Wednesday, September 4, 2013


As I made my way north up the coast of the Pacific Northwest, I found myself entering a new city, filled with new experiences... and new pizza. Several years ago I received a tip from a reader that, if I ever made it out west, I had to try Delancey.

Okay! Located north of downtown in the hip, former blue-collar fisherman neighborhood of Ballard, Delancey was founded by Molly Wizenberg (a food blogger!) and her husband Brandon Pettit. Brandon missed the pizzas he left back in NYC when he was a music student, most notably Di Fara (can you really blame him?)

I got there just as they opened since I've heard it's quite the pizza destination in town. The space, which seems as though it was originally two units now conjoined into one, is well lit by natural light- unless you go after sundown of course.

The exterior of the oven is a bit dark in this shot, but they're working with a beautiful Mugnaini oven from where else? Italy. Delancey has two different versions of the classic cheese and sauce pies. One is a standard Margherita with the obligatory fresh mozzarella and basil, while the other ("The Brooklyn") comes with fresh and aged mozz and Grana Padano. Naturally I ordered both.

Here's your, or well, my Margherita, with a side of my favorite topping, fennel sausage. Before I get to the sausage, the pie alone without toppings is a gorgeous sight. This is, in my opinion, the perfect amount of basil for a pizza, and evenly distributed (and ultimately cooked) to perfection. 

But man, that sausage. This is what sausage on a pizza should look like! Slightly charred, manageable size, little fennel seeds poking out, my mouth is watering just remembering it. After taking a bite the truth was confirmed: both the Margherita and the sausage that adorned half were unbelievable.

Before I could savor all of the Margherita, the Brooklyn arrived (with pepperoni on half). Simply stunning in my book. If you take a closer look, you can see the white blobs of fresh mozzarella floating to the top over the more uniform yellow "aged" low moisture mozz (the kind you see on a typical NY slice).

And don't forget that grated Grana Padano! It stands out in this picture much better on the crust to give you an idea. Know who else grates Grana on top of their pies? Dom Demarco over at Di Fara (smooth move Brandon). I thought this was another fantastic pie, it's not every day that you get both fresh and aged mozz on the same pie.

The pepperoni, made by local purveyor Zoe's Meats, was also delicious and definitely a cut above your average 'roni. But let's talk about the crust-

Brandon, in his pursuit in recreating the familiar New York style of pizza, spent, from what I've heard, two years perfecting his recipe until he gave it his nod of approval. Whatever he was doing in his test kitchen paid off, because it's remarkable.

Coupled with a powerful wood-burning brick oven, Molly and Brandon have a great product on their hands. After just one bite I knew why I was beckoned to Seattle to give this place a try. Now it's your turn!

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