Great New Places to Eat 2018

(page 8 of 11)

Clockwise from top left: Chocolate Thunder, a vanilla brioche doughnut with chicory and Valrhona chocolate glaze and chocolate sprinkles; Tide Pod, a vanilla brioche doughnut with tie-dye-inspired blueberry glaze; Shroomsville, a vanilla brioche doughnut with dried shiitake mushroom and white chocolate glaze; Red Man, a vanilla brioche doughnut with beet and raspberry glaze freeze-fried raspberry and beet powder dust (Photo by Jeremy Sykes)

Milk Money

When asked about the name for his wildly creative new desserterie, Michael Hargis jokes that it came to him because co-owner/chef Brock Macdonald and head pastry chef Edward Martinez (both burly and heavily tattooed) looked like guys who would steal your lunch money in school.

Don’t worry: there won’t be any wedgies at Milk Money, which has held pop-ups around town since September and is scheduled to open its storefront this summer at the Ice Blocks next to its sister establishment Beast & Bounty (see previous page). Rather, you’ll find Martinez’s artisanal doughnuts and ice cream served up to the head-bobbing beats of hip-hop artists like Tupac, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

The chef’s oversized brioche orbs are light, airy and utterly blissful in their richness, and branded with fun and funky names that reference everything from current events (like the Tide Pod, a vanilla doughnut with tie-dye-esque blueberry swirl glaze that alludes to the bewildering “Tide pod challenge” fad) to the music that Martinez and Macdonald grew up on (like Ghostface Killah, a black pepper doughnut stuffed with strawberry Nesquik filling and dusted with powdered sugar that nods to a member of the rap collective Wu Tang Clan).

Having crafted sweets for serious foodie destinations like the Michelin-starred Lazy Bear and Wayfare Tavern, Martinez saw Milk Money as his avenue for no-holds-barred imagination—he only makes one flavor of doughnut per day, which changes every morning (he ultimately wants 100 varieties on rotation)—and his inventiveness extends to the half-dozen kinds of ice cream also on offer, with flavors like redwood (yes, as in tree bark) and breakfast cereal (his favorite go-to snack).

“You can’t be stressed out making doughnuts and ice cream. I basically throw stuff against the wall and see if it sticks,” says Martinez of his unusual ingredient combinations. “I just want people to be like, ‘This is f--king delicious.’ “

One thing’s for sure: As long as the pastry chef keeps playing with his food, we’ll gladly be handing over our milk money. —Jessica Rine

1715 R St. milkmoneymidtown.com

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