Bon Appetit! Dundalk wins big at Irish Restaurant Award regionals

Lennon's Gastro Pub, Eno Bar and Grill and Strandfield are among the winners.

Barry Landy


Barry Landy


Bon Appetit! Dundalk wins big at Irish Restaurant Award regionals

The team from Lennon's Gastro Pub celebrate their win at Wednesday's awards.

Lennon's Gastro Pub were the big local winners at Wednesday night's Leinster Regional Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards, with the Castletown Road venue taking home two county awards at the hotly contested event. 

In the coveted Best Restaurant category, The Bay Tree Restaurant & Belvedere House in Carlingford took home the big prize.

Held at the Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim, Lennons' Noel Kinnaird was on hand to pick up the award for Best Gastro Pub while Head Chef Gary Harvey was also honoured for his efforts in the kitchen by winning the Best Chef Award. 

It was a successful night for many Louth based businesses over all, with 15 awards shared out among restaurants and pubs in the county. Dundalk venues enjoyed their night with a host of other wins. Michael Hulme of Eno' Bar & Grill won Best Restaurant Manager while Strandfield Cafe Ballymascanlon won Best Cafe. 

Russell's Bar was crowned Best Pub while Ghan House were deemed to have the Best Wine Experience. 

Ardee's Goose Restaurant and Wine Bar, run by award winning chef and author Peter Clifford, also won two awards on the night. They took home the Best Emerging Irish Cuisine and Best Newcomer Award. Sadly, Goose in Ardee closed last month - less than a year after opening it's doors. 

Dine at Dundalk Golf Club also won an award, for the Best Kids Size Me.

The Leinster awards were the first of four regional finals in this year’s Irish Restaurant Awards to be held where 165 awards were presented to the the region's leading chefs, restaurants and pubs.

Over 550 people attended the Leinster Regional Final on Wednesday evening where the top establishments across 15 categories in each county were named.

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," he continued.

"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.”

Here is the full list of Louth winners: 

  • Best Casual Dining sponsored by San Pellegrino - Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill
    Best Emerging Irish Cuisine sponsored by Odaios Foods - Goose Restaurant and Wine Bar
    Best Kids Size Me sponsored by Dubliner Cheese - Dine at Dundalk Golf Club
    Best 'Free From' sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free - The Bare Food Company
    Best World Cuisine sponsored by Aryzta - Tamarind Indian Cuisine
    Best Restaurant Manager - Michael Hulme of Eno' Bar & Grill
    Best Wine Experience sponsored by Classic Drinks - Ghan House
    Pub of the Year sponsored by Bushmills - Russell's Bar
    Best Café sponsored by Illy - Strandfield Café
    Best Customer Service - Monasterboice Inn
    Best Gastro Pub sponsored by Coca Cola & Schweppes - Lennons Gastro Pub
    Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant sponsored by BWG Foodservice - Scholars Townhouse Hotel
    Best Newcomer sponsored by Elavon - Goose Restaurant and Wine Bar
    Best Chef sponsored by Nisbets - Gary Harvey
    Best Restaurant sponsored by Tindal Wine Merchants - The Bay Tree Restaurant & Belvedere House