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Smoked Meats and Oaxacan Small Plates Are Coming to Armatage

After wowing with Martina, the chef shares Colita plans

The bald, tattooed chef with a salt and pepper goatee stands, arms crossed, inside a dining room with wood tables and white walls
Daniel del Prado inside Martina
Kevin Kramer / Eater Twin Cities

Colita, the newest restaurant from Daniel del Prado is expected to open in South Minneapolis’ Armatage neighborhood sometime in mid to late September. The chef has shaken up Linden Hills in 2017 with his perpetually buzzy pasta and wood-fueled restaurant, Martina. Currently, he is transforming a former gas station into a smoked meat and Mexican eatery.

Initial dishes will be non-traditional takes on Oaxacan cuisine with a few dashes of Tex Mex in the mix. This means raw seafood dishes, botanas (small plates), a wide variety of vegetables, and smoked meats served with moles and tortillas made with Colita’s own made masa. Likely the menu will change to highlight different regions of Mexico, a country del Prado visits frequently.

In addition to treating and grinding the corn for tortillas, bar man Marco Zappia is also playing with ideas on how to use masa. Zappia is tinkering with a nearly-savory fermented masa cocktail.

An early experiment with fermented masa from Marco Zappia
Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities

The one-time Marathon gas station at 5400 Penn Avenue will have a circular bar at the center of the room with nods to Mexican traditional elements like red and black Oaxacan clay dishes.

Daniel del Prado first rose to local prominence with his work inside James Beard Award winning chef Isaac Becker’s restaurants, including opening Burch Steak as chef de cuisine. Martina opened in the winter of 2017. The restaurant landed on several Best New Restaurant lists and earned the highest possible, four-star review from the Star Tribune.

Marco Zappia, beverage director at Martina and Colita
Zappia behind the Martina bar
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Marco Zappia is the cocktail wunderkind who began bartending before he was legal to drink. Working under the Bittercube umbrella, he made a name for himself at Eat Street Social and opening bars around the world before parting with the company. He then built an impressive vermouth program for Jamie Malone’s Grand Cafe. His cutting edge bar program has earned him national acclaim and furthered drinking culture in the Twin Cities.

Construction is underway at Colita.


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