Wave Hill Breads recently moved their renown bread baking mecca and opened a new cafe in Norwalk, heralding a new “must eat” venue to add to your Fairfield County foodie dance card. At their new location on 30 High Street, Wave Hill Breads is baking way beyond their notorious three-grain pain de campagne which graces the tables of some of the finest CT restaurants and markets. The cafe features 20 seats for eat-in dining with sandwiches (on Wave Hill Bread of course), soups, muffins, pastries, tea and coffee, as well as wi-fi. And if you just want to stop in for a loaf of that pain de campagne, just knock on speakeasy-esque “Back Door Bakery” around back (no password necessary).
As Wave Hill expanded their artisan bakery offerings over the past year, owners Margaret Sapir and Mitch Rapoport realized the demand for their products was simply too great for their small Wilton bakeshop. In addition to expanding capacity from 900 loaves baked daily to 5000 in the Norwalk location, the process of taking the business beyond the bread has added two key players to the Wave Hill team. Mike Devlin, (formerly the Executive Chef at Universal Studios and most recently found in Dressing Room’s kitchen) is the creative force behind the cafe’s daily menu as well as the catering operation. Matt Kirshner can be found in the vast and beautiful new kitchen, generally in a cloud of flour, taking on the role of resident pasty chef (formerly at The Essex House Hotel and Russian Tea Room in NYC).
What should you expect as diners? Wave Hill’s breakfast menu is a sweet affair with perfectly executed flakey croissant, fruit laden danish, and muffins. Of note was the French Energy Muffin, based on the recipe used to keep the Tour de France bikers in motion, complete with whole wheat flour, carrots, coconut, flax seeds and apples. The Almond Croissant exhibits a wonderfully heavy hand in the almond filling...heaven to those who enjoy their marzipan. A few baked items too sweet for the early morning are also present, including triple-nut glazed brownies and the gluten-free Coconut Meringue Clouds. All were well worth the calories.
Lunch will feature two to three daily soup specials as well as a rotating assortment of five or so sandwiches. On a recent visit, we enjoyed a classic Tomato Soup with Parmesan as well as a Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo. A long standing fan of tomato soup, I would give this one a round of applause for the slightly course texture, subtle Parmesan flavor and of course, the Wave Hill croutons nestled into the satisfying blend. The Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo was zesty without too much heat, with generously portioned bite sized shrimp and well seasoned sausage.
Sandwiches range from Grilled Poblano and Cheese to a wonderful Tuna with Capers and Lemony Fennel on Wave Hill multigrain. Mayonnaise was delightfully absent from this rustic open faced tuna sandwich, replaced by a dash of olive oil and vinegar and the rich pop of the capers and fennel. Their Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, and Capers on a Wave Hill Bialy w/ Caramelized Onions is as close as we Fairfield County residents can get to Barney Greengrass in NYC.
Those who have signed up for the Wave Hill Breads newsletter will get weekly menu updates for proper meal planning. If you would like to get the heads up on the daily specials go to their web site.
Before you leave, make sure you enjoy some of the unique tea selection from a CTbites favorite Babycat Milkbar, or grab a coffee made with locally roasted Java Love Coffee beans.
Cafe hours were slated for 8am to 2pm on weekdays and from 9am to 2pm on weekends; closed Mondays. However, due to demand, they are trying to extend their hours, staying open from 8am to 3pm on the weekdays. When the cafe is closed, customers can still always go to the backdoor bakery for bread.
The Backdoor Bakery entrance can be found in the back of the building in the parking lot. Hours for the bakery are 8am to 10pm during the week; 10am to 8pm on Saturdays; Noon until 8pm on Sundays. Look for the blue door.
If you are coming from a long distance, Wave Hill Breads recommends that you call the bakery at (203) 762 9595 to make sure there is fresh or frozen bread available.
Wave Hill Breads 30 High Street, Norwalk (203) 762 9595