The gourmets of the western suburbs cried the tears of Croque Monsieur when they learned that Gavin Kaysen was closing Bellecour in Wayzata. But when a famous chef’s door closes in Wayzata, another opens. Talented and prolific chef Daniel Del Prado brings pizza, handmade pasta and gloriously roasted vegetables to the scenic shores of Lake Minnetonka. Fancy a chic evening? Don’t miss it by ordering grilled prawns with notes of citrus and fennel, topped with burrata.
Want but still cool? Impress your date with the light heat of Vongole pizza (Italian for “clams”), with clams and zucchini. Ballerina entry? There’s a 40oz Argentinian steak, but we loved the light, flaky, and delicate sautéed halibut with a brown butter sauce.
Josefina also works well as a relaxed shot. I’m head over heels for the simplicity and bold flavors of the $ 12 Marinara Pizza. The Calabrian peppers spice it up, but it’s the sweetness of the candied garlic (garlic cloves slowly cooked in olive oil) that made this pizza special.
Every Del Prado dish in all of its restaurants has something extra that surprises and, ideally, delights. The radiateuri (radiator-shaped) pasta has incredibly tender braised lamb, a burst of mint, but then an anchovy salinity and a nice richness of grilled tomatoes in the sauce.
Brussels sprouts, which are legitimately crispy, get a spoonful of pine nut gremolata, a green herb sauce. The beets cooked over a wood fire surprised us because they were served cold, then surprised again with citrus fruits of candied oranges and a crispy crispy potato chips.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Del Prado creatively remade Linden Hills in Minneapolis with Martina, Colita and her pizza-focused Rosalia. His success with this Rosalia pizza oven led him to install one in Wayzata, as well as his new Japanese / Italian restaurant Sanjusan in the North Loop. (Issac Becker’s spicy raw tuna pizza is a nod to his mentor and former Burch Steak boss.)
Josefina has a terrific and accessible wine list and a very exciting cocktail program with a do-it-yourself martini topping situation. Just like we can’t have enough pizza in these towns, we can’t get enough of Danny Del Prado.
739, rue du lac Est, Wayzata, 952-208-9568, josefinawayzata.com