YORK is getting a brand new restaurant - but one with some culinary pedigree.

The team behind the popular brunch cafe Partisan at 112 Micklegate have opened a second outpost this week, Brancusi, in the former Rattle Owl building just a few doors away at number 104.

The Press caught up with Partisan owners, married couple Florencia Clifford and Hugo Hildyard, just before their first service to find out more about the venture.

Florencia said Brancusi was the next step for the business - Partisan is open during the day and the couple wanted to offer an evening experience for diners.

She said when Partisan ran its own one-off evening events people seemed to want more.

"People who came in the evening to Partisan were asking us: 'when are you going to more evenings'?' she said.

Part of the problem was that the kitchen at Partisan was very small, so much so that for the past year Florencia had hired the upstairs kitchen at The Rattle Owl from its owner Clarrie O'Callaghan and where the Partisan baking team set to work.

Gazette & Herald: Hugo and Florencia upstairs at Brancusi in MicklegateHugo and Florencia upstairs at Brancusi in Micklegate

When Florencia learned that Clarrie was selling the building, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

And so Brancusi was born. The name honours the modernist sculptor Constantin Brancusi. Florencia had fallen in love with his art during a honeymoon trip to Paris where she visited his studio near the Pompidou Centre.

She said: "It was one of the most beautiful things I'd seen in my life. His art is very simple, understated and sensual."

And she said it chimed with her own approach to food and cooking.

"We try to make not too many interventions and let the ingredients do their thing. We use really good independents to create the most incredible plates of food."

So what can we expect from the Brancusi menu?

Well first thing to know, is that the kitchen is being headed up by James 'Jim' Gilroy, who previously worked for Partisan (and Bicis Y Mas in Walmgate before that) and now also runs the Food Circle market at Tang Hall Community Centre twice a week. Lots of the Brancusi produce will be coming from there, said Florencia.

The menu features a mix of small plates - a popular trend in modern restaurants - with portions rising from snack size to more substantial, to suit all appetites and budgets. The restaurant has a bar licence, so people can pop in for a drink and enjoy a small bite to eat too.

Gazette & Herald: View across Micklegate from BrancusiView across Micklegate from Brancusi

Everything is made in-house, except the bread, which comes from the Haxby Bakehouse.

Menu highlights include: a plate of charcuterie with Jim's pickles (£10); small duck rillette on toast (£6); artichoke heart tartine (£8); seasonal gratin with gruyere and house gherkin (£9); Jim's bean stew with Fadmoor cavolo nero (£12); mushroom, Delicata squash, tomatillo, seeds (£16); Porchetta, pear, fennel, salsa verde (£21), and hake with smoked almond and aioli (£21).

For something sweet, you can choose from steamed marmalade sponge pudding and bay custard (£8.50); chocolate cake, steeped prunes, creme fraiche (£9); Burn butter semifreddo, caramelised poached pears, walnut biscotti (£9). A cheese plate is also available, priced £14.

Florencia said: "It is casual dining. There are no tweezers here! We want people to come and have a really nice glass of wine and a really nice plate of food."

Gazette & Herald: Some of the dishes at BrancusiSome of the dishes at Brancusi (Image: Supplied)

Brancusi will also follow Partisan in displaying works by local artists, some of which will be for sale.

Local furniture maker Marcus Jacka has made new oak shelves for the bar area and chairs for a sitting area in the window of the restaurant.

Works by Rosie Ramsden, Tom Handley and Carol Douglas are also on display.

York food fans with long memories will recall the building before it was The Rattle Owl when it was the popular Blake Head Book Shop, which also had a vegetarian cafe.

Indeed, Florencia recalls the Blake Head with fondness. "It was good. I remember it had nice, honest, vegetarian food. I have always liked Micklegate."

The building - which is grade-II listed, dates back to the 17th century and has Roman ruins in the basement - still has the glass extension at the rear, which once housed the Blake House cafe.

Fans of The Rattle Owl will notice a few changes to the building - but not too many, for now.

Besides the new bar area, the couple have retained much of the interior and furniture - no grand re-fit here.

Downstairs, the dining area can sit at least 40, while upstairs there is room for another 20 (with fabulous views over the comings and goings of Micklegate from the large windows).

There are plans to open a private dining space too in a stunning, Jacobean, third floor room, said Florencia.

So how was she feeling ahead of opening her second restaurant in the space of seven years?

"I am buzzing," she said, with a big smile. "I've got an amazing team [the business now has 48 staff]. It is so different to when I opened Partisan."

And there is one other big bonus, she revealed. "We have a massive kitchen here!"

Fact file:

Brancusi, 104 Micklegate, York

Initial opening hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm-9pm.

To book: www.thebrancusi.com