A popular food blogger and her husband open a Seattle pizzeria, testing the limits of their marriage in the process.
For years, Wizenberg (A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, 2009) has been charming readers with her blog, Orangette, an enviable world full of vintage wood, rustic tableware and beautifully photographed recipes. It was through her blog that she also found her husband, a pizza-addicted New Yorker who, upon joining her in Seattle, missed his beloved Brooklyn pizzeria, Di Fara. When he proposed that they open their own restaurant, named Delancey, the author was on board, though neither had considered how back-breakingly hard that dream was going to be. Literally building from the ground up, the couple suddenly had to contend with “shot-blasting” concrete floors, impressing health department inspectors, creating a wood-burning oven entirely from scratch, and finding a place to store 30 vinyl chairs, bought at auction from a bowling alley. Just about to run out of startup money, they eventually opened, but the troubles were hardly over—as it turns out, hiring and managing a staff also isn’t as harmonious as they’d hoped. For Wizenberg, who’d been juggling her first book launch with supporting her husband’s dream, something had to give. After a particularly contentious night, she decided that the only way to save the restaurant and her marriage was to recuse herself from the equation. As always, Wizenberg is at her best when discussing the food, and though she quickly determines how small a part of restaurant ownership that is, she still manages to sprinkle fairy dust on everything—from the homemade cold meatloaf sandwiches she makes after a hard day of construction to the Vietnamese rice noodle salad she was inspired to create after months of similar takeout lunches.
A pleasantly rendered if not earth-shattering reality check for anyone with restaurant-owning envy.