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Forno Cultura - new bakery - 609 King Street West

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  • ylsf Apr 13, 2013 06:39 PM

I was in the area on Friday night and noticed that this spot has now opened. Talking to one of the staff there sounds like it has only been a few days and they are doing more of a "soft" opening with advertising/etc to come. For example they don't have their "hours" signage up,etc (7am to 9pm Monday to Saturday according to the website):

http://fornocultura.com/

Not much detail on the website either. I had just eaten dinner but stopped in to take a look around and it is an interesting space. The bakery is only seperated by glass walls so you can see what is going on in the production (think SOMA, but for bread).

Anyway, was offered a sample of the biscotti including a savoury one. Really enjoyed what I had. They were the bakers that supplied the previous Alimento market with product before (cookies, breads, etc) and I was a fan of the stuff I had from there as well.

Noticed they had a couple of prepared sandwiches on the counter too. Not sure what else they will be rolling out but worth while checking out over the coming weeks/months.

BTW, the space is right below WVRST , just west of King and Portland

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  1. Oh, great to know! I live in the area and have seem them doing work but I didn't realize they were THAT close to being finished. I'll have to check it out.

    1. Sweet....been waiting for them!!

      1. A nicely turned out basement space in that wood & concrete look. With baking goods in the back and baked goods in the front, there are many treats here to tempt and entice.

        While I've yet to sample their entire lineup (working on it), I did manage to sample a fair number of their cookies. Of the ones I tried, I most especially liked the sandwich cookie with an orange filling (sorry, the name escape me) and the frollini alla datteri (sesame and date thin). They have a number of biscotti (tried the chocolate, hazelnut, and a cornmeal & currant one). And they have a rather interesting chocolate & olive cake, which is quite good if you can get around the olives (I've no issues!). A savoury twist on the salted chocolate combo.

        Overall, good flavours and textures from the cookies I had. Worth a return visit for sure. Could be a potential lunch spot once they roll out their full menu.

        I've some photos and will probably do a full post once I've got more in my belly!

        I wonder how they'll do being so close to Pain Dorée. And they'll have no competition from Alimento (now closed, yes?) down the street.

        ---
        http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jlunar

          I love that you're eating your way through the bakery jlunar! You're my kind of girl!!

        2. I was passing by last night and grabbed two "baci" cookies. Very good. The versions they had yesterday used thinners cookies as the "sandwich" vs the type you would see if you google italian baci cookies. If people are wondering about pricing, they do it based on weight. Two of those cookies worked out to $1.75, reasonable for these considering the quality/taste.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ylsf

            Liked the orange baci cookies! Also liked the pistachio amaretti type ones. Decent deal for good cookies.

          2. I've been there twice already since they opened. My favourite is the foccacia! Absolutely divine...soft and chewy, nice crunch on the bottom layer. So far I've only had the tomato one, but will be sure to get the olive one next.

            The cookies are great. But I also enjoyed them when they were available at Alimento. It was funny because I was asking before Alimento went for renovations why the cookies were all gone and they said the supplier didn't want to supply them anymore? That was a bit odd. They were a bit on the pricey side though. A dozen cookies cost just over $12.

            I don't think the Brioche Doree is really their competition. They sell different products and the breads at Brioche Doree didn't blow my mind.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ukers

              Oh, I agree about Pain Doree, but I believe they're still competition (as a bakery, less than 100 ft away, closer to the main streets, street-level, etc) and they have bigger dollars behind them (that's a guess, but given it's a chain...)

              I have yet to try the breads (they're up next!), so good to hear they're awesome.

              1. re: jlunar

                Brioche Doree not Pain Doree , you are getting your chains mixed up :)

                I don't think that Forno Cultura is planning any seating area... and I don' think they have plans for coffee/etc either so there will always be a market for the other "Cafes"... but, I will be tempted to go buy treats at this place, get a drink elsewhere and sit on a bench somewhere or even in a Starbucks (shhh) :)

                1. re: ylsf

                  dammit. I "fixed" the name too. poop.

                  So far, their offerings are quite good. Sorry I never got to try them when they were at Alimento, but am taking advantage of their presence nearby work now!

            2. Been back a few times since my last post in this thread. Enjoyed everything I have had so far and brought by a few Italian friends that also liked it.

              Really wish they would put the pricing out on the actual items (Although, did notice they have a sign up now on the back wall). Sometimes I would rather just read what the item is then to have to ask staff.

              9 Replies
              1. re: ylsf

                Can you tell us what you've had from there (other than the cookies)?

                1. re: kwass

                  There biscotti are excellent. I get the orange pistacho and they are killer!!

