It took east-enders Colin Reed and Brittany Peglar several months to find the right spot for their first restaurant, Hammersmith’s, a British-inspired brunch destination in Riverdale. But landing the former Logan Grill space at the corner of Logan and Gerrard has proven to be a smart move for the couple. Local residents have been frequenting the restaurant since its opening earlier this month.
Reed and Peglar offer a regularly-changing blackboard menu of locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients (where possible), with goods from such suppliers as Leslieville’s Sausage Partners, SOMA Chocolatemaker and Sanagan’s Meat Locker.
Peglar, a baker who worked at The Drake Hotel, handles the sweet side of the menu. For now, desserts are smaller items, such as fresh cupcakes, cookies and scones. But Peglar says she has plans to offer larger items like cakes and pies when demand increases. When we visited, her overtly tempting SOMA chocolate chunk cookies ($2) were gone and left only to dream about. Still available in the late afternoon were vanilla bean cupcakes ($2.85) and raspberry blackberry scones ($1.25), made with berries from Kawartha Ecological Growers. Peglar says prices vary depending on what’s in her goods.
Reed, who worked previous stints at Didier and Czehoski, among other restaurants, handles the rest. When we were there, he had prepared a cured salmon dish ($12), which involved three days of prep to cure the fish in parsley, dill, lime zest and salt. It came with a sweet pea, pine nut and fennel salad. No wonder it was sold out.
Also on hand was a chicken sandwich ($10), made with free-range chicken doused in pommery mustard and mayo, set inside baguette bread from Brick Street Bakery. As sides, a heirloom cherry tomato salad ($6) with basil dressing and burrata cheese was on offer, as well as bacon hash made from Yukon gold potatoes, caramelized onion and smoked bacon ($5).
The chicken sandwich (top) and bacon hash (bottom)
Folks who used to frequent the former Logan Grill will notice that Peglar and Reed have re-tiled the original counter and lengthened the storefront windows to let in more light. It’s an airy, light, diner atmosphere inside. And in this heat, there’s lovely air conditioning.
Last year, the couple spent several months working for various restaurants in London, England. It’s where they found inspiration for the name: Hammersmith is a borough in London. And now it’s a new brunch spot in Riverdale.
Hammersmith’s, 807 Gerrard St. E., 416.792.9043. Closed Tuesdays.