It feels like Wayzata has everything, but it doesn't have much in the way of cheffy pizza. Yet.
Quite soon, the spot that was formerly District Fresh Kitchen, will become The Dough Room. The pizza- and pasta-focused eatery will be manned by Alex Dayton and is his first solo project. Dayton has worked lots of local kitchens, from Butcher and The Boar to Sea Change and Borough before lighting out for San Francisco where he cooked at Benu and Flour + Water. Since coming back, he's been soaking up all he can as a butcher at Seward Co-op, pasta guy at Tenant, and pizza man at Red Wagon Pizza. "Best advice I ever got was from Bill Faribanks at Cocina de Barrio, he said: be a sponge, learn all you can. So that's what I've been doing," Dayton told me yesterday.
Pasta is Dayton's passion, and he's excited to finally have his own space to let the noodles fly. While The Dough Room will honor pizza and pasta, it won't be strictly regional Italian. There's plenty of room for play and creativity on the menu he's been working on. "We want to do high-quality, refined food, but that doesn't mean fancy. It means that you can come in and have a quick meal for two people, or you can come in with your family, sit at one of the big community tables, and relax into a longer dinner. We are going to be casual and approachable, but serious about food."
Pete and Jacquie Campbell of Red Wagon Pizza are consulting on the project and helping with the re-design. The space is getting a light redo, but will mostly keep the same footprint. They'll add bar seating in front of the pizza oven, brass accents, and a warm and welcoming entryway. The full bar will be amped up by an Earl Giles-designed cocktail program, and the wine list will be deep. The Dough Room is under construction but hopes to be open, for dinner only to start, some time this fall.