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.
“Charming . . . humorous, intimate, and honest.”
– Library Journal (starred review)
“Fun and engaging.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Entertaining and wondering and plainspoken…full of the hard work and trial and error of emerging into adulthood.”
“Molly Wizenberg writes with the sweet candor of Laurie Colwin and the sly amusement of M.F.K. Fisher. Delancey is the perfect restaurant tale — gripping, nutty, and yet somehow meant to be.”
– Amanda Hesser, co-founder of Food52 and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook
“Delancey is so riveting, well-written, and interesting, I found myself wishing it were twice as long. Molly Wizenberg writes as well about life as she does about food. Her voice is so charming and funny and poignant, it made me want to invite myself over to her place for dinner, where I would certainly overstay. I loved this book.”
– Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites
“You might think making pizza is a piece of cake (or pie!) But Molly Wizenberg’s tale of triumph as she and her husband learn to make the perfect pie, and construct the restaurant to serve it in, make for delicious — and dramatic — reading. Told with humility and humor, Delancey shows that with hard work and determination, dreams can come true . . . no matter what obstacles lie in your way.”
– David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen
“Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey is so much more than a memoir about opening a highly regarded pizza restaurant. It is a story about building a marriage and a beloved community through grit, thrift, and self-determination in the pursuit of excellence. Ultimately this is a story about whole-heartedly embracing the one you love without trying to smooth away the rough edges or edit out the hard parts. It is also a most delicious read (with recipes!) that sent me to the kitchen as soon as I turned the final page.”
– Susan Rebecca White, author of A Place at the Table
“Delancey is the extraordinary tale of what it means to build a life with the person you love, and the professional roller coaster ride that is opening and running a wildly successful restaurant together. Molly Wizenberg has, in her inimitable way, written a modern love story that marries razor-edged wit to warmth, and passion to flavor; Delancey is an utterly delicious read.”
– Elissa Altman, Poor Man’s Feast