Chef brings Martina to Linden Hills, Diamond BBQ to Armatage

Martina, a seafood restaurant by Chef Daniel Del Prado, is slated to open later this month at the former Upton 43 restaurant.

Del Prado previously planned to open Martina at the former Marathon gas station at 54th & Penn. Instead, del Prado said he’s expanding the Upton 43 bar and opening up the restaurant layout to bring in seafood cooked with lots of fire. He’ll serve gnocchi on the 29th of each month, in keeping with the Argentine tradition for good luck.

“In Argentina you get paid once a month, at the beginning of the month. So by the 29th, most people [are] scraping by,” he said, explaining that gnocchi simply requires potatoes, flour and eggs.

Del Prado is studying to be a master of wine, and said he’s creating a big wine list featuring small producers.

“I didn’t want the wine list to be an afterthought,” he said.

Del Prado plans to relocate another of his restaurant concepts, Diamond BBQ, to the former Marathon station. He originally expected to open downtown, but said he decided to look elsewhere as the cost of renovating an older building climbed.

He described barbecue dishes with high-quality meats, Tex-Mex style flavors, and a big sparkling wine selection.

“When I think of Tex-Mex, I think of the 80s and 90s. Let’s do bright colors,” he said.

Del Prado said he’s planning large menus for each restaurant, so that locals can visit multiple times per week.