Right up until the moments before opening, there were still final touches being put into place inside the dining room at Martina. The new restaurant from first-time restaurant owner and accomplished chef Daniel del Prado is located at 4312 South Upton Avenue in Minneapolis. That address was most recently home to Upton 43 and the cool, Nordic space underwent several changes to create a warm interior. Plenty of dark green plants line the room.
The large blue and white booths have been taken out and replaced by smaller outward facing seats covered with stuffed pillows and brown cushions creating intimate dining seats.
The bar has been extended out into the room with terrarium-type boxes for the bartenders, led by Marco Zappia, to store cocktail garnishes that include intricately zested limes, herbs, edible flowers and seaweed for the innovative drink list. The lower part of the bar has been covered in small, pale-colored tiles below an emerald top.
What had been a lounge area has been converted into more seating. The high ceilings, exposed beams and giant windows all remain.
Daniel del Prado was born in Buenos Aires to parents of Spanish and Southern Italian descent. He has worked locally at La Belle Vie, Bar La Grassa and for a long time ran the kitchen at Burch Steak. The menu reflects all of those influences with pasta that is being made fresh on site, seafood, tons of vegetables and more.
Martina is open Sunday through Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.