As above, so below: The topping of this still-warm apricot bombolone ($2) evoked the generous filling.
"Well-filled" wasn't always the case. On my very first visit to Bomboloni, not long after the bakery opened, I had a twinge: I thought back to a long-ago family vacation in Lavallette, on the Jersey shore. Our motel was a block or two from the ocean, but what it lacked in view it made up for with a morning spread of doughnuts, crullers, and crumb cakes on the balcony. Jelly doughnuts were the most desirable of all, but occasionally, despite my careful appraisal of the injection point and the pastry's apparent heft, I'd bite into a doughnut that was heartbreakingly empty. Below, you can see for yourself how an apple bombolone — a fried and, ostensibly, filled yeast doughnut — might have resurrected that memory. The pistachio bombolone that preceded it was even stingier with the payload.
But beginning shortly thereafter, and ever since, my visits to Bomboloni have been free of resurrected childhood angst. The pastries have invariably been broader, more pillowy, and — witness the peanut butter cup bombolone at bottom — much better filled. They've been more thoroughly dusted with sugar, too; if you're dining al fresco, I suggest that you stand upwind.
187 Columbus Ave. (68th-69th Sts.), Manhattan