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Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage Paperback – May 26, 2015
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014: When Orangette blogger and Bon Appétit columnist Molly Wizenberg emerged from the whirlwind of publishing her best-selling debut memoir, A Homemade Life, she was shocked to realize that her new husband Brandon’s latest ambitious/crazy scheme was coming to pass: with scant restaurant experience, he was opening a Brooklyn-style wood-fire pizza place in their Seattle neighborhood. Brandon and the restaurant were on the move, and she could give into their momentum or risk an unraveling marriage. In Delancey: A Man, A Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, we get Wizenberg's hilariously unvarnished, poignant account of how she found her place in their new life, and what it took both of them them--as well as the friends, relatives, and strangers-turned-friends who rallied to their aid--to transform an empty space into a community that feeds them, plus an expectant crowd that often snakes down the block (and occasionally feels like a zombie horde). If you have gauzy dreams of opening your own little place, you’ll glean essential lessons, like that you should really reconsider. But any fan of great food (especially pizza) will find much to love, including recipes for the meals they most enjoyed in the Delancey-opening era--food and cocktails that are improvisational, delicious, made memorable by time spent with excellent friends. Wizenberg finished her manuscript when she was 37-weeks pregnant with their daughter, June--“the heart of the pizza party”--and just as they opened bar-next-door Essex, events that we think call for another memoir. --Mari Malcolm--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Marriage plus business isn’t always the best formula to produce happiness. Just ask author Wizenberg and her husband, Brandon Pettit. Armed with a lot of enthusiasm and youthful vigor, the two opened a Seattle pizzeria, determined to produce unique pies from fresh ingredients. A trained music composer, Brandon has multiple passions, including food and cooking. His zeal swept his wife along until, as owners of both a lease and an oven, they had to carry through with their dreams and actually hire staff, create a menu, and open the doors for paying customers. Despite the pizzeria’s success and her continued love for her husband, Wizenberg finds daily work stresses often overwhelming. Throughout the text, Wizenberg records recipes, not merely from the restaurant’s repertoire but from her own files of favorite foods. Anyone, married or not, considering launching a restaurant will take away from this memoir some valuable personal and professional lessons. --Mark Knoblauch --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Molly touches in the book about the lack of recipes, because it sort of morphs into this on its own, even surprising her. But there really is a super limited run of them. I would have appreciated more recipes associated with the pizza-making experience, even if very little other recipes were given. Most of the recipes (and again, Molly touches on this in the beginning) were simple in nature and often something a friend would make for them, because there simply wasn’t a lot of time while running around trying to open the restaurant. I understand if you don’t want to give us a dough recipe, but something like a cheese recipe or maybe even a poor man’s pizza might have been fun additions, or maybe even more of Brandon’s recipes, since the moon centers around him.
All in all, I liked it, and I can only hope that Molly plans on eventually writing a true blue cookbook at some point in the future. I would buy that in an instant.
I think that is what I liked about the first book. Food largely served as a framing device around which to write about Wizenberg’s family, her personal maturation, and her romances. Those were the real topics of the book. In this one, the subject is more depersonalized--what it’s like to open a restaurant. Brandon factors into the book of course, but on the whole, the book is aptly titled. It is about Delancey, the restaurant.
That’s fine. I really enjoyed the book. I think that Wizenberg’s a good writer, and I’m pretty sure I’ll jump to read whatever she comes out with next. But Delancey, to me, lacks a lot of the charm that made her previous work such a stand-out.
Why yes, it was.
It's always interesting to read the inner workings of places I frequent but know little about. I knew nothing about how a restuarant works. Molly takes the reader from the concept, through the execution, and beyond; revealing vibrant characters, and the interesting personalities that make up the industry.
The genius of Delancey, isn't the good writing or the framing of the story- the restuarant business. A fair and honest portrait of a young couple building a life together is what makes this book so great.
Oh, and I forgot about the recipes Molly slipped in! Can't wait to try them, in fact, planning on making the spicy shrimp tonight.
I love happy endings and hope they keep making delicious pizzas for years to come. Next time I'm in Seattle I'm considering settling at one of their tables, and later hanging the bar to wait for an autograph. If I can only figure out a way to have Molly sign my e-reader.