At the 2019 FOOD AND WINE Awards in association with Rémy Martin, The Oarsman in Leitrim was awarded the coveted title of Pub Food of the Year.
We are not short of great pubs, wherever you go on the island of Ireland. Plenty serve food along with a pint but when you find one with fantastic food it quickly becomes a favourite. It may be the humble toasty, done really well, a classic pie and mash, or a clever update on a traditional dish: pub food turns the humble pub into something more.
Gastropubs are booming and with good reason. Many are going far beyond the by-numbers menus to create dishes that could stand up to scrutiny in fancier establishments. Of course, the gold stars of gastropubs are earned by more than what’s being served: comfortable surroundings and a cracking atmosphere are also essential.
While there were many worthy contenders in this category, ultimately the award was given to The Oarsman in Leitrim, a cosy family-run pub in the town of Carrick On Shannon. This pub is well-known for its great atmosphere and delicious food. While well-loved by locals, people from all over the country are known as regulars here too, thanks to their frequent visits to enjoy the pub's stellar food.
Conor Maher's Reaction
After the awards, we spoke to Conor Maher of The Oarsman to get his reaction to the win.
"We were very flattered by the win and absolutely blown away by it as we hadn't been expecting it. We were following the awards on Twitter, so when we saw our name come up we had to reload the page a few times before we actually believed it!
It means a huge amount to us as it's a fantastic endorsement of all the hard work that the team puts in. We hold them to very high standards and have big expectations of them so it's great to see the team get recognised.
We have always felt that a progressive menu that focuses on local produce with innovative twists would go down very well. Irish people's expectations have expanded so we have always tried to be different from the typical meat, potato, vegetables and gravy from a packet.
Over the next while, we're planning to extend our onsite garden to try and supply a bit more ourselves. It will help us be more sustainable, both environmentally and financially, as well as cut down our carbon emissions. We're growing lots of heritage vegetables and fruits as we think they bring extra flavour and variety to our menus, so you'll be seeing lots more of them on our menu soon."
Click here for more info on The Oarsman.