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

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

by Molly Wizenberg

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Overview

The New York Times bestseller from the author of A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette about opening a restaurant with her new husband: “You’ll feel the warmth from this pizza oven...cheerfully honest...warm and inclusive, just like her cooking” (USA TODAY).

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 explores that intimate territory where food and life meet. This moving and honest account of two people learning to give in and let go in order to grow together is “a crave-worthy memoir that is part love story, part restaurant industry tale. Scrumptious” (People).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451655117
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/26/2015
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 533,513
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Molly Wizenberg, winner of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Award, 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, and her work has appeared in Bon Appétit, The Washington Post, The Art of Eating, and The Guardian, and on Saveur.com and Gourmet.com. She also cohosts the hit podcast Spilled Milk. She lives in Seattle with her husband Brandon Pettit, their daughter June, and two dogs named Jack and Alice. She and Brandon own and run the restaurants Delancey and Essex.

Read an Excerpt

Delancey


  • If you want to get Brandon’s family talking, you need only ask about his childhood tantrums, aaannnnnnnd they’re off! Their descriptions are sufficiently vivid that you’d think he’d had a screaming meltdown in the family car last week. But if you ask Brandon about his tantrums, he’ll tell you that he was constantly hungry, and that low blood sugar will bring out the wailing, shrieking lunatic in anyone. When he was eight or nine, he taught himself to cope by cooking. And his parents, who weren’t especially interested in cooking, rewarded his initiative, because in the Pettit household of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, whoever cooked dinner didn’t have to do the cleanup afterward.

    Anyway, while most of his peers were off wrestling in the yard, breaking things, or lighting household pets on fire, Brandon got a lot of positive attention for cooking. His uncle Tom offered to teach him how to make a few dishes, and so did his mother’s friend Ellen. His best friend Steve’s mother, Laura, taught him how to make penne alla vodka when he was in middle school. Afterward, before he went home, she dumped out a small Poland Spring water bottle, refilled it with vodka, and gave it to him so that he could make the recipe for his parents. His mother found it in his backpack later that night, and you know how that story goes.

    Meanwhile, I grew up 1,500 miles to the west, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the only child in a family so preoccupied with cooking and eating that we would regularly spend dinner discussing what we might eat the following night. My parents met in Baltimore and courted over oysters and pan-fried shad roe, and though they had lived in the land of waving wheat and chicken-fried steak since a few years before I was born, they took pleasure in introducing me to lobster, croissants, and Dover sole. My father was a radiation oncologist, and he worked full-time until he was nearly seventy, but most evenings, after pouring himself a Scotch and thumbing absentmindedly through the mail, he made dinner. It wasn’t necessarily fancy—there were hamburgers and salad and cans of baked beans, and his macaroni and cheese involved a brick of Velveeta—but the kitchen was where he went to relax, to unwind from a day of seeing patients. He was a good cook. My mother is also a good cook, a very good cook, but I think of her mostly as a baker. She made brownies and crisps and birthday cakes, and in our neighborhood she became something of a legend for the elaborate cookies and candies she made each Christmas. Food was how the three of us spent time together. Cooking and eating gave our days their rhythm and consistency, and the kitchen was where everything happened. As a baby, I played on the floor with pots and spoons while my mother cooked. The three of us sat down to dinner at the kitchen table nearly every night (except Thursdays, when my parents went out and left me with a Stouffer’s Turkey Tetrazzini and Julia Beal, the elderly babysitter, who always arrived with a floral-patterned plastic bonnet tied under her chin), and we kept up the habit (minus Stouffer’s and Mrs. Beal, after a certain point) until I went to college.

    I started cooking with my parents when I was in high school. I was not what you would call a difficult teen: Friday night might find me baking a cake or holed up in my bedroom with my notebook of poems. If I felt like doing something really exciting, I might invite some friends over and make a rhubarb cobbler. When I was seventeen, Food Network came into existence, and then I spent hour after hour watching cooking shows, which fueled even more baking and a poem about immersing myself in a vat of Marshmallow Fluff.

