When we made our reservation for Delancey’s first “family dinner” last November, I was bummed that pizza was missing from the menu plan. I mean, how can you go to a pizza place and not have the pizza?
As it turns out, I didn’t miss it at all. Don’t get me wrong – I love Delancey’s pizza. In fact, it’s my favorite in Seattle. But that dinner was pretty darn amazing. I don’t know which I liked more: the wood-fired mussels with crusty bread or the braised rabbit. Mussels aren’t my favorite thing around, but wood-fired mussels from Delancey’s oven are a whole different story. And that rabbit was the best I’ve ever eaten. I wasn’t the only person that night who said so.
So I jumped at the opportunity to attend Delancey’s Seattle Beer Week event last week: a Chuckanut Brewery dinner. And this time, there was even pizza! It wasn’t hard to convince our friends Michael and Robin, ardent beer-lovers, to join in, despite their already-full week of planned beer events. I will admit to being more of a wine than a beer person, so you’re better off jumping over to their recount of the dinner for info on the beers from the evening.
Chuckanut Brewery co-owner Mari Kemper (yes, the name behind Thomas Kemper sodas) and brewer Kevin Davey greeted us at the door handing out glasses of Kölsch, which we drank while slurping Kumomotos at the counter. We sat down to family-style platters of burrata and prosciutto, along with braised fennel paired with a Pilsner, which was the favorite beer of the evening. An entire platter of burrata? Really? It took all my willpower to take only one and pass the platter along. I absolutely love the stuff.
A pile of glistening duck fat roasted potatoes arrived next, and I have to say, this was my favorite dish of the night. And that’s saying something, coming from an avowed potato-phobe like me. Finished with beer-vinegar, the potatoes were rich and a teeny bit tangy.
Asparagus soup followed. This dish epitomizes the food served alongside the pizza each day at Delancey. Local, seasonal, simple, and delicious.
We had the pleasure of sitting next to Ashley of Not Without Salt and her husband Gabe, along with Allecia and Seth, newly relocated to Seattle from Chicago (with a pause in San Francisco for a year). Ashley told me what she was planning for her upcoming cooking classes, and left me wondering why I haven’t signed up for one yet. Soon.
Allecia’s is a blog to watch. As a former food writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, she already has the pulse on the Seattle food scene. I’m definitely bookmarking her blog for my next Chicago and San Francisco trips.
After a long pause, the pizza (yes, pizza!) was up next. The oven at Delancey can only handle a few pizzas at a time, so they trickle out slowly for dinners like these. First, the cremini with house-made sausage, then the Brooklyn, a simple yet perfect three-cheese pizza, and finally the Pissaladiere, covered with beer-braised shallots plus salty anchovies and olives. I devoured every slice and loved the Brooklyn the most.
I haven’t been to Delancey since Brandi Henderson, formerly of Tartine Bakery, started working as Delancey’s pastry chef. This is regrettable because the chocolate stout cake for dessert this evening was memorable. A year ago, you would not have found me espousing the merits of chocolate. I’ve always been a fruit dessert kind of person, always passing over the token chocolate dessert on every menu. I don’t understand why – after-baby hormones? too many samples of the quality stuff from Chocolopolis? – but something has converted me into a chocolate-lover. And then there’s the whole thing about salt in desserts. Lately, I’ve been buying chocolate bars with salt (LOVE the Fran’s Gray Salt Thins) and doubling the salt in my cookie recipes. So Brandi’s cake, warm and gooey in the center, with a surprise sprinkling of salt hidden inside, all underneath a layer of stout anglaise, was just about perfect paired with a malty Alt beer.
1415 NW 70th Street, Seattle