Home > News > Roots York Opening September 2018 Tommy Banks Second Restaurant

Roots York Opening September 2018 Tommy Banks Second Restaurant

Roots York Opening September 2018 Tommy Banks Second Restaurant

Renowned chef Tommy Banks and his family have teamed up with their friend and restauranteur Matthew Lockwood, for their second restaurant, Roots York opening this September 2018.

Following on from their award-winning and one Michelin star restaurant with rooms, The Black Swan at Oldstead in North Yorkshire, Roots will be bringing the Banks’ unique ‘farm-to-fork’ philosophy to the city for the first time, introducing their innovative and holistic approach to hospitality to an urban environment.

Roots Yorks Restaurant Tommy Banks and family

Integral to their style is a clear focus on originality and self-reliance, which brings the family, chefs and front of house together to work collectively in all areas of the business. Including designing and making the furniture for the restaurant, they also plan, plant and harvest on their land before preparing and serving dinner. This approach is being strengthened by the launch of their second restaurant, where preparation for the opening has meant growth and expansion of the Black Swan gardens in order for Oldstead produce to be brought to the city daily. Members of the team will be alternating between the two sites, ensuring the personality of the Black Swan and the Banks’ family resonates in every element of Roots.

The new restaurant and menu will be aligned with Tommy’s debut cookbook, also named Roots. In Roots, Tommy redefines the seasons into three growing groups inspired by Oldstead’s ingredients, which he describes as the ‘roots’ of their food and which he aims to use throughout the year. Instead of the traditional four seasons, Tommy works within three defining seasons: The Hunger Gap, Time of Abundance and the Preserving Season.

7 Course Tasting Menu for Two at Multi Award Winning Restaurant

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, work begins on preserving for the following season. Preserving includes pickling, fermenting, drying, freezing or clamping. This philosophy, which means that Tommy and the team utilise their ‘root’ ingredients to the best of their ability, forms the foundation of their cuisine.

The Hunger Gap: Available through January-May
Time of Abundance: Available through June-September
The Preserving Menu: Available through October-December

Roots Yorks Restaurant Bao Buns

At the time of Roots York opening, September 2018, the daily menu will be centered around 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. Additionally, Roots, will feature an exciting and distinctive wine menu, crafted by James Banks with an emphasis on delicious wines sourced from small producers and lesser known regions. James’s menu will be differentiated between Vines (White) and Roots (Red), relating to their flavour profiles. The wine list will consist of fifty wines, twenty-five white and twenty-five red, which will all be available by the glass.

The 50 cover restaurant will be located on Marygate, a 5-minute walk away from York train station. The Tudor-style building sits across from the River Ouse, and runs alongside the beautiful museum gardens. The newly-renovated restaurant space has been designed by the Banks family, taking care to apply the same ethos and craftsmanship of The Black Swan to the new restaurant.

The old building has been given a light, airy and modern feel with much being designed by the Black Swan team, right down to the dining tables which 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 Table 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.

Tommy Banks on the Roots York Opening : “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”.


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Written by

Tara Harris


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