Go Nuts for Donuts
by Julie Besonen, 06/13/2012
Photo: Sean Ganann (via Flickr)
379 Grand St., 212-505-3700, Lower East Side, Manhattan
220 W. 23rd St., 212-675-9100, Chelsea, Manhattan
Doughnut Plant is the granddaddy of the nouvelle donut movement. Founder Mark Isreal opened his flagship shop on the Lower East Side in 2000 and has since expanded to Tokyo. An ultra-cool branch opened at the Chelsea Hotel in 2011, its walls craftily brightened with colorful donut-shaped pillows. The indulgences here are giant and delicious—some square-shaped, even—and made with quality, seasonal ingredients. Flavors like crème brûlée, Valrhona chocolate and peanut butter glaze with blackberry jelly are so addictive, there is oftentimes a line to purchase them. The full espresso bar, cold-brewed iced coffee and homemade lemonade (in seasonal fruit flavors) are further attractions. Isreal is a creative soul, always dreaming up new varieties. One of his latest is rose doughseed (a smaller donut), topped with rosewater glaze and filled with rosewater custard. Prices range from $1.25 (for mini churros) to $3.50.