The restaurant in the market town of Moira, which McGowan runs with wife Davina, only opened in December last year, but wowed both readers and guide editors with its commitment to 'seasonal and local ingredients at ridiculously reasonable prices'.
Elizabeth Carter, Waitrose Good Food Guide editor, said: “The simple formula of a kitchen that cooks fresh to order is the very principle on which our guide was founded. We have always maintained that the best restaurants offer creative, memorable food based on quality, seasonal and local produce. In other words no pretensions or gimmicks, just first-class food cooked from ingredients deeply rooted in the region.
"A commitment to their community and a strong relationship with local suppliers is what makes a restaurant truly local.”
Wine & Brine co-owner Davina McGowan said: “To say we are delighted by this accolade is a great understatement. We are positively ecstatic to be chosen as the overall UK winner. We are such a young business, it makes it all the more profound for us. It's a testament to all our hard work over the years ahead of setting up Wine & Brine, which we always wanted to be a place where people wanted to come to eat and enjoy spending time with friends and family.
“We are trying to make good food accessible to everyone, using local suppliers. We only have one draught beer, and that’s from a brewery a few miles away. Our butcher is within a five-mile radius, as are most of our suppliers.”
Wine & Brine, also the top choice for Northern Ireland, joins nine other regional winners in the 2017 edition of the awards.
- Northern Ireland and Overall Winner: Wine & Brine, Moira, County Armagh
- South East: The Compasses Inn, Crundale, Kent
- London: Portobello Ristorante Pizzeria, Notting Hill
- North West: Mrs Miller’s, Culgaith, Cumbria
- North East: Peace and Loaf, Newcastle
- Scotland: The Whitehouse, Lochaline, Highlands
- Wales: Sosban and the Old Butcher’s, Menai Bridge, Isle of Anglesey
- Midlands - The Jockey, Baughton, Worcestershire
- South West - Wilks, Bristol
- East England - The Duck Inn, Stanhoe, Norfolk
Judges sifted through 30,000 reader nominations cast between March and May this year, for the Local Restaurant of the Year Awards (previously known as Reader Awards) before picking 10 regional winners and choosing the overall winner.
The awards are announced ahead of the release of the 2017 guide on 5 September.