Top Restaurants in Leinster Announced at The Irish Restaurant Awards 2015

Embargo: 10:30pm 31st March 2015                        








March 31st 2015, Dublin, Ireland.


The Leinster Regional Final of Irish Restaurant Awards took place in Clyde Court Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin tonight and named the top restaurants in the eleven counties for 2015, as well as the shortlisted Dublin restaurants.


Over 500 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Leinster turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards. The shortlist for the Dublin nominees were also announced, and the winners in the Dublin categories will be announced at the All-Ireland awards in May.


Speaking at the awards early this evening, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said; “The Irish Restaurant Awards celebrate their seventh year this year and have become the Island’s biggest food awards. The credibility that these awards have is reflected in the amount of nominations they received this year- 30,000 nominations were cast across twelve categories, showing that these are the awards that everyone wants to win.


“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 72,000 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.”


Having won the Best Restaurant and Best Chef award for Wexford in 2012 and 2013 and 2014, Aldridge Lodge and chef/ owner Billy Whitty has won both titles a fourth consecutive time.


Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Kids Size Me Menu, Local Food Hero, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine and Best Newcomer.


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 25th May, 2015.


There are 3 components to phase two of the process. Each element is independently assessed by BDO.


  1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.
  2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in May to Judge the County Winners. The Academy members include food writers, journalists, academics and hospitality magazine editors.
  3. 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.


Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Dalcassian Wines & Spirits and Wakefield Wines


  • Carlow- Sha-Roe Bistro
  • Kildare- The Brown Bear Restaurant
  • Kilkenny- Campagne
  • Laois- The Candied Walnut
  • Longford- Black Olive Restaurant
  • Louth- The Bay Tree Restaurant
  • Meath- Zucchini’s
  • Offaly- The Blue Apron Restaurant
  • Westmeath- Thyme Restaurant
  • Wexford- Aldridge Lodge Restaurant
  • Wicklow- Chakra by Jaipur


Best Chef – Sponsored by La Rousse Foods


  • Carlow- Alan Foley, The Cellar Restaurant at Step House Hotel
  • Kildare- Josef Zammit of The Brown Bear
  • Kilkenny- Garett Byrne of Campagne
  • Laois- Graham Gallagher of Castle Durrow Restaurant
  • Longford- Gary O’Hanlon, VM Restaurant at Viewmount House
  • Louth- Michael Hunter of Scholars Townhouse Restaurant
  • Meath- Robert Krawczyk of Brabazon at Tankardstown House
  • Offaly- Darren Brooks of Slí Dála Restaurant at Kinnity Castle
  • Westmeath- John Coffey of Thyme Restaurant
  • Wexford- Billy Whitty, Aldridge Lodge Restaurant
  • Wicklow- Tim Daly of The Strawberry Tree at Brooklodge


Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Bunzl McLaughlin


  • Carlow- Teach Dolmain
  • Kildare- Hartes of Kildare
  • Kilkenny- Marble City Bar & Tea Rooms
  • Laois- Lethean
  • Longford- The Rustic Inn
  • Louth- Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant
  • Meath- The Central
  • Offaly- The Thatch
  • Westmeath- Weirs Bar & Restaurant
  • Wexford- Tides Gastro Pub
  • Wicklow- Acton’s Pub and The Orchard Cafe


Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Total Produce


  • Carlow- Rachel’s Garden Cafe
  • Kildare- The Ballymore Inn
  • Kilkenny- Foodworks
  • Laois- Seasons Bistro
  • Longford- Aubergine Gallery Café
  • Louth- Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill
  • Meath- Coppers & Spices
  • Offaly- Spinners on Castle Street
  • Westmeath- Kin Khao Thai
  • Wexford- The Pigs Tale
  • Wicklow- The Three Q’s


Best Hotel Restaurant


  • Carlow- The Cellar Restaurant at Step House Hotel
  • Kildare- The Linden Tree Restaurant at Carton House
  • Kilkenny- The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet
  • Laois- Castle Durrow Restaurant
  • Longford- VM Restaurant at Viewmount House
  • Louth- Scholars Townhouse Restaurant
  • Meath- Brabazon at Tankardstown House
  • Offaly- Slí Dala Restaurant at Kinnity Castle Hotel
  • Westmeath- The Restaurant at Wineport Lodge
  • Wexford- The Restaurant at Marlfield House
  • Wicklow- The Strawberry Tree at Brooklodge


Best Customer Service- Sponsored by


  • Carlow- Ruben’s Restaurant at Step House Hotel
  • Kildare- Fallons of Kilcullen
  • Kilkenny- Ristorante Rinuccini
  • Laois- Stradbally Fare
  • Longford- VM Restaurant at Viewmount House
  • Louth- Ghan House Restaurant
  • Meath- Vanilla Pod Restaurant at Headfort Arms Hotel
  • Offaly- Sirocco’s
  • Westmeath- The Restaurant at Wineport Lodge
  • Wexford- The River Bar & Restaurant at Riverbank House Hotel
  • Wicklow- Campo de’ Fiori Restaurant


Best Wine Experience – Sponsored by Classic Drinks & Massottina


  • Carlow- Sha-Roe Bistro
  • Kildare- The Byrley Turk at The K Club
  • Kilkenny- The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet
  • Laois- The Candied Walnut
  • Longford- VM Restaurant at Viewmount House
  • Louth- D’Vine Wine Bar & Restaurant
  • Meath- Brabazon at Tankardstown House
  • Offaly- Sirocco’s
  • Westmeath- Thyme Restaurant
  • Wexford- Greenacres
  • Wicklow- The Hungry Monk


Best Kids Size Me – Sponsored by Heinz & Kids Size Me

 Leinster Regional Winner

  • The Snailbox, Co.Meath


Best Restaurant Manager- Sponsored by Tindal Wine and Emiliana Vineyards

 Leinster Regional Winner

  • Paul Byrne of Zuni Restaurant and Boutique Hotel


Best Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by Odaios Foods

 Leinster Regional Winner

  • Cistín Eile, Co.Wexford


Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding Times

 Leinster Regional Winner

  • Highbank Orchards, Co.Kilkenny


Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Elavon


  • Carlow- Smoque
  • Kildare- Hokkaido
  • Kilkenny- The Salt Yard
  • Laois- Batoni’s
  • Longford- PS Red at Longford Golf Club
  • Louth- De Lacey’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant
  • Meath- Fifty 50
  • Offaly- Spinners on Castle Street
  • Westmeath- Miller & Cook
  • Wexford- La Cote
  • Wicklow- The Pigeon House Cafe





For further information contact:


Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive Officer

Restaurants Association of Ireland

Mobile: +353 86 8263311

Telephone: +353 1 6779901

Fax: +353 1 6718414



Twitter: @restawards





Notes for the Editor:


Industry Awards

Aside from the main categories, the Irish Restaurant Awards also run industry category awards, with only one All-Ireland winner been chosen. The judging and selection process for the Industry Award categories differs from the Main Award category process.  Only Members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland nominate for each of the awards in the Industry Categories with a list of finalists announced in May. These nominations are then judged by our National Awards Academy and independently assessed by our auditors before a final winner is determined in each category.


Best Cocktail Experience

Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant

Best Café

Best World Cuisine

Best Seafood Experience

Best Cookery School

Best Eco-Friendly Restaurant

Best Digital Marketing


Voting in the Industry categories has now closed online. The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 25th May, 2015.  Tickets for the All-Ireland Event can be bought directly from the awards team on (01) 677 9901 or






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