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Laura Jaffray, Barry Hayden, Dawn Hayden, Keith Mahon
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Top Restaurants in Leinster Announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards 2016

On March 2nd the Leinster Regional Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards named the top restaurants in eleven counties for 2016, with many well-known restaurateurs of Leinster turning out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards. Over 500 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which took place in the Cusack Suite at Croke Park Stadium.

Following the event the shortlists for the Dublin nominees were also announced on Thursday, March 3rd via the official Awards website The winners of the Dublin categories, as well as the Regional and All Ireland Titles will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Dublin on Monday 16th May, 2016.

Speaking at the awards, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said, “The Irish Restaurant Awards celebrate their eighth 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 70,000 individual nominations were cast across fourteen 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 72,000 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.

TheTaste sponsored the award for Best Customer Service. The other categories were; Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Kids Size Me, Local Food Hero, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine and Best Newcomer as well as two new main award categories – Best Café and Best World Cuisine.

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

1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) 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.
2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards 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.
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.

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Astoria Wines

– Carlow: Sha-Roe Bistro
– Kildare: Vie de Châteaux
– Kilkenny: Campagne
– Laois: Batoni’s
– Longford: Black Olive Restaurant
– Louth: The Bay Tree Restaurant at Belvedere House
– Meath: Zucchini’s
– Offaly: The Blue Apron Restaurant
– Westmeath: Thyme Restaurant
– Wexford: La Cote Seafood Restaurant
– Wicklow: The Pigeon House Café

Best Chef – Sponsored by La Rousse Foods

– Carlow: Gail Johnson, Lennons @ Visual
– Kildare: Barry Liscombe, Hartes of Kildare
– Kilkenny: Ken Harker, The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet
– Laois: Michael Tweedie, Ballyfin Demesne
– Longford: Gary O’Hanlon, VM Restaurant at Viewmount House
– Louth: Michael Hunter, Scholars Restaurant at Scholars Townhouse Hotel
– Meath: Rob Krawczyk, Brabazon at Tankardstown House
– Offaly: Kenan Pehlivan, The Blue Apron Restaurant
– Westmeath: John Coffey, Thyme Restaurant
– Wexford: Paul Hynes, La Cote Seafood Restaurant
– Wicklow: Peter Byrne, Sika Restaurant at Powerscourt Hotel Resort

Best Customer Service– Sponsored by

– Carlow: The Cellar Restaurant at Step House Hotel
– Kildare: Fallons of Kilcullen
– Kilkenny: Ristorante Rinuccini
– Laois: The Candied Walnut
– Longford: VM Restaurant at Viewmount House
– Louth: McAteers The Food House
– Meath: Vanilla Pod Restaurant at Headfort Arms Hotel
– Offaly: Slí Dala Restaurant at Kinnitty Castle Hotel
– Westmeath: Wineport Lodge Restaurant
– Wexford: Beaches Restaurant at Kelly’s Resort Hotel
– Wicklow: Chakra by Jaipur

Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin

– Carlow: Teach Dolmain
– Kildare: Hartes of Kildare
– Kilkenny: Left Bank
– Laois: Lethean
– Longford: The Rustic Inn
– Louth: Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant
– Meath: The Snailbox Bar and Restaurant
Offaly: Hennessy’s Pub
– Westmeath: The Villager
– Wexford: Mary Barry’s Bar
– Wicklow: Byrne & Woods

Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by San Pellegrino

– Carlow: Mimosa Wine & Tapas Bar
– Kildare: Las Rada Wine & Tapas Bar
– Kilkenny: Foodworks
– Laois: Tynan’s at the Storeyard
– Longford: Barneys Bar and Restaurant
– Louth: Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill
– Meath: The Cellar Restaurant at Tankardstown House
– Offaly: Sirocco’s
– Westmeath: La Cucina Di Angelo’s
– Wexford: The Saltee Chipper
– Wicklow: Dockyard No. 8

Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Elavon

– Carlow: The Lord Bagenal Restaurant
– Kildare: The Linden Tree Restaurant at Carton House
– Kilkenny: The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet
– Laois: Castle Durrow Restaurant
– Longford: VM Restaurant at Viewmount House
– Louth: Scholars Townhouse Restaurant
– Meath: Brabazon at Tankardstown House
– Offaly: Slí Dala Restaurant at Kinnity Castle Hotel
– Westmeath: Wineport Lodge Restaurant
– Wexford: Reeds at Ferrycarrig Hotel
– Wicklow: Sika Restaurant at Powerscourt Hotel Resort

Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Masottina

– Carlow: Mimosa Wine & Tapas Bar
Kildare: The Byrley Turk at The K Club
– Kilkenny:Ristorante Rinuccini
– Laois: Castle Durrow Restaurant
– Longford: Black Olive Restaurant
– Louth: D’Vine Wine Bar & Restaurant
– Meath: Brabazon at Tankardstown House
– Offaly: Townsend House Tapas and Wine Bar
– Westmeath: The Ritz
– Wexford: Greenacres
– Wicklow: The Strawberry Tree at The Brooklodge Hotel

Best World Cuisine

– Carlow: Bombay Diner
– Kildare: Indie Spice
– Kilkenny: Yindees Downtown
– Laois: Batoni’s
– Louth: Jade Garden
– Meath: Copper & Spices
– Offaly: Shishir
– Westmeath: Al Mezza
– Wexford: Vine Restaurant
– Wicklow: Chakra by Jaipur

Best Cafe – Sponsored by Aryzta Food Solutions

– Carlow: Angels on Horseback
– Kildare: Twist Café
– Kilkenny: The Blackberry Café
– Laois: The Gallic Kitchen
– Longford: Aubergine Gallery Café
– Louth: Strandfield Café
– Meath: Relish Café
– Offaly: Emma’s Café
– Westmeath: Beans and Leaves
– Wexford: Westgate Design
– Wicklow: Avoca Kilmacanogue

Best Restaurant Manager– Sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants

– Paul Byrne of Zuni Restaurant and Boutique Hotel

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by Odaios Foods

– La Cote Seafood Restaurant, Co.Wexford

Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding Times

– Olivia Duff of Boyne Valley Food Series

Best Kids Size Me – Sponsored by Heinz

– The Ballymore Inn

Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Elavon

– Carlow: Pimento
– Kildare: Timeless Café
– Kilkenny: The Enchanted Kitchen
– Laois: Judge Roy Beans at the Heritage
– Longford: Barneys Bar and Restaurant
– Louth: Wildwood Café
– Meath: The Lime Kiln Gastropub
– Offaly: Hennessy’s Pub
– Westmeath: The Fatted Calf
– Wexford: The Wilds
– Wicklow: The Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant

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