Anthony Demetre and Will Smith's latest venture, Arbutus, was this week named best new London restaurant at the Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2006.
The 75-seat restaurant, on Soho's Frith Street, beat off stiff competition for the award, including Bar Shu and La Collina, and was praised for its high quality yet reasonably priced menu and its easygoing but professional staff.
Other winners included Lost Society in Wandsworth (Best Bar), Marquess Tavern on Canonbury Street (Best Gastropub), and Sam's Brasserie & Bar in Chiswick (Best Local Restaurant).
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.
There are, however, jewels in the capital's restaurant crown. According to Time Out, Le Gavroche, Foilage and the Greenhouse welcome all kinds of guests, no matter who they know or how much they earn. It said that customers calling a couple of days in advance were almost guaranteed a table on a Friday or Saturday night.
- 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
Source: Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2006