Review: COV in Wayzata

The former home of Sunsets is now the latest venture by Dean Vlahos, founder of Champps and Redstone, who draws on the more upscale vibe he helped create at BLVD with his new Lake Minnetonka eatery COV. Evoking the Hamptons, it’s a bustling seafood-and-steak experience with down-the-middle appeal. Lobster guacamole from the raw bar could stand an aggressive personality infusion, but the creamy house-smoked salmon makes for a strong starter. My favorite side: a near-perfect marinated skirt steak that pep-talked a warm kale salad into overachieving. For entrées, the cioppino nicely weds roasted fennel with conspicuously sumptuous seafood (it’s more East Coast than COV’s nautical décor and Nantucket whitewash). There are also high-end takes on burgers and big beef cuts, along with walleye fish-and-chips and pastas. Few surprises, in other words, but still an appealing waterside fantasy (until our ship comes in and we’re dining yacht-side for real). •