Nightwood | Midwest Living


2119 S. Halsted St.
Chicago  Illinois  60608
United States
(312) 526-3385
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Midwest Living Review

Kate Silver
At this modern and creative Pilsen outpost, the doughnut holes actually trump the doughnuts.

This upscale Pilsen restaurant packs them in at night but has a much more laid-back feel during brunch (Sundays 9 a.m.2:30 p.m.). Popular with area artists and writer-types, this modern yet simple restaurant features a menu with an eclectic and creative flair that also applies to the doughnuts and their rotating flavors. On the Sunday we visited, they were frying up butterscotch and bacon doughnuts ($4) and chocolate-covered raspberry doughnuts ($4). Of the offerings, the sides of cinnamon-sugar doughnut holes were actually the winner. Three holes come with each doughnut, and they're light, crisp, sugary and, for the most part, unadulterated. They are, pure and simple, some of the best doughnuts around, and three are served with each full-sized doughnut. The butterscotch and bacon doughnut comes in for a distant second place. Smokey and sweet, the doughnut falls somewhere between a cake and yeast doughnut. Not quite airy, not quite dense, it's topped with a delicious caramel sauce (that went quite well with the doughnut holes as a dipping sauce) and about a quarter cup of bacon bits, which filled the hole. Aside from the smoke flavor, which added a nice depth, the bacon itself was chunky and not crisp. That, combined with the fact that there was just too much of it, detracted from this otherwise quite good doughnut. It did work better than the raspberry-filled, chocolate-covered doughnut, however. Each element of this one, taken separately, was solid. The chocolate ganache was both bitter and sweet, melting on top of the doughnut. This doughnut was the same texture as the other, somewhere between yeast and cake, and had a satisfying crumb to it. The raspberry preserves tasted fresh, tart and seedy. But overall, the flavors just didn't gel. Thankfully, the holes were there for a palate cleanser.

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