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A Decade of Dining Excellence on the Bay

How CōV Restaurant became a beloved fixture in the neighborhood

From newest place on the block to waterfront favorite, CōV Restaurant of Wayzata turns 10 years old this July and is well on the way to achieving neighborhood fixture status.

Co-owners Dean Vhlahos and Steve Anderson had a very specific objective for this lake spot from day one. Deans says, “From the beginning, we wanted to create a place on the lake that everyone wanted to be at.” Even during the lunch hour on a weekday, patrons fill the indoor and outdoor spaces. Clearly, their original vision has been realized. 

Inspired by a trip to Nantucket, the interior of CōV evokes a relaxed and refined East Coast vibe. CōV has an atmosphere that draws people in and makes them want to linger. Warm woods and crisp whites with touches of blue blend seamlessly with the real décor showstopper — it’s all set against the backdrop of Wayzata Bay.

As one would expect, summer is peak season to visit CōV and sit inside or outside on their ample patio. Providing the idyllic patio experience does have its challenges, but CōV staff has it all covered — except the actual patio. To fully enjoy the lake views and keep it light and bright inside, the patio is uncovered. Guests can enjoy a beautiful meal with a beautiful vista on either side of a wall of windows.

CōV has struck the delicate menu balance of fan favorites and new offerings. Head Chef Chris Dmochowski changes about 13-18 items seasonally. Summer items include seasonal gems like sweet peas, fresh corn, and the exquisite Minnesota tomato. “I often like to keep the heart of a dish and change it just a bit based on the time of year. Customers look forward to seasonal ingredients.” 

Akin to not choosing a favorite child, Chef Chris said he couldn’t pick a favorite on his menu. He stands by all of the items. Dean confirms his go-to is the Prime Rib Sandwich. One of CōV’s strengths is the size of the menu, providing dishes for a wide variety of palates and preferences. Chef Chris says he constantly aims to “offer something for everyone.” 

Like a Minnesota tomato, the peak of summer energy is short-lived and precious. CōV capitalizes on this with seasonal décor touches as well. It adds to the ambiance and keeps the visual interest of the restaurant fresh. From the Instagram-worthy lobby to the outdoor pergola flanked by overflowing flower boxes, the ever-changing atmosphere makes every visit feel new. 

Dean says, “When you think it’s enough. I want more.” The more is purposeful and memorable. He says it isn’t ever only about the food. “A restaurant has to touch all the senses for people. We aren’t just a culinary experience. It’s the food but also the location. The music. Lighting. Temperature control. Good people to make everyone feel important. We create an atmosphere so people want to return.”

A tremendous amount of hard work goes into starting and maintaining any successful venture. CōV will be celebrating ten years with more hard work. Dean says, “The future of CōV would be to keep doing what we are doing right and always try to improve.” Plans also include actively pursuing additional locations. 

Explore CōV at either of their two current locations to soak up a summer evening getaway without even leaving town.