    Brandon’s teenage years were a little more interesting—he regularly handed in his homework late—but he too watched a lot of cooking shows. This was back in the golden age when you could actually learn something from Food Network—when David Rosengarten’s brilliant Taste was still on the air and Emeril Lagasse’s show was taped on a modest set without a studio audience, live musicians, or abuse of the word bam. Brandon learned about extra virgin olive oil on Molto Mario and balsamic vinegar on Essence of Emeril and begged his parents to add them to the grocery list. He once watched a show about soups during which the host reeled off a number of tricks for adding flavor and body: add a Parmigiano-Reggiano rind or a bouquet garni, for example, or drop in a potato, toss in some dried mushrooms, or simmer a teabag in the stock. Armed with this information, he decided to combine all of the tricks in a single soup, surely the greatest soup the world would ever know. The result, he reports, was very flavorful, like runoff from a large-scale mining operation.

    Growing up, Brandon had four favorite pizza places: Posa Posa, Martio’s, and Michaelangelo’s, all in Nanuet, New York; and Kinchley’s, in Ramsey, New Jersey. Of course, every kid on earth loves pizza, and a lot of them probably have four favorite pizza joints. But I know of few eight-year-olds who want to interview the pizzaiolo. Brandon took dance classes as a kid, and the ballet studio was conveniently located a few doors down from Michaelangelo’s. After class, he would pummel the owner with questions. What’s in the dough? What do you put in the sauce? Why do you grate the mozzarella for the cheese pizza, instead of slicing it? In exchange for answers and free slices, he agreed to put coupons under the windshield wipers of cars in the parking lot out front.

    But if it were all really that straightforward, if Brandon and I had both homed in on food from the get-go, and if he had known that he would be a chef and I had known that I would someday own a restaurant with my chef husband, this would be a boring story, and I would not be telling it.

    Maybe even more than he loved to cook, Brandon loved to dance. His mother, wanting to expose her son to a little bit of everything, started him in dance classes as a very young kid, and by the time he was a preteen, he was on track to someday join a touring company. Down the line, he’d decided, he would be a choreographer. Choreography and cooking pushed the same buttons in him: they were both about making things, about taking a series of separate elements and assembling them in a particular sequence to make something appealing and new. As a middle schooler, he took upwards of eight hours of dance classes a week, and sometimes, depending on the season, he took as many as twenty. When he was twelve, he got into a prestigious summer program at the Pennsylvania Ballet school. Each afternoon, when he was supposed to be resting, he sneaked into the classes for older teens, where he got to partner with female dancers. This was the big time. One day, while doing some sort of move that you’re not supposed to do when you’re twelve, he fractured one of the vertebrae in his lower back. The upshot was that he couldn’t dance for the better part of a year, and as further punishment, he had to wear a plastic torso brace that made him look like Tom Hanks’s deranged secretary in Splash, the one who wore her bra over her clothes.

    He couldn’t do anything that required much mobility, but he could still cook. He could also practice the saxophone. In addition to dance, he’d taken music lessons—piano and saxophone—since he was a kid. Now, while sidelined from ballet, he began to practice for hours a day. After school, he’d go down to the basement, put on Pink Floyd’s “Money,” and play along, over and over, with the sax solo that starts at 2:04. Or he’d go to Tower Records and fish around in the discount bin for classic R&B and blues CDs, Charlie Parker or T-Bone Walker, and then he’d play along to those too. He sometimes went to the ballet studio to watch a class, to try to keep his head in it, but he began to notice that, maybe more than the physical movement itself, what he liked about dance was the music. Music was underneath all of it.

    By the time he started thinking about college, he was spending most of his non-school hours playing the saxophone, and when he wasn’t playing the saxophone, he was cooking. He thought about going to culinary school instead of college, but he’d been a vegetarian since birth—his parents, siblings, and most of his extended family are vegetarian—and while he didn’t want to cook meat, he also wasn’t interested in seeking out a specialized vegetarian culinary school, which seemed limiting in the long run. Anyway, he would always cook, he reasoned, whether or not he was a trained chef. He would always need to eat. But if he wanted to keep at his music, and if he wanted to go somewhere with it, he would need formal training. So he decided to try for a conservatory slot in saxophone, upping his practice schedule from a couple of hours a day to three or four. There’s a video taken around that time, at his high school’s Battle of the Bands. I wish you could see it. Brandon is seventeen, singing lead and straddling the sax in a band called “Ummm . . . ,” and he’s deep in his Jim Morrison phase, with dark sunglasses, long curly brown hair, and his shirt unbuttoned to the navel, for which he would later get detention.

