We know where Roots York will be – but there’s a lot more to know about the city’s most anticipated restaurant opening of the year.
Renowned chef Tommy Banks and his family run Trip Advisor’s best restaurant in the world – the Black Swan at Oldstead.
They have teamed up with their friend and restauranteur Matthew Lockwood to open Roots in the old Bay Horse pub on Marygate.
Their ‘farm-to-fork’ philosophy is part of a holistic approach, which also sees the family, chefs and front of house work together in all areas of the business.
This includes everything from designing and making the furniture for the restaurant, to planting and harvesting produce on their land for the menu.
Tommy and his team have expanded the Black Swan gardens to meet the needs of the city restaurant, with a plan to bring fresh ingredients into York every day. Members of the team will be alternating between the two sites.
We are all incredibly excited about our second restaurant Roots, opening in the heart of York.
Work is well underway in all areas and I am enjoying getting stuck into creating a new and unique menu for the city.
Like his new cookbook, also called Roots, Tommy is organising the food according to three seasons he calls The Hunger Gap, Time of Abundance and the Preserving Season.
These three seasons will dictate the menu at Roots, where each season will introduce a new menu. The first between January and June is called ‘The Hunger Gap’ because there is very little fresh produce to harvest.
The food used is predominantly from the ‘Time of Abundance’ the previous year, which is between June and September, when young vegetables are appearing and produce is more plentiful.
When this comes to an end in late September, it’s time for ‘The Preserving Menu’ – when work begins on preserving for the following season, including pickling, drying and freezing.
Roots York – info and links
Tuesday – Closed
Weds-Mon – Lunch – 12-2pm
Weds-Mon – Dinner – 5:30-8:30pm
Children of 5 years or above will be welcomed at lunch
Children of 10 years or above will be welcomed for dinner
9-14 covers – Pricing between £40-£50 per person
Food and cocktails
At the time of opening September 2018, Roots’ daily menu will centre on preservation. Dishes will include lamb and fermented turnip, cured trout, fennel kimchi and meridian apple, raw beef with chilli ferment and smoked bone marrow and smoked eel doughnuts.
As well as the main menu, there will also be a ‘Roots Feast’, which will be a chefs selection of dishes, brought to the table in four servings.
Roots will serve cocktails, using produce grown or foraged in Oldstead to reflect the flavours of the current menu, for example marigold martinis, mayweed Martinez and Woodruff old fashioned.
The wine menu, by James Banks, will have 25 whites and 25 reds, with an emphasis on wines sourced from small producers and lesser-known regions.
Roots will be a 50 cover restaurant. The Tudor-style Bay Horse has been renovated to a design by the Banks family.
The old building has been given a light, airy and modern feel.
Its dining tables are being made in the workshops on the farm at Oldstead. An original feature-fireplace sits to the right of the entrance and a large stained-glass window leads up the wide staircase to the bar area where guests can enjoy an aperitif before dinner, or a drink after their meal.
Also upstairs is their private dining room which will seat up to 14 people around a bespoke table where guests will be able to enjoy an exclusive dining experience of the Roots Feast.