Jason Atherton's first solo venture, Pollen Street Social, has been named London's best new fine-dining restaurant in the Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2011.
The restaurant in Mayfair was praised for its great innovation and brilliant execution as well as its flexible approach to dining.
Pollen Street Social beat stiff competition to win the award, including Heston Blumenthal's Dinner, Hedone in Chiswick, and Medlar on King's Road, the first restaurant from former Chez Bruce chef and manager Joe Mercer Nairne and David O'Connor.
Meanwhile, Will Beckett and Huw Gott's steak restaurant, Hawksmoor Seven Dials, won Time Out‘s best new restaurant award. The Covent Garden restaurant is the second Hawksmoor after the original in Farringdon located in the former Watney Combe brewery.
Time Out‘s food and drink editor Guy Dimond said that despite the tough economic climate 2011 had been one of the best years for new restaurant launches in London.
"With all the doom and gloom you'd think that this would have been a bad year for restaurant openings but I don't remember such a strong year in more than a decade," he told Caterer and Hotelkeeper.
"The trend towards no bookings and small, sharing plates has continued and this is a reflection of the economic climate. Operators are able to get more people through the doors and small plates are a much simpler way to manage margins."
Other winners were Massimo's Restaurant and Oyster Bar at the Corinthia Hotel, which won the best new design award for its David Collins Studio designed interiors.
Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2011 results
Best New Bar
Winner Worship Street Whistling Shop
(Victorian-themed basement bar, City)
Nominees Booking Office (Hotel bar, St Pancras Station)
Experimental Cocktail Club (speakeasy-style cocktail bar, Chinatown)
Zetter Townhouse (Quirky hotel-style bar, Clerkenwell)
Best New Cheap Eats
Winner Manchurian Legends (Dongbei Chinese, Chinatown)
Nominees Ariana II (Afghan, Kilburn)
KaoSarn (Thai, Brixton)
Meza (Lebanese, Tooting)
Best New Design
Winner Massimo (Italian) designed by David Collins Studio
Nominees Nopi (Pan-Asian)
Riding House Café (Brasseries)
Spuntino (North American)
Best New Fine Dining
Winner Pollen Street Social (from chef Jason Atherton)
Nominees Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Best New Local Restaurant
Winner Malina (Polish, Chiswick)
Brawn (French, Bethnal Green)
Corner Room (Mod European, Bethnal Green)
Kateh (Iranian, Warwick Avenue)
Best New Restaurant
Winner Hawksmoor Seven Dials (British steakhouse)
Nominees Kopapa (Kiwi brasserie)
Spuntino (New York style no-bookings)
Best Park Café
Winner Lido Café (at Brockwell Lido, Brixton)
Fulham Palace Café
Lido Café (Serpentine, Hyde Park)
Pavilion Café, Highgate Woods
Best Sushi Bar
Winner Yashin (modern Japanese sushi, Knightsbridge)
Sushi of Shiori
By Kerstin Kühn
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