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Top Restaurants in Connaught Announced at Santa Rita LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards 2013


April 10 2013, Dublin, Ireland.

The Connaught Regional Final of the Santa Rita/ LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards took place in The House Hotel, Galway, last night and named the top restaurants in the West for 2013.

Over 270 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; “In their fifth year now, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to go from strength to strength. Each year, the awards cast a spotlight on the brightest and best players on the Irish restaurant scene. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the awards everyone wants to win. This year the nominations went online for the first time and we got a spectacular response from the public- nominations doubled and we received 10,000 votes for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro pubs, hotel restaurants and customer service experience.

“We celebrate the award winning cuisines and the great restaurateurs and chefs who are constantly bringing international recognition and accolades to the Irish restaurant scene. Restaurateurs are entrepreneurs, and that is reflected in the fact that the restaurant sector is the biggest employer within the hospitality industry. We provide employment to 64,000 people and the industry has annual sales in excess of €2 billion; tonight, everyone is a winner.”

Michelin- Star restaurant Aniar took home the prize for best restaurant in Co. Galway, adding to its already-full mantelpiece of accolades. 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 Kids Size Me, sponsored by Heinz, Engaging With The Gathering, sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Best Just Ask! Menu, sponsored by Bord Bia.

All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 10th June, 2013.

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

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 representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in May to Judge the County Winners.

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.

Voting in the Industry categories commenced on April 4th. Voting in these categories is exclusive to Restaurants Association of Ireland members only, with members competing for:

Best Club Restaurant
Best Seafood Experience
Best World Cuisine
Best Newcomer
Best Café
Most Innovative Restaurant
Best Restaurant Design
Best Cocktail Experience
Best Restaurant Manager
Best Cookery School
Best Supplier
Best Digital Marketing

The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 10th June, 2013.
Tickets are priced at €130 for the All-Ireland Event, and can be bought directly from Sinead on (01) 677 9901

Best Customer Service

  • Sligo- Source Sligo
  • Roscommon- The Abbey Hotel
  • Leitrim- The Courthouse Restaurant
  • Mayo- Market Kitchen
  • Galway- Renvyle House Hotel

Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Faustino

  • Sligo- Hargadons
  • Roscommon- The Purple Onion
  • Leitrim- The Oarsman
  • Mayo- Bar One
  • Galway- Eat @ Massimo

Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Joseph Drouhin

  • Sligo- Source Sligo
  • Roscommon- Bruno’s Restaurant
  • Leitrim- The Riverbank Restaurant
  • Mayo- Café Rua
  • Galway- Il Vicolo

Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Pallas Foods

  • Sligo- Coopershill Country House Hotel
  • Roscommon- Douglas Hyde @ Kilronan Castle
  • Leitrim- Sandstone Restaurant @ Lough Rynn Castle
  • Mayo- Kitchen Restaurant @ Mount Falcon Hotel
  • Galway- Upstairs @ West Restaurant, The Twelve Hotel

Best Chef – Sponsored by Tipperary Water

  • Sligo- Seamus Thompson, Eala Bhán
  • Roscommon- Aidan Murray, The Yew Tree
  • Leitrim- Shamzuri Hanifa, The Cottage
  • Mayo- Philippe Farineau, Mount Falcon
  • Galway- Enda McEvoy

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Santa Rita

  • Sligo- Eala Bhán
  • Roscommon- The Yew Tree
  • Leitrim- The Cottage Restaurant
  • Mayo- An Port Mór
  • Galway- Aniar

Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Thomas Barton

  • The Twelve Hotel, Galway

Best Kids Size Me – Sponsored by Heinz

  • Sol Rio, Mayo

Engaging with The Gathering Award – Sponsored by Tourism Ireland

  • Wilde’s @ Lisloughrey Lodge, Mayo

Just Ask! Award – Sponsored by Bord Bia

  • Oscar’s Seafood Bistro, Galway


For further information contact:

Adrian Cummins,
Chief Executive Officer
Restaurants Association of Ireland
11 Bridge Court, Citygate,
St. Augustine Street, Dublin 8.

Mobile: +353 86 8263311
Telephone: +353 1 6779901
Fax: +353 1 6718414
Twitter: @rai_ie


Twitter: @restawards

Our thanks to