Blue Point (Wayzata, MN)

By Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
Star Tribune West
May 26, 2004

Blue Point is one of Wayzata's nicest restaurants. It offers a spare, attractive dining room with smooth walls and rippled glass accents. It has white-jacketed waiters who bustle about attentively. It's got fresh oysters.

In the jet age, maybe it's not so impressive to serve oysters a thousand miles from an ocean. After all, one could dine on fresh oysters in towns along the railroad tracks more than 100 years ago. James J. Hill himself probably brought oysters to Wayzata in the 1870s. Nevertheless, good fresh fish is always, still, a treat.

The chalkboard inside the door gives a preview of the menu, so look there for the day's choices. The entrees change depending on what's fresh, so you may find different choices. We started with the fresh Dungeness crab cakes, fine by themselves, but lost in the strongly flavored red pepper sauce. The smoked shrimp and pineapple pizza, about eight inches across, will be enjoyed by those who like pizza with pineapple. No red sauce was involved, and the cheese was a bit much for the shrimp.

Better was the chicken gumbo, which was rich and nicely flavorful. The New England clam chowder had a good helping of clams, and lacked that smokiness we don't like anyway.

As an entree, the New Zealand blue nose sea bass en papillote was fabulous: a whole fish and julienned vegetables steamed in a parchment paper wrapper. The waiter opened this fragrant, perfect packet and set the plate before us, carrying wafts of aroma across the table. It was sublime. We ordered the grilled Hawaiian yellowfin tuna "as rare as possible," and the kitchen complied. The fish was lovely, cool in the center and hot outside. The vegetables alongside, a mix of carrots and zucchini, were doused with a too-salty soy sauce, but the swath of wasabi sauce brushed across the fish was pungent and hot.

Our table loved the side of sweet potato fries, served with cumin aioli. These thin sticks of sweet potato are at their best when very hot, but they're so good that they won't have time to cool off before they vanish. The asparagus with blue cheese butter was nice, too.

Our one serious complaint with Blue Point, in fact, was about the hot food. A tray carrying some of our meals came out from the kitchen, each plate covered with silver plate covers, which is fine. A couple of minutes later another tray with the rest of our dishes arrived. Our meals weren't served until both trays were at hand. Here's our advice to the kitchen, the waiters, the entire food service industry: don't let dinners sit cooling off where we can see them. Leave 'em in the kitchen if you must, or serve some of us while you finish the last few plates.

All this doesn't come cheap. Entrees are $19–$24 (more for lobster dishes); appetizers cost half that. And at those prices, you're entitled to expect a lot. We wish the menu were more exceptional more often. Some dishes are marvelous; others don't live up to the good service and attractive dining room the Blue Point offers.

Story in Brief

Blue Point Restaurant
Location: 739 E. Lake St, Wayzata
Hours: Tue-Fri: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sun-Thu: 4-9 p.m., Fri- Sat: 4-10 p.m.
Atmosphere: Nice, but unpretentious
Service: Generally good; can be slow
Sound level: Not too loud
Recommended dishes: Fresh oysters, oysters Rockefeller, fish en papillote
Alcohol: Full bar
Prices: Appetizers: $9–$12. Entrees: $19–$24
Smoking: In the oyster bar area only
Children: Children's menu available, although ordering an appetizer is a better option for all but the smallest and fussiest children
Handicapped access: From the front only
Contact: 952-475-3636 or http://www.bluepointrestaurantandbar.com

earlier review: Midori's Floating World Café (Minneapolis, MN)
later review: Signapore! Restaurant (Minneapolis, MN)
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