Ireland’s best restaurant for 2019 revealed

Best chef honours claimed by Dubliner as more than 90,000 public votes are cast

Loam in Galway, winner of the restaurant of the year at the RAI awards

Loam in Galway, winner of the restaurant of the year at the RAI awards

 

Loam, a Michelin-starred dining room and wine bar  in Galway city, is Ireland’s restaurant of the year 2019. The restaurant, which opened in 2014, only uses ingredients from the west of Ireland, and has a strong sustainability ethos. It is owned and run by Enda McEvoy, who was voted best chef in Ireland at these awards in 2016.

Graham Neville, best chef in Ireland at the Restaurants Association's 2019 awards
Graham Neville, best chef in Ireland at the Restaurants Association's 2019 awards

The best chef 2019 is Graham Neville of Dax Restaurant on Pembroke Street Upper, Dublin. Neville, a former Commissioner General of Euro-Toques Ireland, was previously head chef at Restaurant FortyOne in the former Residence private members club on St Stephen’s Green. He has worked in Chicago, London and Lyon and also spend seven years at Thornton’s in Dublin. Dax, which is owned by Olivier Meisonnave, was also named best restaurant in Dublin.

Pub of the year is Doheny and Nesbitt, Baggot Street, with The Old Spot, Bath Avenue, Dublin, taking the gastro pub honours. The best newcomer national winner is Everett’s Restaurant in Waterford, where the head chef and co-owner is Peter Everett, who was Graham Neville’s sous chef at Restaurant FortyOne.

Sean Hussey, of Hussey & Sons Fruit and Veg, took the Local Food Hero award, sponsored by Rewarding Times. Hussey, a third generation grower and distributor, recently opened up his farm in north Co Dublin to people interested in growing their own crops, and also manages micro-distribution for a number of small-scale specialist growers.

Pub of the year honours claimed by Doheny & Nesbitt in Dublin
Pub of the year honours claimed by Doheny & Nesbitt in Dublin

More than 90,000 nominations were made by members of the public in the regional rounds of these awards, which got under way in January and are administered by the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

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There were also regional judging panels, a mystery guest visit, and a final assessment by the event’s National Awards Academy, comprising food writers, bloggers and culinary academics.

The awards were presented at a gala dinner at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road in Dublin on Monday evening, attended by more than 1,100 guests.

NATIONAL AND ALL IRELAND WINNERS

Best Restaurant

  • Dublin - Dax Restaurant
  • Connaught - Loam
  • Leinster - Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill
  • Munster - Wild Honey Inn
  • Ulster - OX
  • All Ireland - Loam

Best chef

  • Dublin - Graham Neville of Dax Restaurant
  • Connaught - Barry Ralph of House of Plates
  • Leinster - Deirdre Adamson of The Fatted Calf
  • Munster - Peter Everett of Everett’s Restaurant
  • Ulster - Chris McGowan of Wine and Brine
  • All Ireland - Graham Neville of Dax Restaurant

Best restaurant manager

  • Dublin - Denise McBrien of The Old Spot
  • Connaught - Eva Ivanova of Sage
  • Leinster - Edwina Hynes of La Côte Seafood Restaurant
  • Munster - John Edward Joyce of The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge
  • Ulster - Saul McConnell of Noble
  • All Ireland - Eva Ivanova of Sage

Pub of the Year

  • Dublin - Doheny and Nesbitt
  • Connaught - V.J Doherty’s
  • Leinster - Hamilton’s Pub
  • Munster - Levis Corner House
  • Ulster - Coach House & Olde Bar
  • All -Ireland - Doheny and Nesbitt

Best hotel and guesthouse restaurant

  • Dublin - The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel
  • Connaught - West Restaurant at the Twelve Hotel
  • Leinster - Brabazon Restaurant at Tankardstown House
  • Munster - Gregans Castle Hotel
  • Ulster - Newforge House
  • All Ireland - Gregans Castle Hotel
Gregan’s Castle in Co Clare, winner of the best hotel and guesthouse restaurant category
Gregan’s Castle in Co Clare, winner of the best hotel and guesthouse restaurant category

Best newcomer

  • Dublin - Uno Mas
  • Connaught - Passione by the Slice
  • Leinster - Lily’s On Church Street
  • Munster - Everett’s
  • Ulster - Hara
  • All Ireland - Everett’s

Best gastro pub

  • Dublin - The Old Spot
  • Connaught - Bar One
  • Leinster - The Ballymore Inn
  • Munster - Mikey Ryan’s Bar and Kitchen
  • Ulster - Clenaghans
  • All Ireland - The Old Spot
The Old Spot in Dublin 4, best gastro pub winner at the RAI awards
The Old Spot in Dublin 4, best gastro pub winner at the RAI awards

Best customer service

  • Dublin - Luna
  • Connaught - Park House Hotel
  • Leinster - Lennons @ Visual
  • Munster - Ballyvolane House
  • Ulster - The Muddlers Club
  • All Ireland - The Muddlers Club

Best casual dining

  • Dublin - 777
  • Connaught - Hooked Sligo
  • Leinster - Truffles Restaurant and Wine Bar
  • Munster - Bodega
  • Ulster - The Olde Glen Bar, Restaurant and Tea Room
  • All -Ireland - 777

Best wine experience

  • Dublin - Green Man Wines
  • Connaught - Le Petit Pois
  • Leinster - Barrows Keep
  • Munster - The Black Pig
  • Ulster - OX
  • All Ireland - Green Man Wines

Best Kids Size Me

  • Dublin - Old Street Restaurant
  • Connaught - Shells Seaside Bakery and Café
  • Leinster - Tiffin by Sunil
  • Munster - No. 9 Café
  • Ulster - Oak Room Restaurant
  • All Ireland - Old Street Restaurant
Best world cuisine restaurant at the RAI awards 3 Leaves in Blackrock market in Co Dublin
Best world cuisine restaurant at the RAI awards 3 Leaves in Blackrock market in Co Dublin

Best world cuisine

  • Dublin - 3 Leaves
  • Connaught - Spice India
  • Leinster - Pink Salt Indian Restaurant
  • Munster - Iyer’s
  • Ulster - Tuk Tuk Asian Bistro
  • All Ireland - 3 Leaves

Best cafe

  • Dublin - Two Pups
  • Connaught - Connemara Greenway Café & Restaurant
  • Leinster - Knockdrinna Farm Shop & Artisan Café
  • Munster - Good Day Deli
  • Ulster - Dinkin’s Home Bakery & Café
  • All Ireland - Connemara Greenway Café & Restaurant

Best free from

  • Dublin - Urbanity
  • Connaught - Drumanilra Farm Kitchen
  • Leinster - Zucchini’s Restaurant
  • Munster - Grow HQ
  • Ulster - The Olde Post Inn
  • All Ireland - Grow HQ

Local food hero

  • All -Ireland - Seán Hussey of Hussey & Sons Fruit & Veg
  • Dublin - Seán Hussey of Hussey & Sons Fruit & Veg

Best emerging Irish cuisine

  • Dublin - Forest & Marcy
  • Connaught - An Port Mór Restaurant
  • Leinster - Thyme Restaurant
  • Munster - No. 35 Restaurant
  • Ulster - Wine and Brine
  • All Ireland - No. 35 Restaurant

Best digital marketing
All -Ireland - Michael’s Mount Merrion

Best cookery school
All -Ireland - The Neven Maguire Cookery School

Best private dining and club restaurant
All -Ireland - Stephens Green Hibernian Club

Best seafood experience
All -Ireland - Fish Shop, Benburb Street

Best cocktail experience
All -Ireland - The Tack Room at Adare Manor

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