have been lovingly referring to BLAKE
flagship restaurant as "My Favourite restaurant!" long before even setting foot in the doors. I was lucky to experience BLAKE
for the first time this week-end and I can confirm that it is indeed instantly my favourite restaurant. You've likely heard me talk about how much I loved the tacos at BLAKE
's PD3 bus this summer, that was just a tiny preview of the possibilities of the flagship restaurant. BLAKE
is unlike any restaurant in the mountains and it is loved already. I don't dare show you the food yet because part of the experience of BLAKE
is delighting in the unexpected presentation of the food. It's simple & not fussy but well considered presentation. The food is flavourful comfort food with a creative twist. The menu is designed to be made up of trying several things and sharing. When you order something it is brought out in the order that it is finished and it's the perfect set up for ordering a couple of things and then ordering more after your first selections have been devoured. There is something for everyone. Perfect for a romantic date night, family night out and everyday casual nights out. You will feel equally comfortable getting dressed up for a special night out or showing up in hiking pants after a great day in the mountains. BLAKE is also one of the more affordable restaurants in the mountains with amazing bites starting at $6. Make sure you arrive hungry though because you'll want to try everything.
There are thoughtful and creative local collaborations that shine and add to the uniqueness of the restaurant like breads from Le fournil
, oils from Evoolution
,new weekly featured cake by Kake
, airplants & florals by Canmore's Willow Flower Co.
, a whimsical and delicious collaboration with Fiasco
, and even specially commissioned soap & foaming wash from Rocky Mountain Soap Co.
It has long been a personal pet peeve of mine that eating out in a tourist town means that servers will always ask where you are from and what adventure you are going on today which is thankfully not the case at BLAKE
. The service is attentive and friendly but you don't leave feeling like you spent your entire meal chatting with your server instead of with the loved ones you came out with. You also feel like you are a local not a tourist. You expect to give a new restaurant a grace period during opening while everyone finds their way but we were there minutes after the door opened and it instantly felt like home with a great staff, amazing atmosphere and the best meals I've ever had the joy to experience.
I haven't even spoken about the space itself and it is perhaps the most impressive story to share. BLAKE
was formerly Midway Automotive which at the time of purchase was really run down. To be able to transform an auto repair shop into what you see today is a bit mind blowing. I suggest that you google Midway Automotive Canmore before heading to BLAKE
so you can fully appreciate it's transformation. What makes it even more inspiring is that BLAKE
is a family run project between Father & Son and family pitched in along every step like pouring those amazing moonlike floors. I think that's why the space feels like home because every detail was handcrafted by family working countless hours.
I saw friends out and we all had different favourite must have items on the menu according to our widely varied tastes but a few items that seemed to be a common thread among us all were the aptly named crack fries as a table staple, anything and everything on the Bao menu, the Chicken n' Waffle cone, and dessert is simply a must every time.
is now open for dinner at 5pm everyday this week with lunch service expected to start this week-end opening at 11:30am. It is well worth the drive from Calgary just for a meal here.
Although it looks nothing like it's former auto repair shop there are thoughtful references to it's former life like the gorgeous garage door windows that offer amazing views from every table.
The entrance offers a stunning view of the kitchen hard at work.
The moon like floors were poured by family & friends.
One of my favourite features of the space is the carefully considered spacing of the tables and the height of the ceiling all of which allow you to feel like you have privacy and personal space from other diners without feeling cramped like many mountain restaurants. It feels comfortable immediately.
Every detail has been carefully considered like the black cutlery that feels good in your hands. Another hidden detail is the thermal paint on the table which reveals patterns like a mood ring when anything hot like a cup of tea is placed on the table.
The menus also serve as colouring pages with pencil crayons on every table. Friends used the menu to check off items they tried this round and to circle those they wanted to try on the next visit.
I love the bathrooms at BLAKE
! Ha ha! Just go check them out. There is even specially commissioned made in Canmore Rocky Mountain Soap Company foaming wash.