With the living wall behind the u-shaped bar to the pristine interior studded to the parade of smoky, sauced plates and Seussian bar glasses, Daniel del Prado’s Colita seems almost too cool to be opening in Minneapolis, but that is exactly what will happen tonight. The celebrated chef /owner of Linden Hill’s Martina will debut his Mexican restaurant that’s part smokehouse with a dash of fermenting mad science tonight at 5pm at 5400 Penn Avenue inside a former gas station.
The room feels like it’s been plucked from the desert and plunked down in this mostly residential neighborhood a stone’s throw from Edina. The round-backed chairs in muted colors are ready to cradle customers as a parade of dishes, most of which are naturally gluten-free arrive from the kitchen.
The backbone of the menu is a masa that’s mixed and ground in-house. Dishes aren’t straight from Mexico, but instead made up of things the chef loves about the country he’s been visiting for most of his life. A tostada is made cacio pepe style, smothered in Chihuahua cheese mixed with black pepper. Moles pop up in various ways in dishes, all entirely made in house and aged to pick up added depth to the flavor.
There is also a whole section of smoked meats, all done in house like a short rib that sports that all-important pink smoke ring that barbecue aficionados go mad over.
The cocktails are likely to dominate Instagram for at least the first few weeks after Colita opens with a zero waste program that makes use of oddly shaped drink vessels and glass and metal straws.
Reservations are available through Resy and are now open. Colita’s hours are 5 pm to 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday; 5 pm to 11 pm Friday and Saturday.