Boozy doughnuts | Flex Mussels
When chef Zac Young started working at this bivalve mecca, only one doughnut graced the menu: wild blueberry. This lone pastry quickly became as popular as the PEI mussels the restaurant is known for. "It’s funny to me that we are known for mussels and doughnuts," he says. "What an odd combination." Now, they offer a full baker’s dozen, and the thirteenth is a lethal, booze-injected pastry that is so strong, they aren’t allowed to sell them to go. Young thought up this combination on a whim, almost as a joke to the regulars, he says. It’s not on the menu and changes almost daily. "It’s kind of a wink-wink, nudge-nudge sort of thing," he explains. So if you want one, all you have to do is ask.
Dishing the dough: Some of the boozy options include tequila lime, blueberry daiquiri and bourbon caramel. The day we swung by, Young was making maple bourbon, in homage to Mardi Gras. This pillow-soft doughnut looked innocent enough, but once we bit in, the Maker’s Mark essence spilled out, perfuming the air and tingling the tongue. To soothe the sweet burn of alcohol, Young serves this doughnut quartet with a ramekin of vanilla-laced crème anglaise. The light dusting of sugar leaves your fingers looking like you just ate a doughnut, but the slight buzz in the head gives a tell-tale sign of a lot more going on. Not that we're complaining. ($9)
154 W. 13th St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves