PICCOLO Mondo was the big winner at the inaugural Scottish Italian Awards - picking up three prizes on the night.

The Renfrew restaurant was named the most romantic in Scotland with the group also being recognised for having the best wine list.

Then Piccolo Mondo also beat competition from Glasgow's La Lanterna and La Parmigiana as well as Cucina, based at Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, and Osteria in North Berwick to secure the overall best Italian restaurant award.

The event, in association with The Herald and held at the Hilton in Glasgow last night, saw Luca Conreno from La Lanterna triumph in the best Italian chef category with Mariano Russo from La Fiorentina being highly commended by the judges.

Upmarket bridal boutique operator Eleganza Sposa, founded in 1992 and which has premises in Hamilton and Glasgow, was the winner of the favourite Italian business category.

Francesco Longo of Barbarossa in Glasgow won best barista while Ian Reid from Andiamo in Hamilton was named best front- of-house person.

Aviemore's La Taverna took home the best pizza category, with chef Antonio Vastano praised for his work.

It was the family-owned Peter Equi and Sons - which can trace its roots back 90 years and has sites in Hamilton, Cambuslang and Motherwell - which was awarded the best ice cream parlour title.

Eusebi Delicatessen, based on Shettleston Road in Glasgow and also family-run, came out top of the best takeaway category with Celino's in the east end of Glasgow winning best bistro.

Glasgow's Viva Ristorante won the best pasta prize with The Merchant Chippie in the city taking the best fish and chips gong.

Di Maggio's was named the best multiple operator with Bar Aldo's in Alloa picking up the title of best family restaurant.

The Little Italy restaurant in Dumfries was named best newcomer with Ciao Bella in Glasgow also being highly commended by the judges.

The people's choice award was shared by Pesto and the Italian Caffe.

The inhouse marketing team at the long established Visocchi's in Dundee were named the best in Scotland. In total more than of 10,000 votes were cast.

Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, who has won several Michelin stars and AA rosettes, was among those on the judging panel. Mr Novelli and other judges made secret visits to the establishments which made the shortlist before coming to a decision.