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Connaught Regional Award Winners Announced!








April 2nd  2014, Mayo, Ireland.


The Connaught Regional Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards in association with LIFE Magazine took place in Hotel Westport, Mayo, last night and named the top restaurants in the West for 2014.


Over 250 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Connaught turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.


Speaking at the awards last night, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said; “The Irish Restaurant Awards celebrate their sixth year this year and have become the Island’s biggest food awards. The credibility that these awards have is reflected in the amount of nominations they received this year- over 19,000 votes were cast across nine categories, showing that these are the awards that everyone wants to win.


“The Irish restaurant scene is internationally recognised for its high calibre of restaurateurs and chefs. These awards celebrate the people that make the restaurant sector the dynamic and exciting industry it is. They are the people who provide 64,000 jobs to our economy and generate revenue in excess of €2 billion. We’re recognising the talent, hard work and commitment that everyone here gives to the food industry. Tonight, everyone is a winner.”


Kai Café and Restaurant took home the prize for best restaurant in Co. Galway, with head chef Jessica Murphy also winning Best Chef in Galway. For a full list of winners, see below.


Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Restaurant Manager and Best Kids Size Me.


All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Dublin on Monday 9th June, 2014.


There are 3 components to phase two of the process. Each element is independently assessed by Ernst and Young.


1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.

2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up of representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in May to Judge the County Winners. The Academy members include food writers, journalists, academics and hospitality magazine editors.

3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging. These menus are then independently reviewed by Bord Bia.

Voting in the Industry categories has been extended until Friday, 11th April. Voting in these categories is exclusive to Restaurants Association of Ireland members only, with members competing for:

Best Private Dining and Club Restaurant

Best Seafood Experience

Best World Cuisine

Best Newcomer

Best Café

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine

Best Restaurant Design

Best Cocktail Experience

Best Cookery School

Best Sustainable Restaurant

Best Digital Marketing

Best Practice in Energy Management


The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 9th June, 2014.

Tickets for the All-Ireland Event can be bought directly from the awards team on (01) 677 9901 or


Best Customer Service- Sponsored by

Sligo- Harrison’s Bar & Restaurant

Roscommon- The Comfy Café

Leitrim- Riverbank Restaurant

Mayo- Sol Rio Restaurant

Galway- Renvyle House Hotel


Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Total Produce

Sligo- The Pilot Bar

Roscommon- Keenan’s

Leitrim- The Oarsman

Mayo- Bar One

Galway- The Pins


Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin

Sligo- Shell’s Seaside Bakery & Café

Roscommon- Bruno’s Bar & Restaurant

Leitrim- Lena’s Tea Room

Mayo- Sol Rio Restaurant

Galway- Il Vicolo Café


Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Pallas Foods

Sligo- Moira’s Restaurant @ Cromleach Lodge

Roscommon- The Restaurant @ The Abbey Hotel

Leitrim- Sandstone Restaurant @ Lough Rynn Castle

Mayo- The Restaurant @ Belleek Castle

Galway- Owenmore Restaurant @ Ballynahinch Castle


Best Chef – Sponsored by La Rousse Foods

Sligo- Michelle McGowan, The Pilot Bar

Roscommon- Aidan Murray, The Yew Tree

Leitrim- Shamzuri Hanifa, The Cottage

Mayo- Frankie Mallon, An Port Mór

Galway- Jessica Murphy, Kai Café and Restaurant


Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Dalcassian & Wakefield Wines

Sligo- Eala Bhán

Roscommon- The Yew Tree Restaurant

Leitrim- The Cottage Restaurant

Mayo- An Port Mór

Galway- Kai Café and Restaurant


Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Roundhill

Sligo- Hargadons

Roscommon- Douglas Hyde Restaurant @ Kilronan Castle

Leitrim- The Courthouse Restaurant

Mayo- Ashford Castle

Galway- West @ The Twelve


Best Kids Size Me – Sponsored by Heinz

v  Vittos Restaurant, Leitrim


Best Restaurant Manager- Sponsored by the Restaurants Association of Ireland

v  Daniel Mayer, Belleek Castle, Mayo




For further information contact:

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive Officer

Restaurants Association of Ireland

Mobile: +353 86 8263311

Telephone: +353 1 6779901

Fax: +353 1 6718414



Twitter: @restawards


Our thanks to