If you're lucky, you find a place to eat that feels like home. And yet, not like home, because in this place you don't have to pick up dirty pots and pans from the stove before you can start cooking. In fact, you don't have to cook at all. You simply sit down in a comfortable chair, ease into it, and wait for a menu to be plopped into your hands. Then, you talk and laugh with the people at your table. Like magic, food appears before you. And it smells like warm summer evenings with a small breeze. It looks like displays at the farmers market, just a touch messier. It tastes familiar and comforting, with a surprise in each bite too.
Danny and I are lucky. We have a couple of places like this in our lives. One of them, definitely, is Delancey.
Now, I should tell you right away that the owners of Delancey, Brandon Pettit and Molly Wizenberg, are two of our dearest friends. So we're hopelessly biased about how much we love this place. However, we're not the only ones. Every night, there are lines out the door, people waiting to get into the small space, sit down, and feel at home.
Brandon has been interested in pizza…well, it has been with him for a long time. But we watched the passion for pizza grow into an obsession with gluten content, crisp crust, and the number of hours it takes to let a dough rise into the best flavor. For years, he talked about pizza, flew around the country to visit the best pizza places and chew on crusts thoughtfully, then started buying chairs and giant mixers for the restaurant he would someday own. (He actually stored about 70 chairs in our garage for awhile.) This man is serious about his pizza.
Luckily, Brandon and Molly are also serious about other foods, as well. I say luckily because I can't eat pizza. (Or at least not traditional pizza.) And when we stopped by Delancey, it happened to be my birthday. It would have been a shame if I had not been able to eat anything.
Of course, knowing Brandon and Molly as I do, I knew I wouldn't suffer.
This salad was the most flavorful arugula I have ever eaten, found at the farmers' market that morning, along with cream burrata, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, and some La Quercia prosciutto. If you have been reading this site, you know how we feel about La Quercia prosciutto.
On top of that, Brandon made me an incredible wood-fired oven pizza. Just one without a crust. He filled a bakeware dish with slices of prosciutto, burrata, fresh thyme, and sauteed cremini mushrooms. Then, he fired it in the oven, where the flames licked and spit and heated up my meal to something smokey and lovely. Who needs crust?
Of course, the crust at Delancey is quite incredible. Danny and Lu split one with fresh and aged mozzarella, Grana, and housemade pork sausage.
(If the battery on the camera had not died before the pizza arrived, you'd see a photo of that too.)
At Delancey, you can have housemade pork fennel sausage, La Quercia prosciutto, and Zoe's pepperoni and finocchiona on your pizza, or salad, or a crustless pizza.
Go. You'll feel at home as soon as you walk in the door.
1415 70th Street