It might only have been open for 10 months, but that hasn’t stopped a Northern Ireland restaurant from making the Michelin Star Guide.

Wine&Brine in Moira was opened last December by husband and wife team Chris and Davina McGowan and is one of 24 restaurants in Great Britain and Ireland to receive a coveted Bib Gourmand for the first time.

Thanks to the talents of Michelin Star-trained chef Chris the Co Down eaterie won the Waitrose Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year 2016, quickly followed by the Michelin award which was announced this week.

His skills were honed from 20 years of training with acclaimed chefs like Richard Corrigan, Pierre Koffmann and Gary Rhodes.

Local produce, which Chris asserts is among the best in the world, features heavily in their regularly-changing menus.

He said: “Our tea, coffee, craft beer, local vodka and gin and liqueurs were all sourced within a ten mile radius of the restaurant and our meat, fish and vegetables are all sourced locally in Northern Ireland.

“We are very proud of the excellent relationships we have established with our suppliers who understand our commitment and ethos of regularly changing menus in keeping with the produce that’s available at the time. To add Michelin Bib Gourmand status to the many other local and national awards we have received in the past few months is just incredible and a brilliant way of placing Moira right in the heart of Northern Ireland’s culinary map.”

Wine&Brine now sits proudly at the top table beside seven more Michelin accredited restaurants in Northern Ireland.

Both OX and Deane’s Eipic retained their Michelin star, while another Michael Deane venture, Deane’s at Queens retained its Bib Gourmand.

Other Belfast eateries to retain their Bibs are Bar + Grill at James Street South and Home. Meanwhile the Old Schoolhouse Inn in Lisbane, Fontana in Holywood also held on to their prestigious Bib Gourmands.

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