    The following year, he moved to Ohio as a freshman at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He declared a major in saxophone performance, but the urge to make something—not just memorize and perform a piece of music that someone else had made—was still there, and in his second year, he added a minor in music composition. After graduation, he moved to New York to work on a master’s at Brooklyn College Conservatory, sharing an apartment in Manhattan with a violinist and an opera singer. Meanwhile, I had left Oklahoma City and headed west to Stanford, where I studied human biology and French and was frequently asleep in my dorm room bunk bed by ten o’clock, though I did flirt with rebellion by cutting my hair short, dyeing it calico, and stealing pre-portioned balls of Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough from the freezer of my dining hall. When I graduated, I spent a year teaching English in France before moving to Seattle in 2002 to start graduate school in anthropology at the University of Washington.

    Brandon and I met in 2005, when a friend of his suggested that he read Orangette, the food blog that I had started the previous summer. He did, and then he sent an e-mail to pass on a few choice compliments that evidently were very effective. He described himself as “a musician (composer) getting my master’s part-time in NYC, while being a full-time food snob / philosopher / chef.” Let’s ignore the snob / philosopher part; he was only twenty-three, so he gets a pass. But the chef part! He was referring, I would learn, to his part-time job as a cooking-and-grocery-shopping go-fer for a wealthy uncle, and to the fact that he liked to have friends over to dinner. But, people: I should have seen it. This man was not going to be a composer. By the second letter, he was describing the smell of flaming Calvados on crêpes, and to explain what type of music he wrote, he offered this:

    I guess it’s considered classical. I usually write for choirs or orchestras or chamber groups, although sometimes I use electronics or make sound sculptures or installations. For a food analogy: I won’t make salads with raw chicken, lychee, pork rinds, and lemon zest with a motor oil, goat cheese, and olive oil dressing, just because no one has done it before. I try to make “dishes” that taste like nothing else, and taste good. Being a composer is really no different from being a chef or a choreographer.

    I should have seen it, but I didn’t. And until a few months after we were married, I don’t think he did, either.

  • Reading Group Guide

    This reading group guide for Delancey includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Molly Wizenberg. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


    Introduction

    The follow-up to Molly Wizenberg’s New York Times bestselling memoir A Homemade Life, Delancey provides an intimate, honest look at the challenges and exhilaration faced by a newly married couple when they decide to open a restaurant. In the style of the first book, Delancey features personal recipes that were especially meaningful to Molly during this dynamic time in her life. Written in the smart, accessible style of her popular, award-winning blog Orangette, Delancey will have readers cheering for Molly and Brandon as they put their hearts and souls into the restaurant and ultimately learn they need let go of each other in order to fully live, love, and work together.

    Topics & Questions for Discussion


    1. In the introduction Molly discusses some of Brandon’s early ambitions, including making violins, building a boat, and opening an ice cream shop. None of these ever materialized. After those nonstarters, why do you think Brandon went through with Delancey?

    2. Molly freely admits that change has always been difficult for her. When attempting to fully engage in the restaurant process, she remarks, “I didn’t want my life to change. . . . But it already had. I hated that” (p. 107). Is Molly’s resentment only about change, or is it about the restaurant as well? How does Molly come to terms with change over the course of the book?

    3. Both Molly and Brandon suffer emotional breakdowns, Molly’s on Halloween of 2009 (p. 178), and Brandon’s subsequent crisis after drinks with his staff (p. 186). Compare the two experiences. What was each of them truly upset about? In what ways did Molly’s breakdown affect her reaction to Brandon’s?

    4. Molly and Brandon agree that they “wouldn’t be married anymore if (1) I hadn’t worked at Delancey and (2) I hadn’t stopped working at Delancey” (p. 193). What was the significance of her working there? What was the significance of leaving? What effects do you think these two events had on both their relationship and their business?

    5. Brandon and Molly take on a great deal of risk to start the restaurant. Discuss an experience where you took a risk, either alone or with others. How did the experience turn out? What did you learn?

    6. Molly often compares the act of cooking to a way of caring for someone. In the beginning of her relationship with Brandon, that act consisted of cooking for and with each other. With the restaurant however, that act became a more communal one, an idea she contemplated when her editor asked, “What will it be like for you and Brandon to make it public?” (p. 196). Discuss Molly’s thoughts about this idea through her poignant comment, “We would lose it” (p. 197). How does the act of caring for someone through food and cooking alter for Molly? For Brandon? Is that alteration permanent? Do you think they will ever get “it” back?

