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

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  4,857 ratings  ·  634 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 restaurant sparked the f irst 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
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Simon & Schuster (first published May 1st 2014)
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After loving Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life, I opened to the first page of Delancey with high expectations. Yet about halfway through the memoir, disappointment crept in. Wizenberg's writing style had not changed, nor had the format of her memoir (short story followed by a recipe)--two elements that I enjoyed in A Homemade Life. Yet the depth of feeling had. While A Homemade Life is about food, yes, it's more about her relationships with other people--her parents, boyfriends, friends, and, ev ...more
When my husband and I are not dreaming about living off the land on some kind of homestead, we're dreaming about having our own restaurant. As I dawdle around my kitchen on a Saturday morning, I'll think, "If we had a restaurant that served brunch, people would get totally addicted to my savory corn pancakes with chives and corn." My husband will talk about offering his home-brewed sour cherry beer in our brew pub. But it's all a pipe dream. Sometimes, just getting dinner on the table for one ve ...more
Rebecca Foster
What a delightful read. This made me wish I could go grab a pizza at Delancey, or get invited to a dinner party at Molly Wizenberg’s place – if only both weren’t way out in Seattle. There’s such warmth and humor to her food writing. Here she immerses you in the minutiae of setting up and running a new restaurant (in the midst of a recession, no less) but makes everything interesting, from tiling a pizza oven and plating salads to learning how to do payroll. Of course, there were many mishaps alo ...more
Molly is a good writer. This was an enjoyable book about the love of food and the perseverance to start a pizzeria. I think I should have read the book instead of listening to the audiobook. I want to see the recipes not hear them. :) Recommended to those that like to cook or own/want to open a restaurant.
Beth Knight
Really a 3.5-star book. I enjoyed reading about most of what Molly and her husband went through in order to open up their Seattle-based pizza restaurant, Delancey. One part I wasn't really interested in was the building of the special oven; it was kind of slow to me so I ended up skipping most of it. I loved hearing about the food, though, and there are some delicious-sounding recipes included, one at the end of each chapter. I ended up feeling hungry while reading and now have a big craving for ...more
I love love loved A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, so of course I requested Delancey. I was not disappointed!

The short of it: Wizenberg has a way of writing that makes me feel like we’d totally be friends. I’d love to hang out with her, and I could completely relate to how this all went down.

All the rest: You know how sometimes you really want to encourage someone, even when you think that they might not succeed at what they are attempting? Or really even follow through on trying? And so you
I read this in front of my fireplace over a chilly fall weekend. Just perfect. This has a great narrative (sometimes food memoirs can feel a bit disjointed, but this one has a distinct through line, a clear beginning, middle, end) and feels honest. I want to cook a bunch of the recipes, and, frankly, now I want to work at Delancey or Essex (probably Essex, honestly, because I love that they make their own bitters and mustard and all those delicious pickles). I've had the privilege of dining at b ...more
I like Molly Wizenberg's Orangette blog, and I was delighted to see this book in the Ridgefield Library. I might buy it, because I like a lot of the recipes--both for weird experiments (gin with ground pepper and garlic?) and for plain ol' "that sounds great!" meals (penne alla vodka). The story of the ins and outs of starting the restaurant was engrossing, too, and the progress of her relationship with and understanding of her husband caught my attention as well, though Julie did not find the b ...more
There are a lot of restaurant books out there, and ,oat of them are alright. This one is different because the author is not a chef, nor was it ever her desire or dream to open a restaurant, and yet somehow she found herself pretty much building one from scratch with her husband. The reason this book was such a treat is because Wizenberg is a)hilarious b) a very self aware, very good writer and c) a foodie with a blog.

