Two Galway businesses were honoured with top prizes at the 2020 Georgina Campbell Irish Food & Hospitality Awards, and several more came highly commended.
The winners of the 2020 Food & Hospitality awards were announced on Sunday with Georgina Campbell warning of a lack of training among hospitality staff at higher end hotels, and rising hotel prices that threaten to eat into Ireland’s competitiveness.
Tartare Café & Wine bar on Lower Dominick Street, owned by famous local restaurateur JP McMahon won the ‘Taste the Island’ Innovation award.
“This informal little sister quickly became one of Galway’s best-loved spots thanks to its brilliantly simple food and cool arty vibe,” the judges said.
“Equally committed to foods of the region – especially oysters and grass-fed beef – Tartare is popular for casual daytime fare and by night the focus is on beautifully conceived small plates and biodynamic wine.”
JP and co-owner Drigin Gaffey were also commended for their contributions to Galway’s cultural life through Tartare with their free-entry Wine & Design evenings that offer local artists a platform for discussion.
Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites showed the hospitality of the west at its finest, taking home the Outstanding Guest Experience award.
“Chef Ruairi de Blacam, a native of Inis Meáin, and his wife, Marie-Thérèse, offer a unique experience, serving beautifully simple food in a modern restaurant with a panoramic view of the island, sea and sky.”
The suites are designed to help guests find the “peace of the island” judges said, with fishing rods, bicycles, and books instead of TVs or a Spa.
“In their own words: ‘Inis Meáin offers the best of Ireland in one easily explored island – unparalleled natural beauty, culture, and history in a living community.’ After a decade, the offering develops from year to hear but the philosophy remains unchanged: simply magic.”
Three more food and hospitality locations in Galway were runners up for other awards.
Misunderstood Heron food truck & Killary Lodge in Leenaun were joint second, along with W8 Centre & Osta@W8 in Leitrim, for the ‘Taste The Island’ Innovation award won by Tartare.
Quay House in Clifden was a runner up for the Outstanding Guest Experience award, and Sheridan’s Wine Bar on Chirchyard street in the city came second in the Wine & Drinks Experience.
The Ardilaun Hotel was highly commended in the Pet Friendly Destination of the Year category.
And Wa Café, a Japanese takeaway on New Dock street, was a runner up in the Ethnic Restaurant of the Year category.
Banner image: Faceboo/Tartare Café and Wine Bar