The usually quiet residential Armatage neighborhood has sprung to life with the newest opening from chef Daniel del Prado. Colita joins the modest restaurant collective near the corner of Penn Avenue and 54th in Minneapolis. The new restaurant is serving mostly Oaxacan cuisine with a few Tex Mex fun touches and a dash of slow smoked meats. There’s also an expansive bar program filled with fermented everything.
The former gas station has been transformed into a serene white room studded with desert plants and anchored by a round bar that’s backed by a wall of green plants. Behind the bar is Marco Zappia, who also worked with del Prado on his first restaurant, Linden Hill’s Martina. It’s there that he’s pushing the boundaries of drinking in the Twin Cities with experiemental ingredients and innovative garnishes — including a rubby ducky tucked into a salt foam on a rocky margarita.
The new restaurant has barely been open a week and reservations are often filled, the bar sometimes three people deep. Surprisingly, the acoustics are mellow, and conversation is easy to hold in the soft light that descends as the sun goes down. Colita opens at 5 pm tonight.