NORWALK, Conn. — It's tough to imagine a way to make Wave Hill Breads any better. But that was before husband-and-wife owners Mitch Rapoport and Margaret Sapir opened their cozy artisan micro-bakery in Norwalk.
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the new Wave Hill Breads bakery and café was packed with reporters hungry for a story — and a fresh cheese Danish. Mayor Richard Moccia, state Sen Bob Duff and state Rep. Chris Perone were on hand as well, sampling Wave Hill Breads’ new menu of breads, muffins and pastries.
“I could stand here all day and just eat that bread dipped in the olive oil,” Moccia joked when I asked him his favorite Wave Hill treat. “But that’s probably just my Italian heritage."
In a short speech, the mayor welcomed the new café to the city, touting job creation and local flavor as reasons for celebration. “It’s fantastic that they have so much support,” he said of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at the new café. “Small business is the backbone of our society.” He might just as easily have said it is the bread and butter, all things considered.
As for what’s new on the Wave Hill menu, the answer is: plenty.
“We have a French Energy Muffin,” said the new pastry chef, Matthew Kirschner. “It’s based on the muffin made for the Tour de France cyclists. We use apples, carrots, coconut, flax seeds, brown sugar and whole wheat flour. And just like they do for the breads, we mill our own grains for this muffin.”
Kirschner honed his craft previously with French pastry chefs locally and in New York City. And when I was singing the praises of an almond croissant I’d had years ago in a SoHo bakery, he quietly bagged one of his own almond croissants for me to take home. “I don’t mess around with my almond croissants,” he said. “I use real almond paste. Try it and let me know what you think.”
I am happy to tell Kirschner — and all of you — that his almond croissant put the one in my memory to shame. His is fluffy and flakey and dreamily filled with smooth almond paste. My only complaint is that I don’t know if it’s better to serve it as breakfast or dessert.
Before the statesmen went outside to cut the ribbon and a large loaf of fresh baked bread, Sapir stepped up to say a few words.
“We’re a bakery and a café,” she said. “And we’re also a local food market. We have teas from Wilton, spices from Litchfield. And the pastries aren’t just for show. Dig in!”
And with that, we did. Now that Wave Hill Breads is open to the public, you may want to do the same.
Wave Hill Breads is located at 30 High St. in Norwalk, and is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends.