Athlone’s reputation as a gastronomy destination of vast repute was significantly enhanced at the Leinster Regional Final of Irish Restaurant awards which took place in The Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, recently.
The annual awards ceremony, which formally announces the top restaurants and hostelries in each provincial county, are a showpiece occasion, with Athlone claiming fourteen successes from the sixteen categories hosted during the event.
This is a wonderful endorsement of the quality of food and dining presently available in Athlone, now acknowledged in a formal setting during an auspicious occasion, oft referred to as the ‘food oscars’.
Pride of award place was afforded to Thyme restaurant who claimed two accolades in the ‘Best Restaurant’ and ‘Best Emerging Cuisine’ categories. Deirdre Adamson of The Fatted Calf was adjudged ‘Best Chef’, while Martina Linehan of Beans and Leaves took the ‘Best Restaurant Manager’ title.
Wineport Lodge won ‘Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant’ award, while ‘Best Customer Service’ was afforded to The Left Bank Bistro and the ‘Best Gastro Pub’ award went to Dead Centre Brewing.
The Snug Bar won ‘Pub of the Year’ and the ‘Best Wine Experience’ was awarded to Fine Wine and Food Co.
Meanwhile, Kin Khao Thai took the ‘Best World Cuisine’ title, Bastion Kitchen won ‘Best Free From’ and Corner House Bistro were awarded ‘Best Kids Size Me’ accolade.
Finally, the ‘Best Casual Dining’ winner was Corner House Bistro and Lynda McFarland of Lowe & Co. was crowned ‘Best Local Food Hero’.
Speaking at the awards, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, remarked, “now in their twelfth year, the Irish Restaurant awards continue to showcase the incredible food that is on offer in the cafes, pubs and restaurants of Ireland, as well as recognising the teams behind these establishments and the hard work and dedication that they put in. With well over 100,000 nominations received from the public this year, the standard for the judging process was higher than ever”.
The host of Athlone award winners now progress to contest the regional and All Ireland titles, which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant awards ceremony to be held in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin on Monday, May 18.