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Etto Named Restaurant of the Year at Irish Restaurant Awards 2018

Etto Named Restaurant of the Year at Irish Restaurant Awards 2018

Photographer – Paul Sherwood 087 230 9096
Restaurants Association of Ireland, Irish Restaurant Awards 2018, held at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin. May 2018

The Irish Restaurant Awards celebrate their most successful ceremony to-date

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is pleased to announce that the All-Ireland Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards took place in the The Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, last night where the premier restaurant and hospitality establishments in Ireland for 2018 were named. Over 900 restaurateurs and staff attended the sold out, black tie event which celebrated the achievements and perseverance within the industry over the last 12 months.


Now in its tenth year, the Awards have continued the trend of growing in both attendee numbers and industry esteem. Over 90,000 online nominations were received for Irish restaurants and hospitality businesses this year. Awards were received from 21 categories that included all areas of the sector and keeping with recent movements, the awards introduced their newest category this year, Best ‘Free From’, which received an impressive response from nominees and the general public.


On the night, Liam Edwards, President of the RAI spoke about the resilience of the industry saying, “As an industry, the restaurateurs, pub-owners and entrepreneurs of Ireland, continue to defy the odds. You strive to create jobs, expand upon Ireland’s understanding of food standards and world cuisine, all while maintaining exemplary customer service. Your support of Irish produce has never been greater and for this you should be wholeheartedly applauded.”


Attendees were treated to a six-course gala dinner, prepared by a line-up of Ireland’s most high-profiled chefs. The team included Shamzuri Hanifa of Cottage Restaurant, TV Chef, Gary O’Hanlon, Danni Barry of Clenaghans Restaurant, Keith Boyle of the Bay Tree Bistro in Waterford City and Elena Martinez of Crover House Hotel. Several of the chefs are previous winners of the Best Chef title for the Irish Restaurant Awards.


Speaking at the awards, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins commented: “On our tenth anniversary of the Irish Restaurant Awards, I’m delighted to report that this has been our most successful year to-date. These Awards are the accolades of the Irish restaurant industry and they celebrate only the very best that this country has to offer. From over 90,000 online nominations cast earlier this year to 3,000 guests attending our regional events, it is clear that the stature, calibre and reputation of the awards is expanding at a considerable rate and it is all in aid of highlighting the talent within our sector. All winners and finalists here tonight are utterly deserving of the recognition they have received.”


The full list of Regional and All-Ireland winners are listed below.


Best Gastro Pub winners are as follows:

Dublin – The Legal Eagle

Connaught – Cronin’s Sheebeen

Leinster – Lennons Gastro Pub

Munster – Moorings

Ulster – The Brewer’s House


All-Ireland – The Legal Eagle


Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant winners are as follows:

Dublin – The Marker Hotel

Connaught – Wilde’s at The Lodge

Leinster – Ballyfin Demesne

Munster – Park Hotel Kenmare

Ulster – Newforge House


All-Ireland – Park Hotel Kenmare


Best Newcomer winners are as follows:

Dublin – Michael’s Mount Merrion

Connaught – Hooked

Leinster – Barrows Keep

Munster – Dooks Fine Foods Fethard

Ulster – Clenaghans


All-Ireland – Clenaghans


Best Cafe winners are as follows:

Dublin – Honey Truffle

Connaught – Pudding Row

Leinster – Strandfield Café

Munster – Maison Gourmet

Ulster – The Jolly Sandwich Bar


All-Ireland – Pudding Row


Best Wine Experience winners are as follows:

Dublin – Piglet Wine Bar

Connaught – Aniar Restaurant and Boutique Cookery School

Leinster – La Touche Wines 4 U

Munster – The Black Pig

Ulster – Ox Cave


All-Ireland – Piglet Wine Bar


Best World Cuisine winners are as follows:

Dublin – Nightmarket

Connaught – MoMA Restaurant

Leinster – Pink Salt Indian Restaurant

Munster – Palmento

Ulster – Tuk Tuk Asian Bistro


All-Ireland – Nightmarket


Best Kids Size Me winners are as follows:

