The Ulster Regional Final of the Irish Restaurant Awards took place in The Merchant Hotel Belfast last night where a number of Cavan and Monaghan-based eateries where named among the winners.
Over 300 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Ulster, turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.
Neven Maguire and his MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion won the Best Restaurant in Cavan, with the Courthouse Restaurant in Carrickmacross earning the award in Monaghan.
Both restaurants also won their respective awards for Best Chef- going to Neven Maguire and Conor Mee at the Courthouse Restaurant
Best Gastro Pub went to the The Big Apple in Cavan Town, with Andy's Bar and Restaurant scooping the prize for Monaghan, whereas Murph's Bistro, Cootehill, and the Bistro Restaurant at The Fiddlers Elbow in Carrickmacross won the Best Casual Dining award.
Other awards presented at the event included for the Best Hotel Restaurant, which went to The Courtroom Restaurant at Cabra Castle Hotel in Kingscourt, and Snaffles Restaurant at Castle Leslie, Glaslough; Best Customer Service went to the The Olde Post Inn, Cloverhill, and again to the Conor Mee's Courthouse Restaurant, while Best Wine Experience was received by Neven Maguire's MacNean House and Restaurant and Snaffles Restaurant
Speaking at the awards last night, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said; “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 64,000 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.”
All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Dublin on Monday June 9, 2014.