Wylie Dufresne Brings Doughnuts to NYC

When word got out that culinary wizard Wylie Dufresne was opening up a new establishment this spring in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City’s dining enthusiasts erupted in cheer.

Dufresne, known for his gastronomic cuisine at his previous two restaurants—WD~50 and Alder—has been in the shadows since their closures in 2014 and 2015 respectively, working as a consultant on various projects. At long last, he finally made his move—Du’s Donuts & Coffee opened for business last month just outside of the William Vale Hotel. On opening day, Dufresne sold out of 1,000 doughnuts in a matter of hours. 

But why doughnuts? 

It’s an homage to his great grandfather, Wallace Dufresne: “My great-grandfather was a doughnut maker—I’m going back to where we started.”

Every day, the James Beard award-winning chef doles out fluffy cake doughnuts using a recipe that he and head baker Colin Kull—of San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery fame—took several months to perfect. Like his previous endeavors, Dufresne’s creativity shines through in his work. The rotating list includes featured flavors like brown butter-key lime, pistachio-pink lemonade and peanut butter-yuzu, and each doughnut will cost you $3.50 a pop (or $38.50 a dozen). All of these can be washed down with coffee from nearby Brooklyn Roasting Company.

In the coming months, Dufresne plans to introduce a larger breakfast menu including the classic New York City egg sandwich, as well as beer, wine and cocktails.  

And because I prefer to eat my doughnuts as an after-dinner treat, I asked our team of wine experts what they would pair with some of the offerings at Du’s. Here’s what a few of them had to say: 

  • “I’m so jealous I’m on the West Coast—I’m a huge doughnut fan. I'd like to pair the grapefruit-chamomile one with a wine I just tasted: Pegasus Bay 2014 Encore Noble Riesling, Waipara Valley, NZ.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Editor-In-Chief
  • “I’m going with a Sicilian Passito di Pantelleria for the pistachio-pink lemonade. Sicily is home to some of the best pistachios from the town of Bronte on Mt. Etna and the island is covered in citrus groves, like lemon and blood orange. The flavors in this particular doughnut evoke some of my favorite flavors from the heart of the Mediterranean.” —Monica Larner
  • “For the honey-fennel pollen, I suspect what would cut the honey is something with big acidity and lots of tension on the finish. What would be better than a Vinsanto from Santorini? Our Issue 231 will include the Santo Wines 2010.” —Mark Squires
  • “If I had one choice...I would try a sweet Scheurebe (Auslese or Beerenauslese) with the grapefruit-chamomile doughnut. Scheurebe has this juicy-herb grapefruit flavor that should be perfect. I’m thinking of Müller-Catoir (Pfalz) or Keller (Rheinhessen) from Germany, and certainly of Kracher's Scheurebe TBA from the Seewinkel in Austria’s Neusiedlersee. This sweet wine guru could also pair the honey-fennel pollen doughnut with his Cuvée Beerenauslese (which blends Welschriesling with Chardonnay), or one of the Welschriesling TBAs—whose honeyed sweetness, piquancy and herbal spiciness should be excellent with both the honey and fennel pollen.” —Stephan Reinhardt

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*Hero image courtesy of Du's Donuts

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