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Superstars BTS and Coldplay Collide at One Epic RPM Italian Dinner

The K-pop sensations also sparked a D.C. dougnut craze at Rose Ave Bakery

Photo illustration by: Leo Lee
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

After denouncing anti-Asian hate at the White House this week, BTS’s whirlwind D.C. trip included slurping cacio e pepe with Coldplay and creating a frenzy for BTS-themed doughnuts downtown.

Chicken Parmesan at RPM Italian.
Stoffer Photography

The Korean pop stars swooped into town to speak about the importance of Asian inclusion at a globally-streamed press conference before meeting with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, May 31. All seven BTS members then dined at Mt. Vernon Triangle’s polished fixture RPM Italian that night, a restaurant rep tells Eater.

The supergroup dinner also included Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and American R&B artist H.E.R., who performed a huge show at FedEx Field last night. (BTS’s “My Universe” smash 2021 collab with Coldplay gifted the band their first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 in 14 years.) The singers reunited over squash blossoms, bone-in wagyu strip steaks, cacio e pepe, and chicken Parmesan, per the rep, plus cheesecake and tiramisu for dessert.

The following morning, BTS generated lines in the sweltering heat for a sweet made in their honor. Rose Ave Bakery, Eater DC’s Bakery of the Year at downtown Asian food hall The Block, whipped up fluffy brioche donuts with caramelized banana and cheesecake mousse.

Super fans flocked to Rose Ave Bakery for a “BTS Special Donut” on Wednesday, June 1.
Rose Nguyen/Rose Ave Bakery
A BTS doughnut drew a big morning line outside The Block.
Rose Nguyen/Rose Ave Bakery

Rose Ave Bakery put lots of thought into its BTS-themed treat to commemorate the record-shattering group’s landmark D.C. appearance on the last day of AAPI Heritage Month.

“The butterfly [on top] is for one of their songs, purple is their color, and member Jungkook loves banana milk,” owner Rose Nguyen tells Eater.

Just six dozen were made in all and sold out before noon on Wednesday, June 1.

Nguyen, a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, says her pastry chef Rebekka Baltzell came up with the special spheres because she’s “proud of what [BTS] stands for” — and also hoped they might even stop by. They didn’t, but their “ARMY” fanbase came out in full force. An Instagram post teasing the limited edition doughnut generated a whopping 2,000 likes – and a line down the block (“mind you it was 95 degrees,” says Nguyen).

Nguyen, who continuously sells out of her ube mochi crullers and other super popular pastries since debuting at The Block in the uncertain days of spring 2020, plans to relocate the bakery to bigger brick-and-mortar digs in Woodley Park.

RPM Italian

650 K Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 204-4480 Visit Website