Monday, May 5, 2014

Delancey - Review

Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg

Rating: 5 Stars

Description:  Wizenberg knew her husband loved pizza but he loved a lot of things that didn't become full time careers.  When he announced he was going to open a pizza restaurant she was supportive but didn't think any more of it than when he announced he was going to make violins, open an ice cream shop or build boats.  Except this time it happens.  When Molly finds herself standing knee deep in a space that they've signed a lease on she begins to question is this really what she wants.  What we get is a remarkable story of a marriage, a restaurant and self discovery.

Genre: Memoir

My Impression:
Pros:  Let me start off with a confession - I'm not a pizza lover. I don't know if it's my complete lack of Italian blood, the fact that I grew up in the South which isn't know for it's pizza prowess or early on my DNA had to check a box and it chose burgers over pizza.  I would gladly drive a couple of hours round trip to eat a cheeseburger made by Bobby Flay or Michael Symons but going out of my way to eat a pizza - even a famous one - is just not going to happen.  That being said after reading this book I would gladly stand in line to eat a pizza from Delancey.  Wizenberg is back with her mouth watering food descriptions and meeting a friend for coffee writing style but this book is a little different.  Where her first book A Homemade Life spanned her entire life well into adulthood and covered countless topics, Delancey takes place over a span of maybe a few years and is focused completely on getting the restaurant running and detailing the effects it had on their lives.  It was a fascinating look into what opening a restaurant really takes, what small business ownership can do to a marriage, what happens when someone who loves to cook starts cooking for a living and the differences between a restaurant chef and a home cook.  Her look at the effects on herself and her marriage were incredibly open and honest and completely eye opening.

Cons:  This is ridiculously minor but I wish there were more pictures.  She talks so much about the people and the place I found myself on Google after I put the book down to find out what Brandon, Delancey and the staff really looked like.

Overall Impression:  I really loved Wizenberg's first book.  So much so that it made the very rarely bestowed status of Keeper.  I wasn't really sure where she could go after that since it seemed to encompass so much of her life and cooking foundations.  Delancey was very different than the first book but just as good.  As someone who loves to cook, the idea of what would it be like to really cook had flitted through my mind a time or two and this answered every question I had.  I really loved Wizenberg's first book and Delancey will go right up on the shelf with it!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: 

Would I Recommend this Book?:  

6 comments:

  1. I don't know that this would be a book I would gravitate towards on my own, but you make it sound so good! And not just because I do love pizza (I don't eat hamburgers--so we'll have to differ in opinion there. :-)). I'm particularly curious about you comment about "her look at the effects on herself and her marriage were incredibly open and honest and completely eye opening." That statement alone appeals to me.

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    1. That's all right. I'll give you my share of pizza and you can give me your share of burgers and we'll both be happy! I was surprised with her candor. Their marriage definitely hit a rocky part and she was willing to make herself look bad or irrational which most of us have a hard time doing. She also did a good job with presenting the bad and the good instead of just focusing on all the negatives or all the positives. It's worth a read. Plus I had no idea how complicated pizza really is.

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  2. I really enjoyed her first book, and I often make a couple of her recipes from it. I just checked & this book is on order with our libraries, so I added myself to the waiting list. I'm looking forward to reading it - thanks!

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    1. To me there were less recipes I'd really use in this book than in her first book. I thought this book was almost more personal than her first book. A Homemade Life was mostly her memories whereas this is really focusing on how she feels and more day to day stuff. I hope you enjoy it!

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  3. Ooo *blinks* you haven't tried enough NY style pizza..LOL I love when a book has me googling places. Great review:)

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    1. I know I know and to make it worse my grandfather grew up in Brooklyn! I should be ashamed! She does talk about several pizza places in New York when they were researching the perfect pizzas and the descriptions had me almost drooling!

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