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    Former Arbutus team to open Picture restaurant in London’s West End

    Three former Arbutus Group employees have teamed up to launch Picture, modern European restaurant situated opposite the BBC’s Broadcasting House on Great Portland Street.

    Picture’s manager Tom Slegg says naming the restaurant was ‘the hardest decision we had’

    Opening in the beginning of June, the 65-cover restaurant is the first solo project for chefs Alan Christie and Colin Kelly – who headed up the Michelin-starred Arbutus and Wild Honey restaurants respectively – and restaurant manager Tom Slegg, who previously oversaw a number of venues within the Arbutus Group.

    Speaking of the new project, Slegg told BigHospitality: “We’re so excited about opening Picture; it’s all starting to feel real now. We’ve already fallen in love with the street – it’s right opposite the BBC building which was a big selling point for us on the site.

    “There’s a lot of business around here – Arcadia’s head office is just down the road and there’s a lot of media around here. I think dinners will be more of a challenge than lunchtime, it seems to be a bit quieter around here at night.”

    Picture will be an informal dining venue, with a long dining bar making up 21 of the 65 covers. The menu will comprise a range of seasonal sharing dishes and four or five daily-changing main courses.

    On the menu

    Example sharing dishes include smoked eel with date purée, apple and cucumber; slow-poached hen’s egg, mushroom marmalade; and tripe gratin with chilli and butterbeans.

    Desserts include chocolate mousse with honeycomb, raspberries and Picture’s wine list will be relatively short – 10 whites, 10 reds at ‘affordable’ prices. Slegg envisages an average spend of around £30-£35 a head.

    “We want it to have a light industrial feel,” he added. “There will be no white table cloths, no pretence and no pressure on people when they eat.

    “Lunch is key for us – we will be doing a £20 set menu. The focus will be on good quality food at a good price. “

    Expansion dreams

    When asked about the possibility of expanding Picture or opening new sites with Christie and Kelly, Slegg claimed ‘it would be a dream come true’.

    “We just want to concentrate on nailing this one first though,” he said. “We don’t want to run before we can walk.”

    The site at 110 Great Portland Street was previously a family-owned Italian restaurant called La Vigna. Picture was advised by Restaurant Property on the deal, with a full refurbishment of the premises now under way.

    Big Hospitality – 13th May 2013 – [read article]

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