The opening chapters of this book were so funny, like laugh out loud-realize t
I actually enjoyed this one more than the last one, perhaps because I have so recently been somewhat involved in someone else opening their restaurant and am myself starting a somewhat new and demanding endeavor, but there's more. The whole second half of A Homemade Life was about Molly meeting Brandon and falling in love and their marriage. And it was frankly a little too perfect for me. Delancey allows us a look at a committed relationship that is much more familiar to me. It's scarey and diff ...more
Wizenberg's first book was lovely, and it was with some trepidation that I picked up her sophomore effort. I needn't have fretted, this was as engrossing and as engaging as A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table though it didn't make me cry. (view spoiler) ...more
This was an ok read. It was nice to read about starting up a restaurant but I think it would have been more interesting if the story was written by the person that was actually setting up the restaurant, her husband. Also at times I found Molly complaining a bit too much. All in all an ok foodie-read.
This last week I've been in a reading slump, every book I picked up I put back down before the 50th page, but this book broke that. Delancey was a wonderful book about a couple building a restaurant. Equally parts hilarious and serious, this book was a great book that I'd recommend.
This book had everything in it for me to love: recipes, food-oriented stories, family/friends pulling together to create a new business that struggles to succeed and find its place in the neighborhood, and hard won life lessons learned along the way. Except. Except, the lovely author, who is really our heroine whether she accepts it gracefully or not, never actually accepts the premise of the book herself. Namely, that a young newly married couple who both love to cook at home and share food wit ...more
Nancy Kennedy
I absolutely loved My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store by Ben Ryder Howe. So I was looking forward to this read that promised a similar, riveting story about a young couple whose marriage is stretched (almost to the breaking point) when they decide to open a pizzeria.

But, sadly, the narrative is bland and gets bogged down in details. It starts out great, as the author sketches out her personality and that of her hobby-loving (but usually hobby-abandoning) husband. But soon aft
(The Goodreads app ate the original version of this review. That'll teach me to not work from my computer.)

I personally find it difficult to review memoirs because, regardless of the story being told or the knowledge imparted, so much of my enjoyment as a reader comes from whether or not I like the author, as he or she reveals himself through the book. While Delancey is an interesting account of the opening of a small business and its toll on a marriage, the book was ultimately marred for me by
What can I say, I'm a Molly Wizenberg fanatic. I read her blog, listen to her podcast, drink at her bar, and get starstruck when I see her sitting at the counter of her restaurant. Reading Delancey was like catching up with an old friend on what she's been doing since college. Since I hear her tell small details of her life weekly on her podcast, Spilled Milk, I feel like I know her. Like everything she does, her writing style in this book is conversational, honest, and often humorous. But this ...more
Baseball is to Field of Dreams as food is to Molly Wizenberg's latest book--Delancey. Sure, baseball figures prominently in Field of Dreams, but it is really the story of a young father's relationship with his own father. Likewise, Molly writes about food, and so much more. She writes about making something new (a new self, a new life, a new relationship) at the intersection of the opening of a restaurant and a young marriage. Cozy read. Makes me want to cook--for friends.

And I must say, it was
What I learned after reading Delancey is that opening a restaurant is hard work. It is very hard work, and the author can be a little bit whiney about it. I can appreciate all of the details that go in to opening and running a restaurant, but sometimes it felt like too much information. Just as I felt I was drowning in the minutiae, I would turn the page and thank goodness, that was the end of that chapter. And then it would happen again. . . and again. I would recommend A Homemade Life, but ski ...more
It was time for a dip into non-fiction and I often wonder how/why restaurants manage to survive, die quickly, or become not very good old institutions.

I'd been a server in a few places during my college years; I'd never been to Seattle, and the excerpt I read had style and humor. So I got a library copy and settled in on the porch swing.

The author never wanted to be a part of a restaurant, but her seeker husband had not found his niche in life yet, and since his wife was a food writer, they'd tr
A Drop of Romeo
Reviewed for A Drop of Romeo

