The Dough Room Raises Hopes, But Disappoints


Kenzie Taylor

The entrance to the Dough Room looks welcoming, but the experience disappoints.

The popular clan of restaurants in downtown Wayzata have recently welcomed a new member: The Dough Room. The website claims to serve an array of quality dishes, while spotlighting their handcrafted pasta and pizza, prepared by the executive chef, Chef Alex.

As stated on The Dough Room website, “Each day Chef Alex is fulfilling his dream by preparing and presenting beautiful, nourishing food. Both his passions and his fare are exquisite yet simple.”

When entering the restaurant, The Dough Room appeared to be kid friendly; the website says, “The Dough Room is committed to nourishing the Wayzata community with beloved foods in a space charged with calm, welcoming energy.” However, the ambiance was disrupted by the loudness of children and was anything but calm.

My dinner buddies, Laura Stern and Lauren Reeves, had trouble hearing from across the table. Despite the noise, the room was warm and inviting, with a modern design.

At first glance of the menu, it was evident that this was not a cheap eatery. With prices ranging from $15 to $40, it was clear that this wouldn’t be a reasonable choice for those who generally occupy downtown Wayzata, such as high school students or young couples.
After a basket of fresh breads including a sesame seed miche and sourdough, accompanied by a stunning house-made ricotta, we ordered three dishes.

The agnolotti pasta was described as a bolognese-stuffed pasta; however, it was closer to a plain meat filling, with an unpleasant aftertaste. Also, there was a hair in the dish, which spoiled the entire thing, unfortunately. At $19, the small portion was unacceptable.

Laura ordered the campanelli pasta, which was the better of the two pastas; besides a subtle seafood-like flavor, it was a winner. The vegetables were cooked well, and the smokiness of the red pepper was enjoyable, she noted. Once again, quite overpriced; the $21 dish didn’t justify the small portion.

Thirdly, Lauren ordered the margherita pizza. It was for the most part a traditional margherita pizza, but was elevated with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and the crust was clearly fresh. Although it was the best of the three dishes evaluated, Lauren noted that, “it’s nothing special. If you were to come here it would be for the pizza, but honestly, Punch (pizza) is better.”

Now for dessert. There were three options for dessert: chocolate custard, bourbon caramel custard, and a bread pudding; all of them were $8 each. The chocolate custard was a disappointment. On top of a flavorless cream was supposed to be candied cocoa nibs. In reality, the nibs were extremely salty and almost inedible. Underneath was a creme fraiche whipped cream that lacked flavor.

The custard itself had a nice texture and was quite rich. Unfortunately, all of the aspects of the dessert combined resulted in a salty-bitter flavor in my mouth. Dark chocolate desserts executed right are delicious and indulgent, but sadly the flavor profile was off.

The bourbon caramel custard was much better, and the candied pine nuts on top, although salty, balanced out the rest of the dish well. Lastly, the bread pudding was the highlight of the three desserts. It was creamy, delicious and simple.

Overall, The Dough Room was disappointing. The high prices don’t reflect the quality of the food, and the small portions aren’t justified. The pizza was the star, but not revolutionary. The pasta dishes should be served in larger portions so as to match their high prices, and the overall flavors need refinement. The dessert was good aside from the chocolate custard, although it would be nice to have more variety; each dish was soft in texture, which left us wondering who approved the dish.

The Dough Room receives 2/5 stars for these reasons. However, it is a brand new restaurant; hopefully they will work out the kinks and become a great choice in the future.