Local restaurants in countdown to awards

Local restaurants in countdown to awards

The countdown is on to the Irish Restaurant Awards All-Ireland final in the DoubleTree by Hilton on Monday, May 16th.

With less than four weeks to go, the Irish Restaurant Awards pay tribute to two of Laois’s best eateries.

Lethean, Portlaoise was named as the Laois finalist for Bunzl McLaughlin’s Best Gastro Pub 2016.

This award recognises the gastropub that offers an innovative menu of food which suitably complements their drink selection.

The Best Gastropub will provide restaurant quality dining, whilst not compromising on the traditional ‘pub’ atmosphere.

Castle Durrow Restaurant was named as Elavon’s Best Hotel Restaurant in Laois.

Elavon’s Best Hotel Restaurant award recognises the hotel restaurant that best encompasses all the qualities of great hospitality – exemplary customer service, top quality food and a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.

Castle Durrow Restaurant was also awarded as Laois’s Classic Drinks and Masottina’s Best Wine Experience finalist.

This award recognises the restaurant that prides itself on its wine selection.

An interesting array of wines will be on offer to cater for a wide range of wine lovers, and will be appropriate for the type of cuisine served.

Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins commented,

“The restaurants that are coming out on top in each county are setting the standard for good food, drink and service nationwide.

“They have won these awards because of their hard work year round and their achievements should be acknowledged as such.”

These top Laois eateries, along with over 300 other restaurants, cafes and gastropubs nationwide, now go forward to stage two of the competition and are in the running to win the Leinster and All-Ireland titles in their respective categories.

There are three components to phase two of the judging process.

Each element is independently assessed by BDO;

Mystery Guest Visit (55%)-

This component of the awards is conducted by Customer Perceptions Ltd, specialists in mystery shopping, consumer insights and customer satisfaction surveys. All county winners and Dublin shortlists will receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of March, April or May.

National Awards Academy (35%) -

The National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in early May to judge the County Winners.

The Academy members include food writers, journalists, bloggers, culinary academics and hospitality magazine editors.

Menu Judging (10%) -

All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.

The Regional and All-Ireland winners will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards final on Monday, May 16.