Hospitality industry members' club Trade in London's Soho is relaunching on 10 September as the Black Book, a restaurant and bar specialising in rare wines and classic brasserie dishes, open to all.
Founders Gearoid Devaney and Xavier Rousset decided to pivot the concept into a late-night wine bar and restaurant following the difficulties the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK has wrought on the industry. Instead, the community and perks of Trade will be available to sector professionals via an app.
The name is a nod to the tradition adopted by sommeliers of scribbling tasting notes in black books.
Wines by the glass include the Tuscan Tassinaia at £12 and a Sancerre by Francois Cotat at £14. Vintages may include Côte-Rôtie La Barbarine Gangloff 2000 at £205, compared to its usual price tag of around £350, or Sassicaia 2010 at £250 instead of £450, softer price points due to Devaney and Rousset's industry contacts. A cocktail list, including martinis and negronis, is also on offer.
Dishes designed with wines in mind will include roasted onglet with peppercorn sauce and hand-cut chips (£17) and pan-fried cod with autumnal ratatouille and silken tarragon sauce (£17). To share guests can choose from half a dozen Maldon rock oysters (£14); burrata, figs, red onion compote, walnuts and honey (£9); courgette flower with goats' curd, honey and truffle (£5); and chorizo and Romesco sauce (£10). The dessert menu features tarte tatin (£6) and salted caramel and chocolate tart (£6).
Founding members of Trade app will receive 50% off the main wine list during September, with all hospitality workers receiving 10% off the bill (excluding fine wines) when quoting ‘TRADE App 10'.
Rousset said: "Soho is a community, and it always has welcomed all with open arms, and that's why commis chefs, commuters, date nighters and late-night diners all find refuge here. We wanted to open up the Black Book to all to ensure everyone felt especially part of this community, to toast to good health, eat well and embody the spirit of Soho, too.
"Special and rare wines with the option to buy by the glass was an essential aspect to making this inclusive, even if there were certain perks afforded to the industry via the Trade app that keep the spirit of Soho and London going. The Black Book blends perfectly the elements that we think make Soho special – some glamour to be enjoyed by all."