On Tuesday night Lucy and I went along to the Connaught Regional Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards.I follow the awards every year on Twitter so it was great to actually go along and see what it was like.
The event was held in the beautiful Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa here in Sligo. The doors opened at 7pm and there was plenty of opportunity to sample some of the gorgeous food and drink on offer. The prize giving started at 8.30pm and I have to credit all involved for such a well run evening. I must say there are now a few restaurants on my list that I’d like to visit.
There was a huge crowd there on the night and a great atmosphere. I wasn’t drinking as I was driving but I’m kicking myself that I didn’t book a room at the hotel and make a night of it! Next time!
Anyway onto the winners of the Connaght Awards:
‘Best Newcomer’ sponsored by BWG Foodservice.
‘Best Wine Experience’ sponsored by Classic Drinks
Galway: Upstairs @ West at The Twelve
‘Best Customer Service’ sponsored by TheTaste.ie
Galway: Kai Cafe + Restaurant
Leitrim: St. George’s Terrace
Mayo: Hungry Monk Cafe
Roscommon: Bennys Deli
Sligo: HARRISON’S BAR & RESTAURANT
‘Best Emerging Irish Cuisine’ award sponsored by Odaios Foods. There was just one award for each region and the Connaght winner is The Lodge at Ashford Castle
‘Best World Cuisine’ sponsored by Keelings Farm Fresh
Galway: WA Cafe Kappa-ya
‘Best Gastro Pub’ sponsored by Bunzl Mclaughlin.
Galway: Blakes Bar
‘Best Cafe’ award sponsored by Aryzta Food Solutions.
Galway: Upstairs at McCambridge’s
‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ sponsored by Elavon
Galway: Restaurant Gigi’s at The g Hotel Galway
Leitrim: Sandstone Restaurant at Lough Rynn Castle
Mayo: The Library Restaurant at Belleek Castle Ireland
Roscommon: Terrace Restaurant at Abbey Hotel Roscommon
Sligo : Coopershill House
Local Food Hero Connaght Winner: JP McMahon of Aniar Restaurant
‘Best Casual Dining’ award sponsored by SANPELLEGRINO.
‘Best Chef’ awards sponsored by La Rousse Foods.
Galway: Enda McEvoy of Loam
Leitrim: Shamzuri Hanifa of the cottage restaurant
Mayo: Aine Maguire of The Idle Wall
Roscommon: Alison Crean of Terrace Restaurant at Abbey Hotel Roscommon
Sligo: Andy Donaghy of Coach Lane @ Donaghy’s
‘Best Restaurant’ category sponsored by Dalcassian Wines and Spirits.
Best of luck to all the Connaght finalists as they prepare for a ‘surprise’ visit to judge them for the final of the Irish Restaurant Awards.