Anthony Demetre and Will Smith's latest venture, Arbutus, was named Best New London Restaurant at the Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2006.
The 75-seat restaurant, in Soho's Frith Street, beat off stiff competition for the award, including Bar Shu and La Collina. It was praised for its high-quality yet reasonably priced menu and its easy-going but professional staff.
Other winners in the Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2006 included Lost Society in Wandsworth (Best Bar), Marquess Tavern on Canonbury Street (Best Gastropub), and Sam's Brasserie & Bar in Chiswick (Best Local Restaurant). Best Design was awarded to Yakitoria in Paddington, the Japanese eaterie owned by Russian restaurant group Vesta-Centre, which was designed by David d'Almada Architects.
The winners are:
- Best Bar: Lost Society, Wandsworth Road, SW18
- Best Cheap Eat: The Table, Southwark Street, SE1
- Best Gastropub: Marquess Tavern, Canonbury Street, N1
- Best Wine Bar: Vinoteca, St John Street, EC1
- Best Pâtisserie: Macaron, The Pavement, SW4
- Best Local Restaurant: Sam's Brasserie & Bar, Barley Mow Passage, W4
- Best Family Restaurant: Benihana, Avenue Road, NW3
- Best Steak Restaurant: Gaucho Piccadilly, Swallow Street, W1
- Best Design: Yakitoria, Sheldon Square, W2
- Best New Restaurant: Arbutus, Frith Street, W1
Time Out also rated London's most exclusive restaurants, revealing that some of the capital's most celebrated eateries are almost inaccessible to the public.
It named Gordon Ramsay at Hospital Road, the Ivy and Tom Aikens as the worst offenders regarding bookings, with rebuffing techniques used including having to book at least two months in advance and not being able to talk to anyone but being put through to automated services instead.
By Kerstin Kühn