Pro vs punter

Does a reg­u­lar diner reach the same con­clu­sion about a restau­rant as a food pro, who may get spe­cial treat­ment if recog­nised?* Laura Rowe and O reader Liam Mills com­pare notes on chef Tommy Banks’s lat­est ven­ture

Olive - - CONTENTS -

Laura Rowe and Liam Mills com­pare notes on chef Tommy Banks’s new York restau­rant


Af­ter ex­clu­sively an­nounc­ing his in­ten­tions to open a sec­ond restau­rant on the O mag­a­zine pod­cast last sum­mer, chef Tommy Banks fi­nally opened the door of Roots in York in Septem­ber. Based in the cen­tre of the city, the restau­rant aims to bring the same Banks fam­ily farm-to-fork phi­los­o­phy as their first, the Miche­lin-starred The Black Swan in Old­stead.

Reimag­in­ing its for­mer pub shell, Roots sees a calm bar up­stairs where guests can choose from the likes of house-made spir­its, liqueurs and in­fu­sions – from fen­nel pollen ‘sam­buca’ to lemon ver­bena ‘limon­cello’ – and cock­tails made from in­gre­di­ents for­aged and har­vested from the fam­ily farm in Old­stead.

Down­stairs, there’s a laid­back vibe, with stripped wooden floors and ta­bles, and botan­i­cal draw­ings on the walls, and a menu that takes in­spi­ra­tion from Tommy’s de­but cook­ery book (also called Roots). Ex­pect the likes of cra­pau­dine beet­root slow cooked in beef fat (a sig­na­ture of The Black Swan) and white choco­late with dou­glas fir and lemon ver­bena. root­sy­

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