Simon Blackwell

The Dish

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Blackbird Baking Co. is replacing Cobs Bread in Kensington

(Image: Blackbird Baking Co./Instagram)

(Image: Blackbird Baking Co./Instagram)

Back in 2011, Simon Blackwell began hocking flatbread pizzas and focaccia sandwiches from the back of Soma Chocolates on King West. Since then, his indie bakery, Blackbird Baking Co., has taken off, and his crusty loaves have landed on some of the city’s trendiest tables, including those at Parts and Labour in Parkdale, The Dog and Bear on Queen West and downtown power restaurant Reds. They’ve also become a Kensington Market staple, thanks to a wholesale agreement with Sanagan’s Meat Locker on Baldwin Street.

Come springtime, Kensington shoppers will have a larger selection of Blackbird goodies to browse. According to a report from The Grid, that’s when Blackwell will launch his first permanent shop, which takes over the space currently occupied by bakery chain Cobs Bread. The new Blackbird venue will operate as a wholesale production kitchen, retail bakery and casual lunch counter, and will be open by mid-March.

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Openings

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Introducing: Dr. Augusta’s Samitorium, Kensington’s newest gourmet sandwich and soda shop

Introducing: Dr. Augusta’s Samitorium

(Image: Susan Keefe)

The nostalgia diner trend has been chugging away for a few years now, on menus and in restaurant designs. The latest edition: Dr. Augusta’s Samitorium, a new sandwich and soda shop located at the edge of Kensington Market and named after the area’s north-south artery. Owned and operated by Chris Bobbitt and Vlad Vujovic, it’s a decidedly stripped-down take on a ’50s eatery, with tall black leather stools, a throwback black-and-white tile floor and large picture windows. The main bar is home to rows of pickle-packed Mason jars and the place’s big draw: an old-school soda fountain.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Weekly Lunch Pick: a focaccia round (and, yes, a chocolate) at Soma on King West

Chocolate for lunch? Not quite (Image: Andrew Brudz)

Ever since its King West location opened last summer, Soma Chocolatemaker’s decadent treats have no longer been consigned to weekend jaunts to the Distillery District. For more savoury lunch fare, longtime Soma collaborator (and former Canoe sous chef) Simon Blackwell, operating as the Blackbird Baking Co., creates an exclusive lineup of organic breads, all stuffed or topped with fresh ingredients like mozzarella, Fontina, eggplant, proscuitto and sundried tomatoes.

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