Henry Harris and Dave Strauss to open restaurant and bar in October

06 October 2022 by
Henry Harris and Dave Strauss to open restaurant and bar in October

Chef Henry Harris and former Rockfish director Dave Strauss are to reopen the Three Compasses pub in London's Farringdon with upstairs restaurant Bouchon Racine at the end of October.

Harris and Strauss are co-owners of the business, which marks their first joint venture.

The Three Compasses pub has a 300-year history, which Harris told The Caterer the pair are keen to keep alive by only "doing a light refurbishment".

The upstairs area includes a "really lovely dining room" with an enclosed balcony that can seat 45, which will be home to Bouchon Racine, Harris said.

The ground floor space will remain as a local pub and is due to reopen before the end of October, around two weeks ahead of the upstairs restaurant.

Bouchon Racine will pay homage to Harris' former restaurant, Racine, which opened in 2002 in London's Knightsbridge but closed in 2015.

Harris said: "We've adopted Bouchon Racine [because] I've always been a big fan of Lyonnaise cookery and the region. It just sets a new set of rules, but with the parameter of being very French, and just a slightly more informal dining room than Racine was, with the same care, love and attention going into the wine and drink, digestifs and the food and service."

The drinks offering will include a range of Beaujolais and Burgundy wines from Lyon, while the menu will feature bistro style dishes such as veal chop in rocquefort butter; a côte de boeuf in béarnaise sauce; and crème caramel, with seasonal ingredients supplied from Smithfield market.

Some of the "old Racine favourites", such as grilled rabbit, mustard sauce and smoked bacon, will also be making a return.

Strauss was previously restaurant director of Mitch Tonks'' Rockfish group, while Harris was chef director of London gastropub group Harcourt Inns.

Commenting on the challenges of opening during a period of record-high inflation and economic uncertainty, Harris said: "There are always good reasons never to open a restaurant, but there are always better reasons to do so.

"A little nervousness and caution are a wise thing in business, but enthusiasm and a belief in what we are doing and the experience to do it well will drive forward [our] restaurants."

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