    7. One of the prominent themes in the book is the transformative nature of the restaurant on Molly’s and Brandon’s lives, and Molly emphasizes that she has become a different person than she was before Delancey, often with a regretful tone. She admits, “I wondered when I’d go back to being the old, better me” (p. 197). By the end of the book, does she still mourn the loss of her old self? How does she view, even embrace, the new version of herself?

    8. From Molly’s description, the restaurant business is rife with impermanence: food spoils, employees come and go, and restaurants can close in the blink of an eye for any number of reasons. How does this sense of transience add to the challenge of running a successful restaurant? How do Molly and Brandon cope with it?

    9. Molly and Brandon had a tumultuous experience with their first pizza cook, Jared. What did this relationship, and its abrupt ending, teach Molly and Brandon about the business and themselves as business owners?

    10. In what ways do you think Brandon and Molly’s experience starting Delancey would have been different without the help and support of knowledgeable friends?

    11. Molly eventually accepts the fact that she does not have the right personality to cook at the restaurant, yet after quitting, she says, “I didn’t know what do to with myself” (p. 211). Contrast this thought with the opening Wendell Berry quote. How does this sentiment reflect Molly’s realization? What does it intimate about her path forward?

    12. As novices in the restaurant industry, Molly and Brandon had to learn on their feet. How did the sometimes painful learning process help them identify their strengths and weaknesses? Without their flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, do you think Delancey would have succeeded as it has?

    Enhance Your Book Club


    1. Molly is very active on social media. You can check out her award-winning blog: www.Orangette.blogspot.com, follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mollyorangette, listen to her podcast Spilled Milk: http://www.spilledmilkpodcast.com/, and see more of her beautiful photography on Instagram: http://instagram.com/mollyorangette#.

    2. Plan your book discussion at a local pizza shop or other independent restaurant. If possible, arrange to speak to the manager or owner, and use that opportunity to find out what it was like to start the business.

    3. In Delancey, Molly highlights recipes that are special to her and her family in some way. Have each member of the group bring a recipe to the discussion and explain why it is particularly meaningful. You can bring copies for each member and create a mini-cookbook.


    A Conversation with Molly Wizenberg

    In this memoir, you share quite a bit about your life with Brandon. How did he feel about being such a large subject in your book?

    You know, I think I was more nervous than he was. I knew from the beginning that if this book had a hero, it was going to be Brandon, and if it had a villain, it was going to be me. I feel very lucky that he trusted me to tell our story, and to tell it honestly and fairly. He’s always understood that writing is how I work things out, and he knows that I need to do it. (Of course, he’s now writing his own tell-all memoir, Delancey: My Wife is a Liar and Yours Might Be Too.)

    About the recipes included in the book, you wrote that they are “the foods we wished we were eating” (p. x). Now that Delancey and Essex are established, do you have time to eat more of the foods you like?

    We do! On a recent night off, Brandon pan-seared and roasted a couple of steaks and made two types of chimichurri to serve with them. Fancy! That kind of thing would have been unthinkable in the early days of Delancey, when we barely had the energy to pick up the phone and order takeout. And I’m back to making my own granola, something I started doing a decade ago but had no time for when the restaurant came along. It makes me very happy.

    Delancey marks your second memoir. How did your experience writing it compare to your first book, A Homemade Life?

    In some ways, it was easier. For one thing, I knew that I could write a book. (The first time, I wasn’t sure until I had actually done it.) But in other ways, this book was a very different challenge. The biggest hurdle to overcome was the subject itself: writing about marriage, and in particular the difficult parts of a marriage, felt a lot harder than writing about my father’s death. I mean, it’s not like death is any more talked-about in our culture than marital problems; both are uncomfortable topics, right? But everybody dies at some point, whereas not everybody has marital strife, or not that they’re willing to own up to. I feel much more exposed in this story. But I felt compelled to write it down anyway, because the process of writing helped me to understand it.

    You remark that small business owners in Seattle tend to be supportive of one another. Do you think this is the exception to the rule? Do you feel this is part of the reason for the success of Delancey?

