Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Donovan Family Obsessions, or my visit to Bellevue, Part One

My dad in a standard photography pose.
I took a quick trip home to Bellevue over the Easter weekend, and got tons of good pictures. My family is fairly moderate, apart from a few obsessions, but whenever I get home to visit, we indulge those obsessions. This trip was no exception - we hit most of them: photography, good food, and books.
Obsession #1: Photography
The Saturday I arrived was their first nice day of the year, the kind of day that locals hope outsiders never see (because then they would never leave), the kind of day that compels you to go outside and do something, anything. So, we did. Dad and I took our cameras to the Bellefield Nature Trail, handily located about a mile and a half from home. It was always a great place to take the dog on a weekend afternoon, and there were certainly plenty of people there with the same idea. I took a boatload of pictures of the park, and the skunk cabbage (enough of those to make one entire blog post), but you are going to have to wait for the photography part of the trip, because this post is about obsession #2, good food.

Brandon (Mr. Orangette, owner) at the oven.
One of the first things I said to my parents when I made my plane reservations was "We have to go to dinner at Delancy." They were happy to oblige. I have been waiting impatiently for my chance to go, ever since the restaurant first opened, since the last time I was in Bellevue, it was Christmas-time, and the restaurant was closed for a short vacation. Wah!.

I forgot to take a picture before I started eating. Too good to wait...
 It is a wood-fired pizza restaurant owned and run by Molly Wizenberg, the blogger behind Orangette, and her husband (who she met because he read her blog - seriously, go read her book about it). On the blog, Molly's descriptions of setting up the restaurant, building the oven, and then of the food that they served, was enough to make me drool all over my keyboard. Anyway, if there was any chance at all that I could get to Delancy this time, I was going to take it.


Mom's white pizza - a cheesy, crispy bit of deliciousness.
We went that first night, and was it worth the wait! Not a fast-food place, the pizza took a while to come out of the oven, mainly because the restaurant was packed. People, it opens at 5, we were there at 5:10, and it was already full. We barely squeezed in. By the time we left, there was a line out on the sidewalk waiting for our seats. The salad was perfect to share with my mom - lettuce, a green goddess dressing, bacon... yum...

Dad's pepperoni and sausage pizza, with homemade sausage.
But the pizza was the star of the night, of course. Crispy from the wood-fired oven, topped with the best tasting ingredients. We got three, although that was being a little greedy, just because we wanted to taste them all. And we had dessert, a rhubarb poundcake with mascarpone that was tangy and sweet and oh so good. Oops, starting to drool there a bit. Anyway, it was delicious, and if you live in the general Seattle/Ballard area, you should go. If possible, go often. The menu changes regularly with the seasons (and it has changed since I was there), so you need to go a lot to get all the goodness they have to offer. Wish I could join you!

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