Local man Sean Owens opened this impressive restaurant with his wife Helen in 1999, with a redesign of the original premises creating a smart and atmospheric dining room, with a proper bar.
It has been a great success and, having seen many a good night enjoyed here, they decided after nearly a decade in business to give it a complete revamp – and, following major refurbishment, it has recently re-emerged with a lot more than just a new name.
But some things are better left unchanged, and the stated aim - to bring quality local food and service to the people of the area – is one of them. This is achieved remarkably well, through accessible menus that offer really good variations of many popular dishes: ever-popular prawn cocktail, for example, deep fried Ulster button mushrooms with garlic aoili and (who could resist?) a range of juicy local steak dishes...
Sean is a committed supporter of local produce and suppliers, and you may find some unusual specialities here too - Lough Neagh smoked eel, for example (a parfait, perhaps, on roasted soda bread), and dishes inspired by traditional rural products.
All menus are good value (including a Celebrations Menu, offered occasionally to give the kitchen a good stretch, which is also keenly priced), and an early dinner menu offering plenty of choice is a snip. But it’s not just good food that attracts people to Gardiners - it’s a good night out.
Gardiners is a great neighbourhood restaurant - and plenty come from other neighbourhoods to enjoy a night out here, especially at weekends. A carefully selected (and thoroughly tasted) wine list is also well priced.