    It’s hard for me to say whether the situation here in Seattle is exceptional—I’ve spent most of my adult life here, and I’ve never owned a business anywhere else—but my gut tells me that it is. One of the things that I love about Seattle is that this city is still young in a lot of ways, still figuring itself out. There’s still room here: there’s still the space and opportunity to do what you want to do. I don’t think we would have, or could have, opened Delancey if we were in New York or San Francisco, for instance; it’s just so much more expensive to get started there, and the market is more saturated. So, yes, I do think Seattle and its small business community is part of the reason for our success. Absolutely.

    What three pieces of advice would you give to others hoping to open their own restaurant?

    This is my least favorite question! We made so many mistakes, it’s hard to feel confident giving advice. But here goes:
    1. Before you commit, work in a restaurant. Even if it means working for no pay, try it out. Make sure you understand all aspects of it and what it entails, and make sure you love it.
    2. Draft a budget by making a list of everything you think you will need to buy and do, and then double it. That’s how much it will probably cost, in reality.
    3. When hiring, call references. Whatever you do, call references.

    Many of your readers have probably left restaurant reviews on Yelp. As of this writing, there are almost 300 Yelp reviews for Delancey, with the vast majority of ratings being 5 out of 5 stars. What is your perspective on Yelp as a reviewed business owner? How do you feel about the very few dissenting comments?

    I haven’t read our Yelp reviews in a few years. Brandon reads them, and so does our staff, but I can’t do it. Whenever I do cave and read them, they make me feel incredibly nervous and vulnerable, both the positive ones and the negative ones. But in general, when it comes to any kind of feedback, what I try to remember is something my brother David once told me: believe the good, learn from the bad, and ignore the ugly.

    Have you ever experienced pizza fatigue?

    Only very occasionally, and it hasn’t lasted long! I still eat pizza a couple times a week. If it’s any indication, we eat it often enough that pizza (“PeeeeeEEEEEEEE-thza!”) was one of our daughter’s first two-syllable words.

    You write, “When I would tell people about what our days were like then, they would often say that it sounded a lot like having a newborn baby” (p. 150). Not long after Delancey opened you had your first child. How did the two experiences compare for you?

    We opened Delancey in the summer of 2009, and three years later, we opened a bar next door called Essex, and three weeks after that, I had a baby. It was nuts, to put it mildly. (If you’re considering opening a business and having a baby around the same time, I recommend that you reconsider.) Starting a business and having a baby are definitely very similar: you’re learning as you go, and you’re exhausted, and you’re terrified, and you’re euphoric, and you stay in that condition for quite awhile. Both were particular challenges for me because I’m not great with change, and restaurants and babies do nothing but change! In the end, though, I think our daughter, June, has been a bit easier for me than Delancey, mostly because she’s cuter.

    The book clearly details the amount of work, both physical and emotional, that went in to opening Delancey. Are you and your family now able to take more time off? Is it a luxury or a priority?

    Brandon made every pizza we served from the day we opened in August of 2009 until early 2014, when he decided to take occasional nights off (!) and let one of our longtime cooks, Joe Baauw, run the oven in his absence. That change feels HUGE. But Brandon’s hours are still long, so time off is, and has always been, a necessity. In his original business plan for Delancey, Brandon budgeted to be open only 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year, and we’ve averaged that pretty much every year since Delancey opened. We close for a week at Thanksgiving, ten days to two weeks over Christmas and New Year’s, on Easter Sunday, and for occasions like family weddings. What’s the point of working hard if we (and our staff) don’t get time to enjoy what we’ve earned?

    How has the combination of managing Delancey and Essex, plus caring for a young child, affected your writing? Do you plan to write another book?

    The fullness of my life now has certainly helped me learn to be more productive and efficient with my time. I can tell you that! I like to think that it’s all made me a better writer, or smarter or funnier or something like that, but I don’t think I can really be the judge of that. As for another book, yes, I hope so. I’m a slow writer, though, so it may take awhile. (Hang in there, people!)

    Would you consider opening Delancey one of the most challenging experiences in your life? What, if anything, are you still learning from it?

    My friend Hannah sent me a postcard when we were opening Delancey, and I keep it on our fridge at home, because it’s perfect. She wrote, “I know that Delancey will drive you and Brandon crazy, but it will be the best thing in your lives. The hardest things always are.” I couldn’t have said it better. Delancey, Essex, and having a kid have all made me a very different person from who I was before, in ways that I could have never predicted, and even though the combination of it all occasionally makes me want a stiff drink at noon, I’m grateful for it. So grateful.

