This casual neighbourhood trattoria, above Landrace Bakery in Bath, is quietly amassing a devoted cult of fans thanks to its simple, perfectly executed Mediterranean plates. Like so many things amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Upstairs at Landrace was born out of necessity - Landrace Bakery owner Andrew Loakes hosted a series of 'Landrace Lates' dinners to drum up some extra business. They promptly sold out and were so well received, he decided to make the space above the bakery into a restaurant.
A great restaurant requires a great team at the core, and Upstairs at Landrace has just that - Rob Sachdev (formerly sous chef at Brawn) and Jules Copperman (formerly general manager at Big Jo), who relocated to Bath from London and after a chance meeting with Andrew, took over the upstairs space. Those who know the laid-back, Med-inspired vibe of both those restaurants will recognise the same thread in Upstairs at Landrace. Most of the dishes are straight-forward trattoria-fare - ricotta ravioli comes with cime di rapa and a generous duvet of Parmesan, ray wing is ably companioned by agretti (a sea herb), blood orange and brown butter, and there's a juicy, rare bavette with jerusalem artichokes to blow away any remaining winter cobwebs. Desserts follow a similar strand - amalfi lemon tart with creme fraiche is simple, but incredibly effective.
The wine by the glass list is very compact - three reds, three whites, a bit of sparkling, a bit of skin contact wine and some digestifs at the end. There's a bit more choice for those buying by the bottle, as well as a healthy selection of perries and fine ciders. In fact, there's a real emphasis on being true to the region in the food as well as the drink. Just as the bakery goes to great lengths to use specific, ancient grain species, Upstairs works tightly with local producers of meat, fish and seafood, charcuterie and cheese and vegetables.