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Rémy Martin Awards

Excellence Award 2007

Arbutus, winner of the 2007 Rémy Martin Restaurant Excellence Award
(click to enlarge picture)

THE PRESTIGIOUS ACCOLADE of the 2007 Rémy Martin Restaurant Excellence Award is tribute to the consistently excellent food and service at this Soho restaurant, which opened in May 2006. Anthony Demetre and Will Smith have worked together for several years - previously at Putney Bridge. Their passion and experience in the restaurant world clearly show at Arbutus, which has become an instant favourite.

Demetre has created a beautifully executed modern menu in his expert French style. A mix of gutsy and lighter dishes, the menu also reflects influences from Spain and Italy. Dishes are based on seasonal ingredients and the menu changes regularly.

With an a la carte menu and set menu on offer at both lunch and dinner, the menu caters for all. Sample dishes include: salad of Jersey Royals, watercress, spring onions and goat's curd; sea bream, risotto of sea lettuce and cockles; and roast rabbit shoulder cottage pie, with Hispi cabbage and mustard sauce. Demetre also aims to recreate many forgotten dishes such as pied paquets, matelote of eel, and tendon of veal.

This impressive menu is accompanied by an extensive wine list, skillfully managed by Smith, which features 60 bins from around the world at a wide range of prices - all available in 250ml carafes.

Demetre and Smith opened Arbutus with the aim of creating a restaurant known for serving innovative, well-priced modern bistro cooking in a relaxed and informal environment. Harden's reporters certainly agree that they've achieved this with the fantastic Arbutus.

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