in the 1932.  We are grateful for their support.  We love Cleveland Park. We grew up around here, we live around here, and we hope for the best for everyone along the strip between Macomb and Porter. We know that many of our neighbors are also suffering, and we encourage you to support these local businesses and restaurants.

Our final dinner service will be Saturday June 24. Until then, we will continue to bring you the best food, produce and drinks from the finest local farmers and other sources. We are still serving an amazing menu from our extremely talented Executive Chef Ryan Ratino, and we will be offering great half price deals on many of the rare and eclectic wines on our bottle list.  We have smaller snacks at the bar, and everything from a-la-carte options to a full tasting menu in the dining room.  We would love to see you in the coming days – and we encourage you to stop by or make reservations for one more meal with us in Cleveland Park.

In the words of Robert Hunter…

“Reach out your hand if your cup be empty

If your cup is full may it be again,

Let it be known there is a fountain

That was not made by the hands of men.”

With great appreciation,