through Café Perrin’s brick-red door and into a mirage of color:
original art depicting bright flowers hung on seafoam-green walls.
Rocket Baby Bakery’s French-blue storefront beckons from busy North
Avenue in Wauwatosa. And, hovering above cupcakes at Little Miss
Cupcake in Shorewood is a crystal chandelier, just one element of the
Hollywood Regency decor.
Café Perrin —
open in Washington Heights (5901 W. Vliet St.) since last year, its
co-owner Luna Perrin Broadway Bakery’s former pastry chef —
straddles savory and sweet while flaunting serious style. Brownies are
sugar bombs (such as chocolate frosted brownie, raspberry brownie and
mint brownie) as well as slices of cheesecakes spiked with extra
flavor and decadent bites that include raspberry seven-layer bar.
There are also breakfast-appropriate croissants, muffins, cinnamon
sticky buns, fruit tarts and a locavore quiche (bacon and Wisconsin
cheddar). Take your picks to espresso-wood tables — or, there is
banquette seating along one wall — and wait for a made-to-order
espresso drink served in a stainless-steel cup with a matching saucer,
the perfect pairing to bakery-made sweets.
Rocket Baby Bakery, 6822 W. North Ave., debuted in April by San
Francisco Baking Institute graduate Geoff Trenholme and adopts a
French theme right down to the toilettes (which are marked as such).
Even the dog bowl thoughtfully set on the sidewalk out front is a
pretty French blue. Copper lanterns cast a soft glow and the door is
painted a bold Chinese-red color. Wicker baskets of batards and
baguettes are in the window and the spread inside includes French
specialties such as croissants, brioche tarts and chouquettes. Monkey
bread, signature sandwiches and loafs of bread (try Tosa Sourdough, a
fitting ode to the neighborhood) round out the offerings.
clung to a simple mantra when opening Miss Cupcake (3801 N. Oakland
Ave.) last September: to offer more than a cute little bakery. She
yearned to tap into images and other sensory devices to help sell her
cupcakes, pie slices, tea breads, morning buns and cookies. "I
don’t want it to feel like a stark, white and cold bakery. I imagine
Sunday mornings selling scones to neighbors to the tune of Parisian
stroll music," says Weber, a self-taught baker who is also a
massage therapist. Nostalgic candies, too, such as root-beer barrels
and wax whips, are available at Miss Cupcake, along with booze-infused
cupcakes (Champagne Pear is Weber’s personal favorite). Bringing the
bakery into contemporary times are gluten-free and doggie-friendly
cupcakes. Cups of Valentine Coffee Co. are also available.