    Do you plan to open another restaurant?

    Ha ha HAAA, no! Nooooo! (Famous last words, right?)

    Customer Reviews

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    Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
    nikki1CO More than 1 year ago
    I loved Ms Wizenbergs's first book "A Homemade Life". Delancey does not disapoint. The writing is clear, honest, sometimes painfully so. tOne wonders at the courage it took to open a pizza restaurant & turn their lives upside down from what the author thought they would be. I so admire her courage in admitting that she didn't want to do it, realized that she was not happy being in the restaurant business but then came around to what made her happy. The writing is crystalline, a wonderful economy of words,but beautifully done. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about food, who enjoys a really human story with a happy ending, but you're not quite sure for a while!
    Christine_Emming More than 1 year ago
    As someone who's considered opening a restaurant, I picked this up in part out of curiosity about the nuts and bolts of the thing. Having read her first book, and followed Orangette for years, I would have read it regardless, but probably not pre-ordered. Well, it could have been three times longer and I'd have raced through at the same speed. Wizenberg's writing, as always, is succinct and often witty, and the story of both her restaurant and marriage an entertaining read.
    KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings For audio books, I care deeply about the narrator and I tend to enjoy it when the author reads the book themselves. Molly Wizenberg did not narrate, but it was a female narrator so you could almost pretend it was her! I have never heard Molly's voice, but I just wish she had because I feel as though the author gives more character to their own words than a narrator does as they are not their own words. But I did love how the narrator jokingly did the male voices almost as if she was making fun of her own impressions, it felt so real and true to how the author had intended it.
    KateUnger More than 1 year ago
    Delancey is a memoir about a couple who opened their own pizza place in Seattle. Or at least that’s what I was expecting it to be about. What I was not expecting was for it to be written by the wife who had very little involvement in the restaurant that her husband was starting. What I also didn’t expect was for there to be so many recipes in the book. I guess since it’s kind of a food memoir that shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. And because I was listening to this book on audio, I couldn’t really skip over the recipes. This book is sort of a “how to” on opening a restaurant. I enjoyed the parts about Brandon trying to make the perfect pizza from the crust experimentation to the selection of cheeses to the hours of practice with a wood-fired oven. What was missing though was the emotion. This book is kind of told second hand because Brandon didn’t write the book, and Molly really didn’t want to have anything to do with the restaurant at the beginning. She thought it was another one of his crazy schemes. That’s something I can relate to, as my own husband is very passionate, but there was something missing from this book. It read (well, listened?) like a litany of steps taken to get to opening the restaurant, but it was so dry and unfeeling. Perhaps because the last memoir I read was The Yellow Envelope, which was nothing but honesty and emotion, this book just fell kind of flat for me. It was OK, but nothing special. All that said…if I am ever in Seattle, I want to eat at Delancey because the pizza does sound amazing. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-delancey-by-molly-wizenberg/
    DoranneLongPTMS More than 1 year ago
    I enjoyed this book on several levels, including the recipes and other ingredient information. I also loved the behind-the-scenes of creating, starting, and running a restaurant, especially with our family of restaurant cooks. I appreciated her sharing, with honesty, of their difficulties, while keeping a sense of humor. I liked the last line of the book, regarding allowing spouses to flow their own way, and to be able to come together again. Thanks Molly, for sharing your life, marriage, and the restaurant.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Cisley More than 1 year ago
    I finished reading Delancey last night. I really enjoyed it. I had read Molly Wizenberg's first book A Homemade Life last year. Being familiar with the author, I bought this one without a second thought. Molly's first book was based more on her cooking/recipes. This book is a great primer for those interested in opening a restaurant. She lets the reader know just how expensive, difficult and time consuming it is, but not in a harsh way. Molly Wizenberg just has a way with words and I am looking forward to her next book. I live across the Puget Sound from Seattle, where her book is based, so that didn't hurt! One of these days my husband and I will have to make it over to Delancey's .
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Talks way too much about the preparations for opening the restaurant. I quit reading it.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Perhaps the fact that I live in Seattle and am a huge fan of this pizzeria makes me not have total objectivity about this book. But aside from that, the story grabs you and the writing is phenomenal. By the time you're close to the end, you'll be so invested in their story.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago