Monday, October 26, 2009

Delancey is Delovely

Mid last week I found a pocket of Ballard I never knew existed. Just off NW 70th there's about a block and a half of containing a couple of quaint little shops, a yoga studio, a bar and two restaurants. One of those restaurants is Delancey--the wood-fire pizza spot owned by Brandon Pettit (formerly of Boat Street) and Molly Wizenberg (of much loved food blog, Orangette). I've been following Orangette for the past couple of years and love how Wizenberg's posts read like stories that end with a recipe, detailing how food and her everyday life intermix along the way. I've also been making my way through her book, A Homemade Life, and it reads very much the same.

So I was psyched when this place opened, super excited at the idea of possibly seeing Molly and her husband, who she met via an e-mail about a cake post (adorable), in action. I finally went last Wednesday with a few girlfriends--two old and one new--and spent a couple of hours taking in and loving the space while we talked about our weeks so far, hashed out weekend plans and contemplated Halloween costumes (still not sure). It was a full, lively house, and we were surrounded by tables of other girls gabbing away and couples that looked like they were enjoying date night.

It's a little spot (which means a wait--ours ran around 45 minutes), with what looked like personal artwork/photographs against white walls and simple votives on each wooden table. It was easygoing and felt comfortable.

We started with a salad of baby lettuces with radishes, Grana (like Parmesan) and some kind of vinaigrette. (Yes, my love for minimalist salads continues.) We ordered three pizzas to share so we could try more (too much for one sitting, but we all took two slices for the road). One was topped with prosciutto, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and the Grana. Another came with mushrooms (Porcini or Chanterelle, I think), mozzarella and fennel sausage. And then the Padron, which was delicious with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, aged mozzarella, Grana and Padron chiles. All of the pizzas have a tiny bit of char to the crust from the wood fire that cooks it. I like that. The Padron was the best of the trio for me. The chiles are basically whole, seeds and all, so it's pretty spicy. But delicious mixed with all that cheese and chewy crust.

We didn't get dessert, which I really, really regret. Wizenberg makes them in house and so many of her recipes involve sweet treats that I'm pretty sure forgoing was a severe mistake. I want to get into the plum crumble when I go back. Soon.

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