DONEGAL’S finest pubs, restaurants and chefs were crowned at a glittering ceremony in Fermanagh last night.
Over 600 people attended the Ulster Regional Final where the top establishments in each county were named.
In the category of Best Restaurant in Donegal, The Mill Restaurant in Dunfanaghy came out on top while Colin McKee of the Lakeside Restaurant, Harvey’s Point, was named Best Chef.
Other categories included Best Gastro Pub; Best Casual Dining; Best Hotel Restaurant; Best Customer Service; Best Wine Experience; Best Newcomer and Pub of the Year.
Speaking at the awards, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) said: “Now in their ninth 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.
“Our small island boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastro-pubs, 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.”
All county winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 2, on Monday May 8.
The winners in Donegal were:
Best Restaurant: The Mill Restaurant, Rinclevan, Dunfanaghy
Best Chef: Colin McKee of Lakeside Restaurant at Harvey’s Point, Lough Eske, Donegal town
Best Gastro Pub: Rosato’s Bar and Restaurant, Main Street, Mountcharles
Best Casual Dining: The Lemon Tree Restaurant, 39 Lower Main Street, Letterkenny
Best Hotel Restaurant: Lakeside Restaurant at Harvey’s Point, Lough Eske, Donegal town
Best Customer Service: Rathmullan House, Lough Eske, Donegal town
Best Wine Experience: Harvey’s Bar at Harvey’s Point, Lough Eske, Donegal town
Best Newcomer: 106 Atlantic at the Waterfront Hotel, Dungloe
Pub of the Year: Nancy’s Barn, Ballyliffin Village, Ballyliffin