                  1. re: kwass

                    Besides the desserts I had their "cheese stick" sliced open with some tomatoes in it. Also had the rice ball. Haven't had the pizza or sandwiches yet.

                    Too bad they don't have a counter or a small seating area though.

                    1. re: ylsf

                      Thanks guys! Can't wait to try it...right after I try Sud Forno, where I'm going this weekend :)

                      1. re: kwass

                        There's a great focaccia bread from Cultura that I adore. It's giant and round and greasy and crazy addictive.

                        I had a pain au chocolate on Canada Day from Sud Forno. It was obviously a day old. Very disappointing -- I expect better than that. People seemed nice though.

                        1. re: ramenramen

                          Had the pain au chocolate fresh and wasn't crazy about it at all. Personally I say pass on all their croissant products.

                          1. re: ramenramen

                            +1 for their focaccia and adding the torta caprese to my list of favourites so far. Really enjoyed their lemon & pistachio biscotti and loved the flavour of their cacao noisette baci. Will be back to try the rest soon!

                             
                             
                             
                            1. re: fickle

                              Thanks for the pictures! They're fantastic!!

                        2. re: ylsf

                          Thought that cheese stick was crazy good!

                    2. Just a heads up that I saw a sign last week saying it is closed this week, re-opening after labour day (i.e. on Tuesday).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: ylsf

                        Thanks for the heads up ylsf. I still haven't been, but was wondering, in your opinion, how does it compare to Sud Forno?

                        1. re: kwass

                          It is different but similar. I was talking to the owner of Forno Cultura and he said he is friends with the bakers/people over at Sud Forno. The highlight is the cookies at at FC. I prefer the pizza at SF vs FC. They have some other great items at FC like the rice balls, the egg baskets,and the breads. Definitely hit it up when you get a chance.

                          1. re: ylsf

                            I agree. You should check it out. They offer a different range of products.

                            1. re: justsayn

                              I will. Thanks guys!

                      2. Finally made it to Forno Cultura today, and I absolutely loved it!! What a lovely place!! The pastries were soooo good. I think this is my new favourite place (or at least tied with Sud Forno)!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: kwass

                          What did you try? Hopefully the focaccia because it is the best thing ever!

                          1. re: ramenramen

                            I didn't try the focaccia. I don't think it was even ready when I was there. I was there about 9:30 and the breads weren't going to be ready until 10.

                            What did I have? The better question might be, what didn't I have? Lol!

                            I don't know what anything was called, so I'll try and describe everything.

                            I had 3 cookies: a biscotti, a current pinwheel, and a lemon cookie. The current pinwheel was fantastic. I wasn't crazy about the biscotti, which was the only thing out of everything I tried, that I didn't like.

                            I had a peach-croissant-type pastry. Soooo good! One of my favourite things there.

                            I had a cream-filled pastry in crispy filo. Really delicious!

                            A slice of "cake" with plums and sliced almonds on top, with a lemon cream on a beautiful soft crust. This, hands down, was the best thing I tried! I would go back for that in a heart-beat!

                            And finally, I had a slice of the ricotta cheese cake, which had a hint of lemon and caramel on top. Incredibly light, and so yummy!

                            And I think that was everything :)

                            1. re: kwass

                              I can't remember if they still have it, since I've only been making a B-line for the bread, but do they still have the olive oil chocolate cake? That was crazy good.

                              1. re: ukers

                                I didn't see that, but maybe they just didn't have it that day.

                        2. Forno Cultura has some new menu items. Might be worth a visit sometime soon :)

                          https://twitter.com/fornocultura/stat...

                          https://twitter.com/fornocultura/stat...

                          https://twitter.com/fornocultura/stat...

                          https://twitter.com/fornocultura/stat...

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: kwass

                            Definitely! Let us know how it is if you go!

                            1. re: ylsf

                              I absolutely will!

                              1. re: kwass

                                Looks like I'll be making a trip to Lee Valley sooner than I expected!(with a slight detour) :D

                            2. re: kwass

                              You just know those will be incredible!

                              1. re: justsayn

                                I don't think they make anything that isn't incredible :)

                            3. Went by tonight while walking by. Noticed that they are open tomorrow (Easter Sunday) which would make it a good option for Easter treats for a dinner/family get together.

                              One thing I will mention, overall the "regular" staff there is really good but I went a few weeks ago and one of the new staff had no clue what stuff was (i.e. I asked about their taralli and she didn't even know what taralli were ) . I really hope they step up their new staff training (not the only time something like this came up). Again, I have had nothing but great experiences with the regular staff.