Daniel del Prado
When he was growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Daniel del Prado’s Italian mother made pasta on Sundays.
The whole family gathered together in a multigenerational, food-driven conversation. “We cooked a lot at home,” he says, adding that his grandmother and brother are also very accomplished in the kitchen. “It is a very social thing.”
Once the right-hand man for Isaac Becker and the former executive chef at Burch, del Prado is paying homage to his Argentinian and Italian roots with his new Minneapolis restaurant, Martina.
The seafood-driven, smoke-and-fire-infused menu features some of del Prado’s favorite dishes, like the grilled octopus with bone marrow and the slow-cooked tomato sauce. But it also offers a $5 gnocchi dish on the 29th of each month, a nod to his home country, where budgets get tight come the end of the month as workers await their paychecks. The meal is thought to bring not only affordable sustenance but also good luck.
“I wanted to open a restaurant with food that I like to eat,” he says of the daily dinners and weekend brunches served in his warm Linden Hills dining room modeled after Argentinian ranches known as estancias. “This is my comfort food, but I try to speak to everyone with my voice.”