Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
When I got invited to try donuts at The Doughnut Project, a place that opened mid-October this year in the West Village, I was thrilled: I love doughnuts, but really the ones that are different and bring this delightfully fried dough to another level. This is what The Doughnut Project is about. Of course, if you want a regular one, simply glazed, you can ask, but it would not showcase what this place brings compared to the other "doughnutteries". Because yes, you may think that it is another donut shop, surfing on the craze that saw many others open. Well, it is not: there, donuts are fun and delicious and trust me: I got to try many of them (isn't it great to be a blogger?).
The Doughnut Project is the result of a friendship between owners Leslie Polizzotto and Troy Neal who met at Eataly few years ago, where Troy was a bartender. After trying many recipes in Troy's kitchen, they finally decided it was time to offer New Yorkers gourmet doughnuts made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, setting up The Doughnut Project in what used to be a medical dispensary.
First, the place is fun: artsy with some spay paint and art on the wall, giving an urban feel. Then, you end up in front of their display and cannot imagine that you went there for just one donut...
They have six signature doughnuts, and a few experimental ones. For instance, when we went, they had an eggnog one for the winter, with booze in the icing, and, a peanut butter doughnut. All these are yeast doughnuts, using the same dough recipe, the icing being the component making the difference, except when they add some filling like in the beet one (yes, you read well: beets), that has ricotta inside, bought at Murray Cheese Bar close by.
From all the doughnuts I tried there, the one that stood out was the Bacon Maple Bar, reminiscent from the West Coast origin of Trey who used to live in Seattle. I mean, the first bite was divine, the doughnut having a sweet and savory taste with a nice smokiness and fattiness from the bacon. I really liked the fact that, like for all the other doughnuts, the icing was not too sweet. The other doughnuts were good too, but I could not stop thinking about this one as I was trying the others and I made sure I finished it first. Even Jodi, who is not a big fan of bacon could not resist.
But, if you do not want the Bacon Maple Bar, you can try the others. My second favorite was The Bronx, made with olive oil and black pepper. If I had to pick a third one, it would be Bulletproof Tiger, made with pineapple and habanero stripes. I thought it would be spicy, but it was not the case, but you definitely get a distinctive pineapple taste that could make you think that you are just eating fruit...
The one I did not like was Those Beetz are Dope, the icing being made with beets that gave this incredible purple color, and the filling made of ricotta as I mentioned above. I like beets, but was not really a fan of it, although I found it interesting. Could it be the new way to force kids to eat their vegetables?
The last two I have tried were:
The Pumpkin King: cinnamon with candied pepitas (the delicious cinnamon flavor hits you in the face right away).
The Costanza: salted chocolate with buttered pretzel (another sweet and savory creation, the pretzel adding a nice crunch to it).
These large doughnuts were delicious, airy and fluffy, with surprising icing. Would I go back? Oh yeah! But I am not sure I can resist another Bacon Maple Bar...
Enjoy (I surely did)!
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