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Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriageby Molly Wizenberg
Synopses & Reviews
In this funny, frank, and tender new memoir, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette recounts how opening a pizza restaurant sparked the first crisis of her young marriage.
When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, she vowed to support him and work with him to make their hopes and dreams come true. Even when Brandon's enthusiasms — building a boat, constructing a violin, and opening an ice cream shop — turned out to be nothing more than passing ideas, Molly stayed by his side, supportive and optimistic.
So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was certain it would join the boat, the violin, and the ice cream shop on his list of abandoned projects. 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 married life were about to change.
The two partners gutted and renovated the space, built their own furniture, hired staff, and passed health inspections. When their restaurant turned out to be a success, Molly tried her best to convince herself she was happy in their new life. But that was before Halloween night, when she was forced to admit she hadn't been honest with herself or Brandon.
With twenty new home kitchen recipes and evocative photos by Molly, Delancey is a moving and honest account of how two young people learned to give in and let go in order to strengthen their bond and receive something more.
"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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A crave-worthy memoir that is part love story, part restaurant industry tale. Scrumptious." People
"When I sit down with Molly Wizenberg's writing, it feels as though she's just across the counter, coffee cup in hand, sharing an intimate truth....Inspiring, entertaining and informative, [Delancey] is a satisfying read." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Charming...humorous, intimate, and honest." Library Journal (starred review)
"Entertaining and wondering and plainspoken...full of the hard work and trial and error of emerging into adulthood." Bookforum
In this funny, frank, and tender new memoir, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette recounts how opening a restaurant sparked the first crisis of her young marriage.
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.
About the Author
Molly Wizenberg is the voice behind Orangette, named the best food blog in the world by the London Times. Her first book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, was a New York Times bestseller. Her work has appeared in Bon Appétit and The Washington Post. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband Brandon and their daughter June.
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