From a great gastropub dinner to a top cafe brunch, we want to find out your favourites and the ones you go back to time and again. In the 2019 FOOD&WINE Awards, in association with Rémy Martin, we want to celebrate the hidden and not-so-hidden gems.
It might be fair to say that there has been a significant move towards more casual dining in recent years. That, however, doesn’t mean there’s any less quality of food on offer. In fact, quite often, while the décor and ambience might have a relaxed feel, there is great food being served. A star class brunch is abundant in cafés now and provenance-drenched menus are more commonplace at lunch than ever before.
Casual restaurants have even achieved Michelin starred status; case and point is Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, the first pub in Ireland to receive a star (2017). Or is it that Michelin restaurants are becoming more relaxed? Either way, we are big fans of chilled vibes in the dining room and exceptional food on the plate.
The following are three categories in the 2019 F&W Awards, in association with Rémy Martin, that reflect this casual dining scene. Nominate your casual favourites in each to make sure they are in with a chance of getting national recognition this year in our top ten category lists and perhaps take home the overall national accolade.
Best Casual Dining
The era of ‘going out to eat’ being something strictly for special occasions are long over, thanks to an abundance of great places to grab a bite. The gap between fine dining and the very basic cheap and cheerful options, with nothing in between, has also narrowed. Now there are endless choices for that long lunch on a Sunday afternoon, bite to eat after work or that spontaneous mid-week dinner with the family. The best casual dining spots team a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere with friendly service, and of course, great food. Where is your favourite casual dining destination? Is there a hidden gem in your area that deserves recognition? We want to hear about it - and you can tell us here.
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 gastro pubs are earned by more than what’s being served: comfortable surroundings and a cracking atmosphere are also essential. Where’s your go-to pub for a great meal and atmosphere? Let us know here.
As the coffee (and tea) offering in all regions of the island reaches the world-class standard, the humble cafe is coming into its own. The ideal spot for when you don’t want to commit to a big meal, decide to grab something to eat on the spur of the moment, or just want a quick bite, a great cafe is a gem for any location to have. The ones that do a fantastic cup of coffee, every time, or the ones that have irresistible pastries made fresh every day, or the one that has such friendly staff and a great atmosphere you always stay longer than intended. Where is your favourite coffee spot? Is there a neighbourhood cafe you’d be lost without? Tell us here.
Nominations are open until Friday, 7th June, so make sure and get your votes in ASAP. Just click HERE to begin voting!
Book your tickets
You can book your tickets for the event HERE. As the first F&W Awards to be hosted by our parent company Irish Studio, we are pulling out all the stops and we really hope you can join us for what will be a memorable day.
A fantastic menu is being created by Garry Hughes, Executive Head Chef in The Shelbourne, and lots more surprises that we'll be telling you about over the next few months. Don't miss what will be the event of the season!