When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream-making. Read more...
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When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream-making. So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was supportive--not because she wanted him to do it, but because the idea was so far-fetched that she didn't think he would. Before she knew it, he'd signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly's assumptions about her marriage were about to change.
Together they built Delancey: gutting and renovating the space on a cobbled-together budget, developing a menu, hiring staff, and passing inspections. Delancey became a success, and Molly tried to convince herself that she was happy in their new life until--in the heat and pressure of the restaurant kitchen--she realized that she hadn't been honest with herself or Brandon.
With evocative photos by Molly and twenty new recipes for the kind of simple, delicious food that chefs eat at home, "Delancey" is a moving and honest account of two young people learning to give in and let go in order to grow together.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-01-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Wizenberg, Seattle food blogger and author of The Homemade Life, delineates the courageous—or hare-brained—impulse by her new husband, Brandon, to start a pizzeria, which they would name Delancey, in the up-and-coming Seattle neighborhood of Ballard during the chill of the 2009 recession. Brandon, who hails from New Jersey, was a grad student in music at the University of Washington with ample talents and restless energy for building (violins, boats) and also cooking. His favorite New York pizzeria, Di Fara, proved his inspiration to try his hand at creating an enterprise from scratch, and when his partner bailed out on him, the author, now his wife, stepped in, but reluctantly. Wizenberg had just published her first memoir and wanted to concentrate on writing; yet the demands of a fledgling restaurant proved irresistible and all-consuming, including the “one million steps between signing a commercial lease and opening the door to the public.” Wizenberg’s narrative is rich in such details, from the finding of financial backing, the construction of their small space in Ballard, the design by a Bay-area cousin, installation of the all-important wood-burning pizza oven, to the hiring of several servers—not to mention the tiny details the author obsessed about in the preparation and plating of salads and vegetables, which was her lamentable station. Her fun and engaging narrative encompasses recipes, an odd assortment of the familiar (meatloaf) and the earnest (ricotta), undergirding overall what is an industrious, youthful effort at keeping marital harmony. (May)