Awards are now in their sixth year and increasing in popularity

Giovanni and Chris Vita from Giovannis Bistro, Penicuik, receive the Best Place for a Restaurant Lunch Award from Donna Byrne and Martin Byrne of sponsor Arthur McKay. Photo: Michael Graham Photography.
Giovanni and Chris Vita from Giovannis Bistro, Penicuik, receive the Best Place for a Restaurant Lunch Award from Donna Byrne and Martin Byrne of sponsor Arthur McKay. Photo: Michael Graham Photography.

It proved to be a very successful evening – again – for Giovanni’s Bistro at the annual Midlothian Food and Drink Awards.

For the second year in a row the Penicuik eaterie walked away with a hat-trick of awards, including the coveted Best Customer Service honour.

Hot on the bistro’s heels was the newly-refburbished Cavaliere Restaurant, which won two awards on the night and was runner-up for the Best Customer Service gong.

Chris and Giovanni Vita thanked their customers for supporting the bistro, which they have run for the past five years.

Chris added she was “shocked” at winning the final award of the evening.

The ceremony, held at the new Restoration Cafe within Dalkeith Country Park, showcases the best Midlothian has to offer for lovers of food and drink.

Organised by Midlothian Tourism Forum and Midlothian Council, the awards gave local people and visitors to the area the opportunity to vote for their favourite restaurant, bar, cafe or takeaway in six different categories. This year’s public poll attracted more than 8,800 votes with 18 local eateries and drinking spots making it to the finals.

Midlothian Provost Adam Montgomery congratulated the winners and all those who had taken part. “These awards celebrate the variety and quality of food and drink available to visitors and locals alike,” he said.

“They help raise standards across the industry, encouraging collaboration and showcasing the very best of what our area has to offer.

Food and Drink Awards Committee chairman Alan Gorrie said there had been a “great response” from the public to this year’s competition.

“This was the largest number of votes we have ever had – up 57 per cent on last year.

“It was a very tight run thing so if you haven’t won tonight don’t be disappointed as there have just been a few points separating the businesses.”

This year’s awards were sponsored by the Midlothian Advertiser, Ikea, Itihaas, Buccleuch Estate Dalkeith Country Park, Crummock (Scotland) Ltd, Costco, Arthur Mackay and Flowers by Lamb.