Michelin joy for Wine & Brine, Ox and Deanes Eipic
A Co Armagh restaurant is celebrating after it was awarded the coveted Bib Gourmand status in the new Michelin Guide.
Wine & Brine in Moira was awarded the listing for the first time - bringing to six the number of Northern Ireland establishments awarded a Bib Gourmand in this year's guide.
And Northern Ireland's two Michelin star-rated restaurants - Eipic and Ox - have retained their prestigious status.
The Bib Gourmand is a separate award for restaurants that offer good food at more affordable prices - £28 or less for a three-course meal.
Belfast-based restaurants Deanes at Queens, Bar+Grill at James Street South, and Home have all kept their Bib Gourmand awards, as have The Old Schoolhouse Inn in Newtownards, and Fontana in Holywood.
The news was doubly delightful for restaurateur Michael Deane, the chef behind Eipic and Deanes At Queens.
Head chef Danni Barry is only the second female chef in Ireland ever to win the coveted Star.
"It's a true reflection of the dedication to high standards and the dogged hard work of the team at Deanes. It's also wonderful for our city to boast two Michelin Starred restaurants and there's no doubt that impacts on our tourism industry," said Mr Deane.
And Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, congratulated Eipic and Ox for holding onto their Michelin stars.
"Maintaining such a high standard in such a competitive industry is a difficult thing to do and they must be applauded for their hard work and dedication.
"It is also fantastic to see that six restaurants here have also been awarded the prestigious Bib Gourmand accolade," he said. "Such awards send out a strong message to visitors and tourists that our restaurant scene is vibrant and growing stronger which is important in maintaining the 45,000 jobs of those who work in the food and drink service alone here in Northern Ireland."
Rebecca Burr, editor of the annual Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland, said the winners reflected the rich diversity of Ireland's restaurant scene.
She said: "Every year we seek out new candidates whilst reassessing restaurants already in the guide. Consistency is key."
A small restaurant in a Dublin suburb has also clinched a coveted Michelin star. Heron & Grey, Blackrock, brings the number of Michelin-starred restaurants on both sides of the border in Ireland to 12.
In Dublin, the Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud retained its two Michelin stars, while Chapter One, L'Ecrivain and The Greenhouse held on to one star each.
One star was also retained by Aniar and Loam restaurants in Galway, Campagne and Lady Helen at Mount Juliet Hotel in Kilkenny, and House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel, in Ardmore, Waterford.
Five Bibs were dished out in Dublin - to Delahunt, Etto, Pichet, The Pig's Ear and Pigeon House.