After a three year hiatus, Wylie Dufresne is back. Of all things, he has chosen to open a donut shop, named after himself: Du’s Donuts. Given that this is Wylie Dufresne, a top chef known for his science-driven and innovative creations, I expected a lot more from this place. Sadly, it was quite a let down.
Du’s Donuts is located at the William Vale Hotel and serves donuts and coffee, a classic combination. Wylie spent a few years working on these recipes, trying to perfect a number of imaginative flavors. The shop offers New England-style cake donuts and crullers, with about ten available each day.
Pros: Relatively unique choices, though not as much in the context of the huge donut revival in the last few years, which has led to many establishments cooking up unique donuts. Quality ingredients. They are not oily or greasy. And though they are small, they are still quite dense and substantial.
Cons: Very weak, overly subtle flavors. You wouldn’t know what you were eating if it wasn’t labeled. Given his aim to create unique recipes, these donuts should really pack a punch, but they don’t deliver at all. Flavors include Kaffir Corn, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Grapefruit Candied Ginger, and Peanut Butter & Yuzu to name a few, but you can barely tell it’s not a plain donut. What a shame to waste flavors like that! Also, the donuts are dry and pretty mediocre. Absolutely nothing to be blown away by.
When we went, Wylie was in the kitchen working. I really would not have expected rookie mistakes like dryness and weak flavor from him, so I was disappointed. And the Mexican Hot Chocolate one, which we were told was the best seller, had barely any of the cinnamon, vanilla, and pepper flavors that Mexican Hot Chocolate is known for! We definitely wouldn’t have known what it was supposed to be had it not been written out. I was particularly surprised the cake itself wasn’t even chocolate. Just a light chocolate coating on top. Seemed like a bit of a cop out.
The donuts aren’t bad, but they are really nothing special. There are better donuts out there and Du’s Donuts is definitely not worth a special trip. If you do find yourself in the area and are craving something sweet, we’d recommend checking out Mister Dips instead.
Note that Du’s Donuts is credit card only.