Porzana is chef Daniel del Prado’s most personal restaurant to date

It’s hard to go to Porzana, restaurateur Daniel del Prado’s new entry into his local restaurant empire, without thinking of Bachelor Farmer. Del Prado’s Argentinian Steakhouse takes over the long-vacant North Loop corner that once housed the groundbreaking Nordic Contemporary restaurant, a Twin Cities icon.

When Bachelor Farmer closed its doors – one of the very first casualties of the pandemic – it left a void in the neighborhood and in the hearts of many diners who had celebrated special occasions there or simply enjoyed a Sunday dinner relatively affordable, accompanied by a piece of toast. and a glass of whatever was scribbled on the list of opened wine bottles on the board.

The wall that once held that wine list is still there—one of the few interior walls still standing—and old regulars might have the reflex to look at it every time their glass empties at the new Porzana. But there’s plenty of room for old and new in the radically reconfigured scene of the Prado’s most personal restaurant yet.

Location: 200 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-489-6174, porzanampls.com. Open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day for dinner, lounge open until midnight every day.

The atmosphere: Porzana occupies the entire northeast corner of 1st Street and 2nd Avenue N., merging the cozy old restaurant and its neighboring cafe, and brings a patio with endless charm. Near the entrance you will find a lounge area with a few tables. A long tiled bar connects this area to the main dining room, which is open and airy, but with a lived-in feel thanks to touches of exposed brick and weathered wood.

The interior is vibrant and the volume may cause you to have difficulty hearing your server and companions. For more subdued conversations, head to the patio – a previously unused gem that runs the length of the building, nestled between brick facades, with plenty of seating under twinkling lights. It’s a magical place.

The food: As with its first flagship Martina, del Prado draws on its Argentinian and Italian roots. The focus here is on chilled beef and seafood, but there are several other sections of the menu from which to create a multi-course feast, as well as an entirely separate sheet for steaks. The cheerful servers, under the direction of general manager Paul Hennessy, are happy to guide guests through the multi-faceted menu.

One could prepare a hearty dinner entirely from selections from the Oysters, Cold Bar, Snacks and Garden categories. And if that’s your plan, don’t skip preparing the oyster marrow flambadou; chefs use a cast-iron cone to melt the bone marrow, which then flows over the bivalve in a puddle of meaty goodness (oysters $4, bone marrow flambadou is $6 more). Other favorites: the spicy scallop tartare ($16), which means what it says, and the deliciously savory pa am tomaquet, or tomato and anchovy bread ($13).

Next comes the pasta, and if you follow Porzana on Instagram, you already know about the sweet corn agnolotto ($29) – “the viral pasta,” as my server called it. A long rope of pasta is filled with sweet corn puree and rolled over chicken gravy and browned butter.

The Plates section, made up of mostly non-beef dishes, is easy to overlook when the next page is devoted to steak. Divided into five categories, the steak menu offers numerous cuts and sizes at different price points, allowing consumers to sample lesser-known steaks, like Argentinian cuts, without breaking the bank. (An 8-ounce tapa de vacio, or flank steak, costs $26; the 6-ounce entraña, or skirt, costs $24.) The limited list is what one server called “the playground of the chief “. An interesting experiment is the koji-inoculated flank ($50 for 8 ounces), which evolves throughout the aging process by injecting the meat with a funk-producing mushroom that changes its taste and texture. It’s an adventure. (Potato sides are on the menu here, and the papas alpastadas ($14) – crispy potato pieces in fromage blanc with parmesan and bacon, are a must.)

The drinks: While Bachelor Farmer’s policy of opening any bottle for a drink is gone, Porzana comes closer by allowing pours of 3, 6 or 9 ounces. The small portions are perfect to accompany your way through the menu. Bill Summerville is the sommelier, and if you’re lucky enough to see him there, ask for a recommendation.

Bar director Megan Luedtke is behind the cocktail menu, along with bar director Keith Mrotek – and that also applies to the plant-filled Flora Room downstairs. (The Flora Room takes over the former Marvel Bar.) Both bars feature rosters of classics and originals, and each bar has its own menu, meaning you’ll want to allow time for an appetizer or nightcap at underground speakeasy. Cocktails start at $11 and go up to $29 for a steaming snake-themed drink at the Flora Room.

To succeed : Parking is typical North Loop (aka hard drive), but there are metered parking spaces and ramps in the area. The restaurant offers valet parking for $15. But given that this is a very walkable neighborhood, walking to the restaurant might be the way to make the most of your visit.

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