Restaurant Awards

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Restaurant of the Year - Luna
Luna did something simple but special in 2015: it gave Dublin back its “The party is on!” vibe that vanished down the drain in 2008. John Farrell and his team have always striven to capture the mood of a cuisine, but with Luna they captured nothing less than the mood of the city, then they put it on a plate and gave it back to lucky old Dublin, clad in Louis Copeland finery. Luna

Chef of the Year - Takashi Miyazaki
Even before Takashi Miyazaki got the door open on his little take-away and diner on Cork’s Evergreen Street, the gossip was that this amiable chef was going to show the city and the country something special with his Japanese food. But even those of us with memories old enough to recall the glories of West Cork’s Shiro Japanese Dinner House could not have imagined the tumultuous imagination and culinary creativity that Mr Miyazaki and his team presented to us. Miyazaki

Cafe of the Year - Pudding Row
Dervla and Johny’s Pudding Row opened with a bang – no mean feat if little Easkey, in West Sligo – and this dynamic couple kept the incendiary pace going all year long. Great baking forms the backbone of truly clever modern food, food where every element conjoins with every other element. Pudding Row

Newcomer of the Year - The Bay Tree
Keith Boyle’s up-above-the-pub Waterford city restaurant may have an unpreposessing space, but just one taste of this dynamic cook’s food will make you think you are eating in a gastronomic palace. Mr Boyle is dedicated to the culinary arts, and he puts the art on the plate, at prices that seem scarcely believable. So, climb the stairs in Ballybricken, and be prepared to be amazed. The Bay Tree

Dish of the Year - Ard Bia
To put roasted squash together with a pearl barley risotto, wild mushrooms and Clare Farm goat’s cheese on the one plate is to risk disaster. But taking that risk, and then pulling off a masterpiece in the process, is what is happening right now at Ard Bia, Aoibheann McNamara’s nearly-venerable restaurant at Galway’s Spanish Arch. A late-autumn dinner for four offered flawless and vivid cooking with every single plate, a masterclass in contemporary Irish cooking. Ard Bia

Desserts of the Year - Pilgrims
Pilgrims is the most significant new West Cork restaurant to have opened in years, and Mark Jennings and Sarah Jane Pearce demonstrated masterly control of their concept right from the day they opened in Roscarbery. There isn’t a clichéd dish on the menu, and Mr Jenning’s signature style, where he pulls international styles into his own culinary orbit, is going to be mightily influential in years to come. His puddings, in particular, like the salted caramel with elderflower ice cream or the cacao cremeaux, are like no one else’s: barely sweet, intricately arranged, they show a chef who has rethought the whole game. Pilgrim's