An Exclusive First Look at Forge Baking Co. in Somerville
Forge Baking Company is still a couple weeks away from opening, but Jennifer Park and Tucker Lewis (the same team behind Diesel Cafe and Bloc 11) gave us an exclusive sneak preview of their Somerville bakery. The new 5,000-square-foot space is being headed up by kitchen manager Kimberly Chaurette (Journeyman), bread baker Nick Hays (Nashoba Brook Bakery), and pastry chef Rob Fitzhenry, and alum of 80 Thoreau in Concord.
Hayes will be preparing a wide selection of daily baked breads such as Pan de mie, focaccia, and a toasted seed and oat, all of which will be a major focus on Forge’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
“We’re going to have a pretty robust food menu,” Park says. “It might not be as large as Diesel’s or Bloc’s, but we definitely want people to come in and feel like they can get a meal at any time of the day. In the morning, we’ll have pastries, breakfast sandwiches, quiches, savory bread puddings, and house-made granola. There will also be items to consume for lunch and dinner, most of which will showcase our breads. But because of the ovens at Forge, it’ll be a little different than our other spaces in terms of the kinds of things we’re able to offer, and how we’re able to prepare the meats and vegetables.”
Fitzhenry and Chaurette’s food menu will mainly consist of sandwiches, soup, salads, and wraps. Highlights include a Thai spring roll-inspired wrap with lemongrass chicken, fresh herbs, pickled carrot, rice noodles, and a peanut dipping sauce; a Cuban sandwich with roasted pork, country ham, cheese, and house pickles; and a breakfast sandwich on English muffin with eggs, kimchi, and blue cheese spread.
Forge is sourcing most of their ingredients from local sources such as High Lawn Farms for dairy, Fiore di Nonno for fresh mozzarella, and produce from a variety of farms across the region: Ward Berry Farm in Sharon, Czajkowski Farms in Hadley, Pleasant Valley Farm in Methuen, and Red Fire Farm in Granby.
Like Diesel Cafe, Forge will offer an extensive coffee and tea program with Direct Trade coffees from Intelligentsia out of Chicago and teas from Kilogram Tea and MEM (Watertown). There will be a full espresso bar, tea service, and a focus on pour over coffees.
Park likens the inside of the new space to Diesel’s layout, with a narrow entrance that leads to an expansive dining area in back, which will seats up to 70 guests.
“In the dining area, there are these 30-foot ceilings that we’ve left exposed,” Park says. “It’s a pretty stunning space considering we’re part of a mini strip-mall. It used to be this old warehouse, but it has these great architectural features, which we’ve tried to maintain to the best of our abilities. We’re very proud of what it looks like. It’s just going to be very, very pretty.”
Below is Forge Baking Company’s debut menu.
FORGE BREAD MENU
- French- light, airy crumb with a thin and crispy crust
- Whole Wheat- full flavored whole wheat loaf using local flour from Four Star Farms in Western, MA
- Toasted Seed and Oat- we toast sesame, pumpkin, flax seeds and oats for flavor and texture
- Country- a classic sourdough made with both whole wheat and whole rye flour
- Pain de Mie- (pullman loaf). Classic and delicious. Great for sandwiches, toast and everything in between
- Focaccia- An Italian favorite made with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Flavors and toppings will vary
FORGE FOOD MENU
- Smoked tofu, greens, cucumber, pickled carrot, herbs (mint, Thai basil, cilantro), rice noodles, housemade peanut dipping sauce.
- Lemongrass chicken, greens, cucumber, pickled carrot, herbs (mint, Thai basil, cilantro), rice noodles, housemade peanut dipping sauce
- Green chopped salad- Kale, broccoli, green pesto, grilled or caramelized onion, roasted sweet potato, farro, avocado
- Buckwheat Noodle Salad- Buckwheat noodle, sesame oil, kale, scallions, broccoli, slow roasted pork, roasted sweet potato, black and white sesame garnish
- Greens, balsamic glazed black mission figs, roasted beets, goat or blue cheese crumble, green apple, cocoa nibs
- Thai chicken taco bowl- Coconut brown rice, shredded chicken, peanut sauce, tomato, black beans, crushed peanut, toasted coconut flakes, ginger-lime dressing
- Burrata, kale-broccolini pesto, caramelized onions, tomato, sliced balsamic glazed figs.
- Hummus, roasted eggplant, roasted tomato, feta
- Herbed goat cheese, roasted beets and onions, shaved ricotta salata
- Cuban- Roasted pork, prosciutto/country ham, cheese, house pickles, mustard
- Pork or tofu, kimchi, cilantro, cucumber, carrot, mayo, avocado, nuoc cham sauce
- Hummus, sweet potato, chicken or roasted tofu, cucumber/pickles, onion, tomato
- Roasted sweet potato, blue cheese, caramelized onions, country ham, pea shoots
- Egg and cheese- Maple butter, swiss, country ham
- Egg with kimchi, blue cheese spread, and greens
- Local Greek yogurt with house-made granola and compote
- Assorted breakfast pastries
626A Somerville Ave., Somerville; forgebakingco.com.