Aniar Restaurant is named best in Connacht
JP McMahon, Enda McEvoy, Drigín Gaffey, and Alex McMahon at the award-winning Aniar Restaurant. Photo: Julia Dunin Photography.
By Una Sinnott
Aniar has been named Best Restaurant in Connacht at the Food & Wine Louis Latour 2012 Awards. The restaurant, located in Dominick Street, Galway, scooped the award at a ceremony held in Dublin’s Convention Centre which was attended by the stars of Ireland’s culinary world.
Aniar competed against stiff competition from around the province to bag the coveted award. JP McMahon, owner of Aniar, was there to receive the award along with business partner and wife Drigín Gaffey and Aniar head chef Enda McEvoy. “I am absolutely overwhelmed at winning this award,” Mr McMahon said. “It’s been a difficult year for fine dining in Galway, but the whole team in Aniar from Enda to Alex have been fantastic. This award is for good food and to show that Galway can produce the calibre of restaurant that would make any capital city in Europe jealous. I hope this award will showcase the viability of taking risks with innovative food. We need to continue to raise the bar with regard to food in the west of Ireland and this is only the beginning.”
Aniar is one of three restaurants that make up JP and Drigín’s Eat Galway group — Cava Spanish Restaurant and tapas bar, Aniar Restaurant, and Eat Gastropub. “All three restaurants in the group share the overriding philosophy of producing good, sustainable, tasty, artisan food and working hand in hand with local suppliers,” JP McMahon said. “We are starting an education programme in the autumn for students and run continuous cooking classes in Cava and Aniar. We hope to help educate people on cooking with viability in mind and learning about the best produce from the west of Ireland and different ways to use it.”
Aniar opened its doors in July 2011 to critical acclaim, offering relaxed brassiere-style dining. Chef Enda McEvoy was named Chef of The Year in the 2011 Bridgestone Guide. The food is described by John McKenna, editor of the Bridgestone Guide as: “That the food is wow! isn't a great surprise. The surprise is that all the food is wow!”
Aniar is open for bookings Tuesday to Saturday 6pm to 10pm. More details are available at www.aniarrestaurant.ie