After another highly successful year for the Society’s monthly Dining Club, the Society has crowned Mocca Moocho Café in Cross Square as its Restaurant of the Year for 2013.
And, in an unexpected twist, four restaurants tied for ‘runner-up’ awards with certificates going to the Iris, The Grill Pit, Delphi Café and Restaurant, and Gaskell’s Restaurant at Wakefield College.
Members of the Civic Society’s Dining Club, which was set up in 2010, sampled a different restaurant each month from January through to December 2013 and chose the winning restaurants by rating each establishment at which they ate during the year.
Members voted on the overall experience at each restaurant in terms of ambience and comfort, quality of the food and service, and value for money. Whereas in previous years, there has been a tie for top place with two restaurants being nominated for the Society’s Restaurant of the Year in each of the past three years, in 2013, one establishment alone scored the highest mark – and that was a café! Although not usually open on an evening, proprietors Margaret and Jamie Blackshaw, who are members of the Society, decided to offer Dining Club members an exclusive event, opening the café, now fully licensed, for a specially prepared vegetarian menu and poetry evening. While not a restaurant in the strictest sense, members of the Society’s Dining Club obviously enjoyed their experience and gave Mocca Moocho the highest mark of the year.
[Pictured, left to right: Jean Broadbent, Society Treasurer and Dining Club Organiser, Proprietors Margaret and Jamie Blackshaw, and Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor Mrs Janet Holmes]
However, Dining Club organisers noticed that there were four establishments whose score was very close to that of Mocca Moocho and felt that these should also be recognised. They decided therefore to award runner-up certificates to the Iris, The Grill Pit, Delphi Café and Restaurant, and Gaskell’s Restaurant at Wakefield College.
Society President Kevin Trickett said “What started out as a bit of fun back in 2010 has now become an established part of the Society’s social programme and we regularly attract anything from a dozen to over 20 members for our monthly Dining Club meetings. To date, we have met over 50 times and asking our members to score their experiences adds a bit of excitement to the occasion. We have had some very enjoyable evenings over the last four years and it’s nice to recognise the best of these occasions through our Restaurant of the Year Award, an informal but now highly coveted award among restaurateurs”.
The award and commendations were presented to recipients at the Society's AGM and Awards Evening held at the Mechanics' Theatre in Wood Street on 10th April.