TOP RESTAURANTS IN ULSTER ANNOUNCED AT SANTA RITA/ LIFE MAGAZINE IRISH RESTAURANT AWARDS 2013
OVER FIFTY RESTAURANTS, HOTEL RESTAURANTS & CHEFS HONOURED AT PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS
April 17th 2013, Belfast, Ireland.
The Ulster Regional Final of the Santa Rita/ LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards took place in The Merchant Hotel, Belfast last night and named the top restaurants in the North for 2013.
Over 300 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Ulster 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.”
Stephen Toman of Ox took home the prize for Best Chef in Antrim, and Noel McMeel of Lough Erne Resort won the Best Chef award for Fermanagh, where he will host the G8 summit later this year. Neven Maguire took home the prize for Best Chef in Cavan, with his restaurant Macnean House winning Best Restaurant in Cavan.
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
Most Innovative Restaurant
Best Restaurant Design
Best Cocktail Experience
Best Restaurant Manager
Best Cookery School
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
- Antrim- Berts Jazz Bar @ The Merchant Hotel
- Armagh- Pot Belly Restaurant
- Cavan- The Olde Post Inn
- Derry- Lime Tree Restaurant
- Donegal- The Beach House
- Down- The Old School House Inn
- Fermanagh- Café Merlot
- Monaghan- Nuremore Hotel
- Tyrone- Grange Lodge
BEST GASTRO PUB – SPONSORED BY FAUSTINO
- Antrim- The Harbour Bar
- Armagh- O’Tooles Bar
- Cavan- The Big Apple @ The Black Horse Inn
- Derry- Mary’s Bar
- Donegal- The Village Tavern
- Down- The Dirty Duck
- Fermanagh- Blakes of The Hollow
- Monaghan- Andy’s Bar
- Tyrone- The Brewer’s House
BEST CASUAL DINING – SPONSORED BY JOSEPH DROUHIN
- Antrim- Mourne’s Seafood Bar
- Armagh- The Moody Boar
- Cavan- The Oak Room
- Derry- The Exchange
- Donegal- Aroma
- Down- Coast
- Fermanagh- Dollakis
- Monaghan- The Fiddler’s Elbow
- Tyrone- Deli On The Green
BEST HOTEL RESTAURANT – SPONSORED BY PALLAS FOODS
- Antrim- The Great Room Restaurant @ The Merchant Hotel
- Armagh- Newforge House
- Cavan- The Courtroom Restaurant @ Cabra Castle
- Derry- Ardmore Restaurant @ Beech Hill Country House Hotel
- Donegal- Castlemurray House Hotel
- Down- The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn
- Fermanagh- Catalina Restaurant @ Lough Erne Resort
- Monaghan- Snaffles Restaurant @ Castle Leslie
- Tyrone- The Kitchen Restaurant @ Tullylagan House Hotel
BEST CHEF – SPONSORED BY TIPPERARY WATER
- Antrim- Stephen Toman of Ox
- Armagh- Dean Coppard of Uluru
- Cavan- Neven Maguire of Macnean House
- Derry- Ian Oar of Browns Restaurant & Champagne Lounge
- Donegal- Derek Alcorn of The Mill
- Down- Joery Castel of The Boat House
- Fermanagh- Noel McNeel of Lough Erne Resort
- Monaghan- Andrew Bradley of Snaffles Restaurant @ Castle Leslie
- Tyrone- Brian McConagle of The Brewers House
BEST RESTAURANT – SPONSORED BY SANTA RITA
- Antrim- James St South
- Armagh- Uluru
- Cavan- Macnean House
- Derry- Browns Restaurant & Champagne Lounge
- Donegal- Harrys Restaurant
- Down- The Boat House
- Fermanagh- Watermill Restaurant
- Monaghan- Courthouse Restaurant
- Tyrone- Oysters
BEST WINE EXPERIENCE – SPONSORED BY THOMAS BARTON
- Nicks Warehouse, Belfast
BEST KIDS SIZE ME – SPONSORED BY HEINZ
- The Lemon Tree, Donegal
ENGAGING WITH THE GATHERING AWARD – SPONSORED BY TOURISM IRELAND
- Harveys Point, Donegal
JUST ASK! AWARD – SPONSORED BY BORD BIA
- Sargasso, Donegal
For further information contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Restaurants Association of Ireland
Mobile: +353 86 8263311
Telephone: +353 1 6779901
PR & Events Manager,
Irish Restaurant Awards,
Mobile: +353 85 8071350
Telephone: +353 1 6779901
Fax: +353 1 6718414