The first of four regional finals in this year’s Irish Restaurant Awards took place in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim on Wednesday night where 165 awards were presented to the country’s leading chefs, restaurants and pubs.
Over 550 people attended the Leinster Regional Final on Wednesday evening where the top establishments in each county were named.
The awards covered a wide range of venues and the winners from each of Leinster’s 11 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. There was also a special Regional award for Leinster’s Local Food Hero.
The Laois winners were as follows:
Best Casual Dining sponsored by San Pellegrino - Kelly's Steakhouse
Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by Odaios Foods - Ballyfin Demesne
Best Kids Size Me sponsored by Dubliner Cheese - Treacy's Bar and Restaurant
Best 'Free From' sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free - The Pantry
Best World Cuisine sponsored by Aryzta - Mayur Indian Restaurant
Best Wine Experience sponsored by Classic Drinks - Batoni’s
Pub of the Year sponsored by Bushmills - Morrissey's Pub
Best Café sponsored by Illy - Kelly Lou Café and Cakery
Best Customer Service - Roundwood House
Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Coca Cola & Schweppes - The Bog Road
Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant sponsored by BWG Foodservice - Ballyfin Demesne
Best Newcomer sponsored by Elavon - Mueller & O' Connell Bakery
Best Chef sponsored by Nisbets - Sam Moody at Ballyfin Demesne
Best Restaurant sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants - Batoni’s
Speaking at the awards, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) said: “Now in their tenth year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the exquisite and admirable calibre of food available in our restaurants and pubs nationwide. Online nominations have increased from 9,000 in 2013 to over 80,000 this year and with the increase in interest comes an increase in standards, making the judging process more difficult than ever.
“Our small island boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the exotic taste explosions of world cuisine to the comfort of traditional dishes. We have an appreciation for what we eat, for the journey of our food from farm to fork, and for the dedication of those working in the food industry to serve up Ireland’s finest food.”