Dublin – Michael’s Mount Merrion

Connaught – Gather Restaurant

Leinster – Platform Pizza Bar

Munster – GROW HQ Café and Food Education Centre

Ulster – Amici


All-Ireland – Michaels Mount Merrion


Best Local Food Hero winners are as follows:

Dublin – Jenny & Patrick McNally of McNally Family Farm

All-Ireland – Mark Murphy & Mark Doe of The Apprentice Chef Programme


Best Casual Dining winners are as follows:

Dublin – Hey Donna

Connaught – Gather Restaurant

Leinster – Truffles Restaurant & Wine Bar

Munster – PILGRIM’S

Ulster – Shu Restaurant Belfast


All-Ireland – PILGRIM’S


Best Emerging Irish Cuisine winners are as follows:

Dublin – Craft Restaurant

Connaught – Tartare Café + Wine Bar

Leinster – Kernel Bar & Kitchen

Munster – SAGE Restaurant

Ulster – 28 Darling St


All-Ireland – Craft Restaurant


Best Restaurant Manager winners are as follows:

Dublin – Talha Pasha of Michael’s Mount Merrion

Connaught – Lee Hanifa of The Cottage Restaurant

Leinster – Joanne Harding of the Aldridge Lodge

Munster – Sally O’Brien of Farmgate Restaurant and Country Store

Ulster – Saul McConnell  of NOBLE. Holywood


All-Ireland – Sally O’Brien of Farmgate Restaurant and Country Store


Best ‘Free From’ winners are as follows:

Dublin – I Monelli

Connaught – Sweet Beat Café

Leinster – Zucchini’s Restaurant

Munster – Nutrilicious Food Co

Ulster – The Dirty Duck


All-Ireland – Sweet Beat Café


Best Customer Service winners are as follows:

Dublin – Etto

Connaught – House of Plates

Leinster – Roundwood House

Munster – The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge

Ulster – Harvey’s Point


All-Ireland – Harvey’s Point


Pub of the Year winners are as follows:

Dublin – Walshs Stoneybatter

Connaught – Flynns Bar

Leinster – Morrisseys

Munster – Murphy’s Bar Brandon

Ulster – Tomneys Bar


All-Ireland – Walshs Stoneybatter


Best Chef winners are as follows:

Dublin – Barry Sun Jian of Etto

Connaught – Jess Murphy of Kai Restaurant

Leinster – Sam Moody at Ballyfin Demesne

Munster – Aidan McGrath of Wild Honey Inn

Ulster – Chris McGowan of Wine & Brine


All-Ireland – Jess Murphy of Kai Restaurant


Best Restaurant winners are as follows:

Dublin – Etto

Connaught – Cian’s on Bridge Street

Leinster – TwoCooks Restaurant & Wine Bar

Munster – Mews Restaurant

Ulster – The Muddlers Club


All-Ireland – Etto


National winners are as follows:

Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant – Locks Windsor Terrace

Best Cocktail Experience – The Sidecar at The Westbury

Best Cookery School – MacNean House & Restaurant

Best Seafood Experience – Klaw Seafood Restaurant

Best Digital Marketing – Kai Restaurant





For images of winners or further information on the Irish Restaurant Awards contact the RAI office at:


Telephone: +353 1 6779901

Fax: +353 1 6718414



Twitter: @restawards





Notes to Editors:


Phase One Judging Process


Public Nomination – During the initial stage of the Irish Restaurant Awards members of the public voted to nominate their favourite restaurants, hotels and hospitality personal. These nominations were independently assessed by BDO.


Judging Panel – Our judging panel, made up of industry experts, food writers, culinary academics and critics, then narrowed down the list of nominations to our final regional winners.


Phase Two Judging Process


Mystery Guest Visit (40%) This component of the awards is conducted by Customer Perceptions Ltd, specialists in mystery shopping, consumer insights and customer satisfaction surveys. All county winners and Dublin shortlists will receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of March, April or May.


National Judging Academy (60%) Our National Judging Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in early May to judge the county winners. The Academy members include food writers, journalists, bloggers, culinary academics and hospitality magazine editors.


Our thanks to

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