They open, they close

Delancey opens to the public August 12

…But don’t be surprised if you see people chowing down there now.

By Kristin Cordova August 5, 2009

The new Ballard pizzeria Delancey opens to the public August 12, but don’t be surprised if you see people chowing down there now. When co-owners Brandon Pettit and Molly Wizenberg (aka Orangette) decided to offer reservations-only dining a week before the official opening, spots filled up in 30 hours flat.

So, why the rush to get in? Pizza that fuses tastes and styles of both coasts.

At Delancey, Pettit and Wizenberg hope to “combine the best of Northwest cuisine with New York style pizza.” Their crust is modeled on Chris Bianco’s legendary bread at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, recognized by food writers like Peter Reinhart and Ed Levine as the best pizza in the country. The menu will include a couple Italian-inspired pies (classic margherita, et al.), a couple from the NYC school, and some West Coast flavor.

“I’ve been fascinated by pizza my whole life,” enthused Pettit, which is why he’s traveled the country to immerse himself in its culture. He watched, learned, and scarfed pizzas from the maestros at Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn, Pizzeria Bianco, Zuni Café in San Francisco, and other culinary hotspots.

After getting spoiled by the likes of Di Fara while studying for his Masters at Brooklyn College, Pettit moved to Seattle to attend UW. He couldn’t find the kind of pizza he wanted out here so he started to experiment with his friend’s backyard woodfire oven, and—voilà—the seed for Delancey was planted.

The name Delancey comes from a buzzing subway stop in New York at the crossroads of Jewish, Chinese, and Italian neighborhoods. “It’s like a microcosm of New York City at that stop,” reminisced Pettit.

If your name isn’t already on the reservations list for this week, snag a table next Wednesday starting at 5.

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