Four and done: Connaught restaurant award winners announced for 2019

Heading to the west or north west any time soon? This list should help.

The Irish Restaurant Awards regional rounds have come to a close as Connaught’s winners were announced on Tuesday night.

While Ireland were getting the better of Georgia at the Aviva, Connaught’s food elite were mixing it up at the Radisson Blu for the final region awards event.

You can see the Leinster and Munster winners here.

The awards covered a wide range of venues and the winners from each of Connaught’s five counties were selected from the following categories: Best Casual Dining, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine, Best Kids Size Me, Best ‘Free From’, Best World Cuisine, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Wine Experience, Pub of the Year, Best Café, Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant, Best Newcomer, Best Chef and Best Restaurant.

Some of the team at Hooked, Sligo. Photo: Georgina Campbell's/Facebook
Some of the team at Hooked, Sligo. Photo: Georgina Campbell’s/Facebook

There was also a special Regional award for Connaught’s Local Food Hero – this year going to Anthony Gray of Hooked, Eala Bhán and a fist of other food activities in Sligo.

Ethna Reynolds of Nook Café & Restaurant was named best chef (Sligo) with Loam picking up the title of Best Restaurant for Galway.

Among the best café winners were Café Rua (Mayo) and Savoury Faire (Roscommon) while the Sweet Geranium Café in Leitrim picked up the award for Best Emerging Irish Cuisine.

All the Connaught winners for the Irish Restaurant Awards

Best Restaurant

  • Galway: Loam Restaurant
  • Leitrim: The Cottage Restaurant
  • Mayo: Cian’s on Bridge Street
  • Roscommon: The Yew Tree Restaurant
  • Sligo: Eithna’s By the Sea Restaurant

Best Chef

  • Galway: Jess Murphy of Kai Restauran
  • Leitrim: Shamzuri Hanifa of The Cottage Restauran
  • Mayo: Barry Ralph of House of Plate
  • Roscommon: Alison Crean of Abbey Hotel
  • Sligo: Ethna Reynolds of Nook Café & Restaurant

Best Newcomer

  • Galway: Gourmet Food Parlour
  • Leitrim: Our Happy Place
  • Mayo: This Must Be The Place
  • Roscommon: The Waterfront Restaurant
  • Sligo: Passione by the slice

Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant

  • Galway: West Restaurant at the Twelve Hotel
  • Leitrim: The Landmark Hotel
  • Mayo: George V Dining Room at Ashford Castle
  • Roscommon: Abbey Hotel
  • Sligo: Waterfront House & Restaurant

Best Restaurant Manager

  • Galway: Aiden Leonard of McHughs Traditional Pub & Restaurant
  • Leitrim: Frances Cryan of Cryans Hotel
  • Mayo: Eva Ivanova of Sage Restaurant
  • Roscommon: Dominik Manzano of Kilronan Castle
  • Sligo: Tommy Battle of The Pilot Bar

Best Customer Service

  • Galway: Park House Hotel
  • Leitrim: Cryans Hotel
  • Mayo: House of Plates
  • Roscommon: Kilronan Castle
  • Sligo: Davis’s Restaurant @ Yeats Tavern

Best Café

  • Galway: Connemara Greenway Café & Restaurant
  • Leitrim: Synergy Café
  • Mayo: Café Rua
  • Roscommon: Savory Faire
  • Sligo: Sweet Beat Café

Pub of the Year

  • Galway: O’Connell’s Bar
  • Leitrim: The Barrelstore
  • Mayo: V.J Doherty’s
  • Roscommon: Rosie’s at The LifeBelt Bar
  • Sligo: O’Connor’s Bar & Lounge

Best Wine Experience

  • Galway: Le Petit Pois
  • Leitrim: St.George’s Terrace Restaurant
  • Mayo: Ashford Castle
  • Roscommon: Doughlas Hyde Restaurant at Kilronan Castle
  • Sligo: Hargadon Bros

Best Gastro Pub

  • Galway: John Keogh’s – The Lock Keeper
  • Leitrim: The Oarsman
  • Mayo: Bar One
  • Roscommon: The Purple Onion Kitchen
  • Sligo: Langs Bar & Restaurant

Best World Cuisine

  • Galway: Papa Rich Bistro
  • Leitrim: Spice India
  • Mayo: Jalan Jalan
  • Roscommon: La Trattoria Restaurant
  • Sligo: Miso Sligo

Best “Free From”

  • Galway: The Lighthouse Café
  • Leitrim: Sweet Geranium Café
  • Mayo: Leafy Greens Café
  • Roscommon: Drumanilra Farm Kitchen
  • Sligo: Sweet Beat Café

Best Kids Size Me

  • Galway: Ground & Co.
  • Leitrim: The Riverbank Restaurant at The Clubhouse Bar
  • Mayo: The Cot & Cobble
  • Roscommon: Keenan’s Hotel, Bar & Restaurant
  • Sligo: Shells Seaside Bakery & Café

Best Local Food Hero

  • Galway: Gabriel Faherty of Aran Islands Goat’s Cheese
  • Leitrim: The Irish Organic Centre
  • Mayo: John Clarke of Clarke’s Salmon Smokery
  • Roscommon: Mary Gleeson of Gleeson’s Townhouse & Restaurant
  • Sligo: Anthony Gray of HOOKED Sligo

Local Food Hero, Connaught

  • Anthony Gray of HOOKED Sligo

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine

  • Galway: Merrow at Pálás Cinema
  • Leitrim: Sweet Geranium Café
  • Mayo: An Port Mór Restaurant
  • Roscommon: Drumanilra Farm Kitchen
  • Sligo: Nook Café & Restaurant

Best Casual Dining

  • Galway: The Kings Head
  • Leitrim: Luna Restaurant
  • Mayo: Cronin’s Sheebeen
  • Roscommon: MoMa Restaurant
  • Sligo: HOOKED Sligo

The grand final, including the overall regional titles and All-Ireland titles will be held in Dublin on 13 May.

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Ken McGuire

Digital media head now mixing it up in the world of broadcast media. Formerly Any Given Food (2010-2015), calling the food haven that is Kilkenny home. Award-winning podcaster turned broadcaster, find me on air weekdays 3-5.30pm on KCLR Drive.

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