Doughnuts left behind their heritage as the simple, traditional dessert option when the Cronut Revolution hit. Picking up right where the “Sex and the City” cupcake craze left off, they’ve been turned savory, boozy, even meaty.
So it’s a bit of a surprise that it’s chef Wylie Dufresne, known for popularizing molecular gastronomy at wd~50, bringing them back to their roots with Du’s Donuts and Coffee.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years,” he says. “My great grandfather was a doughnut maker, so it’s always been a part of my family.”
Opening today at 107 N. 12th St. in Williamsburg, Du’s is his first venture since closing wd~50 in 2014 and his more casual gastropub Alder the following year, then spent some time popping up in kitchens around the city.
At Du’s, Dufresne and head baker Colin Kull, formerly of the West Village’s classic French bistro Tartine, are sticking to one style of doughnut — “I prefer cake to yeast,” Dufresne says simply — served in 10 flavors: Mexican Hot Chocolate, Creamsicle, Grapefruit Chamomile, Pistachio Pink Lemonade, Banana Graham, Malted Coffee, Pomegranate Tahini, Peanut Butter Yuzu and two that will be served hot: Cinnamon Apple and Strawberries and Cream.
If that sounds a bit too old school for you, remember that Dufresne’s brand of molecular gastronomy wasn’t for show, but making his food taste like the best version of itself. “The common thread running through wd~50, Alder and Du’s is creativity,” he explains. “Our approach and methodology is perfectly suited to the process of making doughnuts.”
For now, there’s caffeine by Brooklyn Roasting Company, with plans to eventually serve alcohol. The menu may also expand from doughnuts to additional breakfast offerings — Dufresne is taking suggestions. “We don’t know exactly when or how the breakfast menu will go,” he says, “but we will let our customers help us decide.”
As for plans to open another full-service sit-down restaurant, as Dufresne had been set to do in the Financial District last year, “We’d love to find our way back to a traditional restaurant at some point, but we are currently putting our energy into doughnuts.”