To fans of fine dining in Yorkshire it may not come as a big surprise.
But this year’s Good Food Guide sports 14 new entries from Yorkshire, including Roots, in York, run by the Banks family of Black Swan at Oldstead fame.
And the Black Swan this year is the highest placed of all Yorkshire restaurants in the Guide.
The annual guidebook to the best restaurants in the UK, which is nearly 70 years old, lists 1,200 of the top places to eat.
Other new entries in the Guide include Masterchef: The Professionals 2016 runner-up Matt Healy’s x The Foundry in Leeds and Clam & Cork, Doncaster, run by ex-miner turned fishmonger Michael Berry.
Elizabeth Carter, Waitrose Good Food Guide Editor, lavished praise on the Banks family’s transformation of the former The Bay Horse Pub in York, a “late Victorian boozer (which) is “attracting a very different crowd now, lured by the prospect of Tommy Banks’ astonishing food.”
She said: “His flagship restaurant has accrued sackfuls of cred for self-sufficiency, growing its own food and supporting local producers, an ethos that has extended to this stellar destination, where small and large sharing plates show ingredients at their dazzling best.”
Clam & Cork, where diners perch on high stools round three sides of a stall in the fish market in Doncaster, she says, is “the best fun you can have with your hat and scarf on”.
Matt Healy’ x Foundry, has an open kitchen with the neon legend “Food to swear by” and a young crew. Ms Carter said: “The vibe might be bold but the food is subtle and delicate.”
The 2019 Guide, which has been published by Waitrose since 2013 includes just two restaurants out of the 75 listed from Yorkshire in its top 50 selection.
The Black Swan, in 34th place, is scored seven out of ten, while Michael O’Hare’s The Man Behind The Curtain in Leeds city centre, also with seven points, is at number 39.
The Man Behind The Curtain, the guide declares, “is quite the bucket list restaurant now” - if you fancy ”pure theatre and a blast of rock and roll”.
It adds: “The luxuriantly coiffured O’Hare and his leather-aproned, black T-shirt-wearing team deliver a series of snacks and small dishes to the sound of Lou Reed, The Killers, Roxy Music and New Order from impressive wall speakers.” With no menu “you have to sit back and see where the journey takes you”.
Mr Banks said it was a “great honour” to be the leading restaurant in the region “because the Yorkshire food scene has really taken off in the last few years.”
He said: “We have been working hard every year. It shows we continue to move forward.
“If you are not careful you can stand still after a while.
“This year was the first year three restaurants from York (including Roots) were in the top 100 in Restaurant Magazine. Last week Roots was 25th in the country in the SquareMeal list.
“We have really started to make waves in the north of England.”