The manager of Falkirk Italian restaurant Gambero Rosso has been voted the best in the business at the Scottish Hospitality Awards.
The honour presented to Susan Pallucci is the latest major accolade for the Burnbank Road venue and its top team, and was presented at a black tie dinner for 200 guests at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.
It follows on from a spectacular double success at last year’s awards, when Susan, co-owner Antonio Pallucci and chef Antonio Penese, were there to claim the Central Restaurant of the Year and the Overall Restaurant of the Year.
It was arguably the most prestigious honour of the night.
Disaster struck in October last year when the restaurant was gutted in a devastating fire, closing down the venue just before what would normally be the busiest spell.
But after a lengthy refurbishment it was fully back in business this year – and was better than ever, according to many local fans.
Susan said: “Of course I’m delighted, and had not expected it - it’s due to Antonio, our staff, and to our wonderful regular diners.
“Many of them have become friends, and I really want to thank them all for their loyalty.”
She says that if anything the restaurant has become even busier since the relaunch, with new customers keen to check out a venue that had already won a great reputation among Falkirk diners.
“People who didn’t know us already have perhaps been curious,” she said, “and then liked what they found.”