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8 Midlands Finalists in 2023 Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year Awards

The annual Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year Awards is one the biggest nights in Irish Food, and this year the Midlands is celebrating 8 nominations across 6 different awards categories.

  • Best Restaurant in Leinster – Thyme, Athlone
  • Best Restaurant in Leinster – Bramley, Abbeyleix
  • Best Chef in Leinster – John Coffey, Thyme, Athlone
  • Best Chef in Leinster – Sam Moody, Bramley Abbeyleix
  • Best Casual Dining in Leinster – Kin Khao, Athlone
  • Best Wine Experience in Leinster – Thyme, Athlone
  • Newcomer of the Year – Bramley, Abbeyleix
  • Young Chef of the Year – Marcell Palfalusi, Thyme, Athlone

Food & Wine magazine have developed the influential awards, and they are run in partnership with the Sunday Business Post and with sponsors Remy Martin and Tomkins. The winners will be announced at the Awards event being held in the Round Room at the Mansion House, Dublin on the 5th of November.

Thyme, Athlone

For over 20 years, Thyme in Athlone has been at the forefront of the Midlands food from its location on the banks of the River Shannon in the centre of Athlone. Head Chef John Coffey has developed a fine dining restaurant that has gone from strength to strength by focusing on a truly local menu, going to great lengths to ensure the menu offers a true taste of the Midlands, working with a raft of the very best local suppliers from across the region in a true celebration of Midlands food. Thyme are no strangers to awards success, and have held a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand for many years.

Bramley, Abbelyleix

The newest arrival to the Midlands food scene is Bramley, located in the heart of the beautiful heritage village of Abbeyleix in Co. Laois. The restaurant itself may be new, but husband and wife team Sam and Emily Moody are no strangers to the region, with Sam previously working as Head Chef in the luxurious Ballyfin Demesne nearby in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Their new venture, Bramley, has gained significant attention since opening, both locally and across Ireland, for a relaxed atmosphere, and a menu which champions the best in Laois produce.

Kin Khao, Athlone

When first opened over 18 years ago, Kin Khao broke the rules by cooking authentic Thai food as it should be. While the Kin Khao team of chefs come from all across Thailand, they blend the best and bring their food together to reflect the food of the Isaan region in north east Thailand, with flavours that are gutsy, fermented and fiery! Their unique restaurant is hidden in the narrow streets of Athlone’s cultural quarter, close to the Castle and the River Shannon.


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