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A hard fought category, given it’s long association with British diners. We’re looking for restaurants which excel by creating aromatic, evocative dishes that set our imaginations on fire.
We’re looking for restaurants which deliver authentic home-grown dishes just aching to be ordered, whether it’s taking our national cuisine to new levels, with a flourish, or presenting classic dishes just how they ought to be served.
Style and elegance go hand in hand with quality Italian dining and these should shine through in this category. Judges will be searching for restaurants which go the extra mile to create a bespoke dining experience, replete with all the culinary delights diners expect.
This category takes in food from across the globe, including the Middle East, the Far East, South America and beyond. As such, the overall dining experience has to be able to stand out. Judges will be looking for flair and imagination and restaurants which bring something different and even unique to the table.
Best City Centre
Quite simply, the best restaurant in the city centre. Entrants will excel in service, providing just the right atmosphere to keep customers coming back, while the food will be second to none.
The fringes of our city are often overlooked but they provide a breeding ground for some of the best loved (and hardest working) restaurants, creating dining destinations people are happy to travel to. Often, they are able to create a homely atmosphere others find hard to replicate, but food and good service go without saying.
Several years ago, the Oliver Awards responded to demand and extended its reach into the rural climes of our county. This award recognises all those places where people love to go because they are guaranteed a superb experience time after time, with a stunning setting, superrb food and sublime service.
This is always a busy category and one of the hardest to judge. Winners of this award usually go on to greater things. We aim to use it to celebrate all those restaurants which are trying to make a name for themselves by recognising the hard work and passion that goes into making their dreams a reality.
Quite often, service can make or break a restaurant and we know how much effort those in the industry put into making sure people not only enjoy their experience but want to return time after time. Judges will be looking for polished, assured performances from those front of house.
Best Fine Dining
The Leeds dining scene has changed in many ways over the years but perhaps one of the indicators of the confidence in the market is the growth of fine dining establishments, which offer something special or unexpected to diners looking for a memorable night.
This award will be judged solely by our industry experts, who are already immersed in the dining scene, intimate with the ways in which it operates and the people whose ingenuity helps mark a restaurant out as inescapably important.
This award was created to recognise all those places which manage to create great food for people in hurry. It’s the cafes and restaurants which manage to put out outstanding cuisine to people on the go.
Oliver has for a long time acknowledged the role bars play, not just in terms of providing liquid refreshments but also the occasional snack to go alongside. This is a new award and we want to highlight all those places which are going above and beyond to cater for a discerning, often diverse clientele. Judges will consider food, drink, atmosphere, service and value for money.
Another new award and one focussed entirely on cafes and what they offer. Judges will be looking for places which do their own thing but do it well, often offering bespoke dishes, with a slick, well-drilled operation. Scrumptiousness rules the roost here.
The Oliver Awards can no longer afford to ignore the presence and impact of small and micro brewers, of which there are hundreds in Leeds. This new award aims to shine a light on all those passionate, hard working individuals and companies of people who have forged something special, relying on their own imaginations and hard graft. We will be looking for ingenuity, passion, the product and vision for the future. Judges can’t wait to get started.
The People’s Oliver
A new award aimed squarely at promoting family restaurants, nominated by readers for their unwavering commitment to making sure every member of a group, no matter what their age, is catered for when they come to eat. Here, we will be guided by you but judges will be looking for the personal touch, for restaurants which in some way mark themselves out for applause and for sheer passion and dedication to the task in hand.
Vote for your winner...
Simply text, PEN followed by a space and the word OLIVER along with the four digit voting code of the person/group you are voting for to 85100 (eg PEN OLIVER 0015). Voting by text costs £1.50p per vote plus one standard network rate message. Don't forget the spaces! You can vote as often as you like before the text line closes at 11.59pm, 28th February 2019. SP BBA Digital Ltd KT18 5AD, Helpline 0333 3353351.
Readers can also send nominations to Karen Goodridge-Cross, Oliver Awards 2019 People's Choice Nomination, Yorkshire Evening Post, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds. LS12 1BE
Click here to vote online
0010 Afsaneh Kaviani - Pop up (Afsaneh's Kitchen)
0011 Amalthea Greek Bistro
0013 Dakota Deluxe Leeds
0014 Dill & Bay
0015 Ephesus, Rodley
0018 George's Great British Kitchen
0020 Kirkstall Bridge
0021 The Foundry
0023 Olive & Feta, Farsley
0024 Poco Sicilian Street Food
0025 Salvo's, Headingley
0026 San Carlo Flying Pizza
0027 Sheesh Mahal
0028 Spice House
0029 Stew & Oyster
0030 The Rythre Arms Steakhouse
0031 Viva Cuba
0032 Yorkshire Pudding Pie Company, Rillington, North Yorkshire
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The final award of the night and a chance for us to single out someone special for praise, whether because they have overcome some personal difficulty or achieved something out of the ordinary. Anyone can nominate but the results are kept a secret and only revealed on the night of the awards.