In her deliciously fun and earnest memoir, Delancey, Molly Wizenberg talks about the creation of her husband’s pizza restaurant and how the process of opening it was anything but easy. The format is fairly simple and straight-forward (chronological chapters, photographs, recipes); there’s nothing ground-breaking about it but perhaps that’s what makes it so appealing. The book gives a sense of warmth and comfort, the sort of atmosphere you’d expect from a cosy pizza-pl
Galen Johnson
This was a lovely story, and definitely the best writing about pizza I have ever encountered. Wizenberg writes with intimate honesty about her husband's dream and labor of opening a restaurant, her participation in the process and what she learned from it, and she also gives practical advice and inside information about the restaurant business. (I recommend it for all home cooks who still harbor dreams of someday owning a restaurant.) I've been trying to read a lot of the books on the critics' " ...more
Molly Wizenberg writes of her husband and his restaurant, which eventually becomes their joint project. She has little interest in a restaurant, as much as she enjoys cooking and food writing. She assumes the project will go the way many of his short-lived obsessions do. When he moves on full steam ahead and she realizes he MEANS TO OPEN A RESTAURANT, she tries hard to jump in with both feet, but she just can't. It gets the better of her and she has to spend some time coming to grips with the fa ...more
This is a memoir written by the wife of someone who opens a fancy pizza restaurant in Seattle. It's all about the trials and tribulations of opening a restaurant, and all the ridiculous work that that entails. Very interesting and certainly something I would NEVER want to do myself, but very interesting to read about. Engrossing, engaging, very fast read. You really feel like you're there with them--mopping floors and making pizza dough at 1am, risking it all with your novice business plan, hiri ...more
In this true account, Molly describes the process of opening and maintaining a pizza parlor in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Brandon. She has lots of doubts that the restaurant will become reality as Brandon often started projects and never stayed with them. The restaurant becomes very successful as they learn to compromise and grow together. The book is sprinkled with a few black and white photos and recipes. Sometimes funny, other times introspective, the reader will enjoy learning ab ...more
I really enjoyed reading this memoir. Molly Wizenberg's voice was warm, funny, inviting, apprehensive, worried, human. This book follows her life with her husband as he, and eventually they, open a pizza restaurant on the west coast called "Delancey."

(view spoiler)
I was unfamiliar with Molly Wizenberg's blog, her previous book or her writing. I simply read about this book from an NPR listing of good books about food. The premise sounded interesting so to the library I went. I wish I could say I liked this book but I didn't. It redeemed itself toward the end but the first half bordered on hero worship of her husband, a guy known for lots of bright ideas but not much to show in the way of end results. She focused so much on Brandon, her admiration of his pr ...more
Helen Dunn
I think I'm somewhere between a 2 and a 3 on this.

It was a nice book that I found totally readable and mildly interesting but it was not great and not a book I'd go out of my way to suggest to someone else. It felt almost like a very long magazine article. It made me want to go eat their pizza but I didn't feel like I learned very much about anything at all and just had the briefest glimpse at everything that went into building the restaurant but not enough to make me feel invested in any of th
Just as great as "A Homemade Life". Molly Wizenberg pulls no punches and doesn't sugar-coat when she reminisces about the experience of opening Delancey, a pizza restaurant in Seattle, with her husband Brandon. It's tough stuff. Reading Wizenberg's books is like chatting with a familiar friend over and about good food and experiences making good dishes. I listen to her podcast "Spilled Milk" and it is great to 'hear' her voice in my head as I read her words and stories. "Delancey" was another jo ...more
Rhiannon Johnson
Read my full review here:

I had not heard of Molly Wizenberg or her blog, Orangette, before I picked up this book. I was hearing some buzz about it when it was released last summer. The description caught my attention because I've daydreamed before about opening a restaurant. It is fun to think about but I don't think I would have the chops for it! Molly and her husband had no serious restaurant work under their belts yet they jumped in feet first and opene
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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.
More about Molly Wizenberg...
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table Gyvenimas, pagamintas namuose

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“While I sobbed into the greens, I wondered how Brandon, standing a few feet away at the pizza oven, could handle the onslaught of tickets. Answer: he's an East Coaster. In a pinch, he has access to such concepts as 'Fuck 'em', and 'Let 'em wait', and 'I'm working as fast as I can here.' I am a people-pleaser from Oklahoma, where life is placid enough that it's considered song-worthy to watch a hawk making lazy circles in the sky.” 1 likes
“The square pizza at Di Fara is a complex, multi-step thing: a 1/2-inch-thick crust pressed out into a pan, topped with a long-simmered San Marzano tomato sauce, slices of fresh mozzarella cut from a fist-sized ball, slices of aged mozzarella, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano that he feeds through a hand-cranked grater as he goes, plenty of olive oil poured from a copper jug, and fresh herbs snipped with scissors. It’s sort of like focaccia—focaccia that oozes so much cheese and tomato that you need a knife, a fork, and three napkins to eat it.” 0 likes
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