'Great British Menu' winner Tommy Banks and family, who run popular restaurant-with-rooms The Black Swan at Oldstead, have opened a new restaurant in central York. The PR info for Roots says: "Make a choice. Order as much as you like, eat, drink and be the creator of your own menu."
Harden's survey result
“A magnificent addition to York’s burgeoning food scene” – “Tommy Banks does amazing things with the most simple of ingredients” (“how can anyone make a humble brassica such as kale so bloody tasty that we were all fighting over it?!”), at his family’s “converted pub, close to York city-centre”, which – in one short year – has become the survey’s most-mentioned destination in this increasingly foodie town. “The intense flavours and imaginative combination of sometimes-unlikely ingredients are a delight” and “the wine to match is excellent, and very well thought out”. “Young, friendly, helpful and enthusiastic service” contributes to a highly impressive debut. “Get in quick, before the prices match those at his Black Swan in Oldstead!”. Top Menu Tip – “his best-known dish is the epic crapaudine beetroot, the beetroot cooked in beef fat”.
’Great British Menu’ winner Tommy Banks and family, who run legendary country-inn-with-rooms The Black Swan at Oldstead, have opened this newcomer in central York: a converted Tudorbethan pub near the river. Early press reviews says the menu features dishes of similar obscure inspiration to those at The Black Swan, and are by-and-large ecstatic.
Roots Restaurant Diner Reviews
"The best restaurant in York - no contest"
"The tasting menu is a rarity with every dish being a delight - and usually a surprise. The only slightly off-the-bullseye dish was the rays wing ordered as a supplement to the Tasting Menu. This was served too fresh, skate always benefits from being a few days old. But this is a wonderfull addition to North Yorkshire dining, and remarkable value. The only issue for this reader is that as it's such a short walk from the station one doesn't have to worry about the level of alcahol intake. Coupled with the very good drinks list (from local based cocktails to good wines and digestifs) it can (and did) inflate the bill a "bit". The quality of the food must mean a Michelin Star will come soon, and then it will become as difficult to get into as it's mother-ship, sadly."
"An enjoyable and interesting concept"
"A short stroll from the centre of York, this former pub has been adapted to house a modern restaurant with a modern dining concept - shared plates. The first thing to strike us was the charming and clearly properly schooled staff keen to ensure that the customer comes first, as was demonstrated by our being moved from the table assigned to us to one where we could have a good view of the open kitchen. A good start, especially as Tommy Banks was in the kitchen, unlike at the Black Swan a couple of days earlier, and maybe it showed, the quality of the dishes being superior here. Our glasses of English sparkling were shared with some tasty seed crackers which came with sourdough bread, chive butter and a creamy cheese before we had ordered and which we subsequently discovered was the first course on our choice of the “Roots Feast” or tasting menu, in this case a selection of 10 dishes from the current “Time of abundance” offering, one of three seasonal versions as a function of the ingredients available. The feast started with a nasturtium Caesar salad with multiple constituents which, although slightly vinegary, got the palate set up for the next dish, a delightful combination of cured sea bass with golden strawberries and a creamy sauce with a gherkin addition. The potential problem with two plates being served at the same time was demonstrated with the next round - carrot and fennel salad on the one hand and lamb bao bun on the other. Meat before salad for the temperature? The salad went down very easily, with its fennel oil topping, perfectly roasted, yummy hazelnuts, raw carrots and carrot tops matched with pickled fennel and asking for meat to follow. The lamb belly was absolutely top-notch and enhanced by surprisingly delicate fermented turnip and extremely good buns. Interestingly, the raw deer dish we had not been keen on at the Black Swan was on the menu but not served here, and we went straight on to some lovely beef brisket, salted for 7 days, topped with one of our favourite local cheeses, Old Winchester, and served with the inevitable gherkin and a ketchup and mustard emulsion. A very successful first main followed by an equally inviting fish dish, a more than decent portion of excellent day boat coley with a smoked butter sauce, not unlike the Black Swan version, but here with clams, roasted onions, samphire leaves and a chervil powder. We were very happy to have a second meat main, especially as it was really tasty hogget with its accompaniment of baby vegetables and courgette. The Roots take on Angel Delight came next, an almost chocolatey Jerusalem artichoke mousse with a Jerusalem artichoke syrup tuile and chicory, and then, our final indulgence in this well-conceived lunchtime extravaganza, gooseberry cake, beautifully sharp gooseberry, elderflower cream and elderflower and gooseberry tuile. This would make a super palate cleanser, but we were happy with it anywhere. A most impressive experience and terrific value even with the one disappointment of the bread being counted as a course."
|Wine per bottle||£25.00|
68 Marygate, York, YO30 7BH
|Monday||12 pm-2 pm, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-2 pm, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-2 pm, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2 pm, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-2 pm, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm-2 pm, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm|