Sawtell Hotel gets cheers it deserves
WHEN it comes to ‘pub grub’, one schooner says a lot about a hotel.
Making the rating system more relevant to your ‘local’, the inaugural Good Pub Food Guide uses a beer glass instead of stars to rate the best counter meal menus in the State.
In a local coup, Sawtell Hotel has earned a prestigious one ‘schooner’ rating.
Publicans Sue and Greg Costello were given the good news by member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser, who attended the launch of the 2011 guide.
“It’s a great achievement for the hotel and the staff. After 25 years in business, this is the highest recognition we have received for our meals,” Mr Costello said.
“We always knew our menu was good, given our specialty is fresh seafood, but for food critics to say so, well that is a big thing,” he said.
The guide assessed 1600 NSW pubs.
Seventy-two secret food reviewers helped to narrow the field, randomly dining in pub bistros.
From there the contenders were cut down to the 390 premises, which feature in the guide.
“Just eight pubs were awarded the top rating of three schooners, nine pubs got two schooners and we were one of 30 pubs to get a one- schooner rating,” Mrs Costello said.
The 2011 Good Pub Food Guide is sponsored by the Australian Hoteliers Association and produced by the Sydney Morning Herald.
It follows similar publications such as the Good Food and Good Wine guides.
The Sawtell Hotel’s schooner rating also serves as a strong vote of confidence in licensee Terry Costello and head chef Shannon Churchland.
“A schooner is the equivalent of gaining a chef’s hat in the Good Food Guide, and it is testament to the great staff, atmosphere and food on offer at Sawtell Hotel," Mr Fraser said.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Sawtell Hotel to be recognised as one of the best establishments in NSW and I hope this will encourage even more people to visit Sawtell and the Coffs Coast region,” he said.
A list of hotels, featuring in the 2011 Good Pub Food Guide can be found on the Herald’s website.