Delancey: A Memoir. A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage

Molly Wizenberg, Author
Molly Wizenberg. Simon & Schuster, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4516-5509-4
Reviewed on: 01/20/2014
Release date: 05/06/2014
Hardcover - 339 pages - 978-1-4104-7204-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4830-4106-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-4107-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-4105-6
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4516-5511-7
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4516-5512-4
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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)
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