Staff Directory 107226174

Amelia Rayno

Food & Drink, Travel and Features reporter | Newsroom
phone: 612-673-4115
A former sports reporter, Amelia arrived at the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2010.
Recent content from Amelia Rayno
Danger! Danger! Big matchups ahead in Beer Bracket's Ale-ite Eight

Danger! Danger! Big matchups ahead in Beer Bracket's Ale-ite Eight

See which Minnesota breweries survived the opening round, and then get ready to vote in the Ale-ite Eight round Tuesday morning.
Just an hour northeast of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire state park offers gaze-grabbing vistas, peeks at wildlife and the opportunity to get lost. Photo b

Day trip from Las Vegas: Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park sparks a hunt for a hidden cave

On the hunt for a hidden cave in a red-rock landscape of strange, rugged beauty.
Three of the breweries in this year's Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket field.

Surly is the brewery to beat in the Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket

The votes are in and the field of 16 Minnesota breweries is set, with a mix of newcomers and perennial powerhouses.
A smoking cocktail at Stillwater's Brick & Bourbon.

Bacon flights and smoking cocktails are star attractions at new Stillwater restaurant

The opening of Brick & Bourbon continues the food and beverage growth in the charming riverside town.
A drink sitting on the bar of Hai Hai in northeast Minneapolis.

Beyond the Irish pub: A neighborhood by neighborhood crawl for St. Patrick's Day

On March 17, we're all a little bit Irish, too many of us to fit into an Irish pub. But no worries, with this guide to interesting neighborhood venues to explore.
A look at the big contenders from last year's Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket.

Vote for your favorite Minnesota breweries in our Ultimate Beer Bracket

Last year Schell's shocked the beer scene, taking down Surly. What's on tap this year?
Schell's beer rose above the other state brews to win the 2017 Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket.

How Schell's beat out the favorites in last year's Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket

The state's oldest brewery stunned beer fans with upset after upset in our inaugural brewery competition.
Funk Grits is opening in south Minneapolis.

New south Minneapolis restaurant celebrates soul food, funk music

Funky Grits is expected to open April 1.
Tips to throwing a great Oscar party.

How to throw a star-studded, Champagne-filled, award-winning Oscar party

With just a little planning — and this script full of ideas — you can pull off your own star-studded affair.
The new canned beer by Surly Brewing and First Avenue.

Surly teams with First Avenue for nightclub's own new beer: +1 Golden Ale

The light-bodied ale will debut at the club on March 22.
Las Vegas lures travelers with cheap flights, cheap rooms -- and then charges them $7 for a cup of coffee. But Sin City can still be a deal once you a

How I lived it up in Vegas without breaking the bank

When you play your cards right, you can return from Sin City with money to spare.
Duluth’s new restaurant, Martha’s Daughter.

New globally influenced restaurant opens in Duluth's former Original Coney Island

Martha's Daughter is the brainchild of a chef who has worked at the acclaimed Mission Chinese restaurants.
Bar Brigade squash pastry

You'll really want to eat your veggies at these Twin Cities restaurants

These days, produce is more fab than drab, with colorful, inventive and seriously tasty plates hitting menus.
Tasha Lauj, left, of St. Paul and Diane Aronson, center, of St. Louis Park pet Tinkerbell as Mona Pougiales gave a kiss on the head to Nani at the Caf

Kitties with a side of coffee: Minneapolis' first cat cafe opens

At the Cafe Meow, there is a coffee side and a cat room, where only 10 to 15 people are allowed at a time, so reservations are encouraged.
LoLo in Stillwater June 26, 2014.

LoLo American Kitchen owners opening new Southern-style restaurant in downtown Stillwater

Pearl & the Thief is expected to open this April.
A young girl stops to look for shells as the tide goes out on Anna Maria Island near sunset.

Spring in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Tampa offers more than baseball

Going to Fort Myers for the Twins' spring training? Here are some curveballs to expand your horizons.
New restaurant Holman's Table in St. Paul.

St. Paul Downtown Airport lands new restaurant, Holman's Table

The St. Paul airport is for private planes only, but the public can access the restaurant.
Bartender Nick Kosevich fixed drinks at Hewing Hotel's rooftop ice bar in Minneapolis.

Enjoy a real cold one at these 12 Twin Cities ice bars

Where else but the North serves up frozen cocktails at a frozen bar?
The owners of Tori Ramen are opening another restaurant in north Minneapolis.

St. Paul's Tori Ramen expanding to Minneapolis with upscale noodle shop

The new restaurant will go into the former Victory 44 location this spring.
Super Bowl stadium food: From New England clam roll to South Philly pork sandwich

Super Bowl stadium food: From New England clam roll to South Philly pork sandwich

Big-ticket holders will see some new items, plus old favorites for the Big Game on Feb. 4.
Vodka cocktails are back, baby.

What will you be drinking? 8 Twin Cities cocktail trends for 2018

Here's what's hot, and what's not, for the new year.
The new Nye's is open for business.

5 Twin Cities restaurant openings and closings you should know about

St. Paul restaurateur Tim Niver and his Saint Dinette crew are headed across the river to open a new deli and bar. Niver’s newest…
Diamond Head, an extinct volcanic crater, and high-rises are seen in Honolulu on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Minnesotans visiting the sites in Hawaii on

For Minnesotans in Hawaii, confusion, fear, then relief after missile alert

"It was maybe one of the more surreal experiences I've ever had," said Norah Shapiro, a Twin Cities film director visiting along with her husband.
McCormick's Irish Pub in Wayzata.

We ignored an Irish pub in Wayzata – and its fans took us to task

When McCormick's was left out of a story on the Wayzata food scene, its popularity with locals became clear.
The Copper Hen owners are opening a new Minnetonka restaurant that will feature burgers and boozy shakes. Pictured is a burger from their current rest

Minnetonka getting new burgers-and-boozy-shakes restaurant by owners of Copper Hen

Eat Street's Copper Hen will debut its "brother" restaurant this summer, calling it Copper Cow.
Susan Burns Stidger

Susan Shanard Burns-Stidger pens her own witty but bittersweet goodbye

Susan Shanard Burns-Stidger hated obituaries and funerals, so when she died of cancer on Dec. 10 at age 68, she had already written her…
First Draft Taproom & Kitchen is opening in the North Loop in 2018. It will be the second location, after Denver (seen here).

A rare pour-your-own beer bar coming to the North Loop

After swiping a credit card, bargoers are given a "tap card" allowing them to pour as little as an ounce or as much as a full pint.
Photographer Steve Henke helped arrange a custom made Japanese knife in Andrew Zimmern's hands for a photoshoot for Midwest Living at his studio in Go

High-profile openings, closings on tap for Minnesota restaurant scene

Coming With its refreshed look complete, Nicollet Mall will soon be getting a major new culinary landmark driven by a major local name. Andrew Zimmern…
Kristina Schultz, left, raised her martini to toast with friend Dana Barry as they caught up over dinner at CoV in Wayzata on a recent Thursday evenin

With lots of hot new restaurants, Wayzata is suddenly 'the place to be'

In the past year, five eateries and a boutique hotel have opened, transforming a once-sleepy suburb into a culinary destination.
Aquavit is in, and this season is the perfect time to indulge in this Scandanavian spirit, traditionally drank around the holidays.

Twin Cities bars offer updates on aquavit, bringing this traditional liquor into trend territory

Yes, it’s part of Minnesota’s drinking fabric, but that doesn’t mean aquavit is universally beloved. “It seems like everyone has memories of Christmas dinners at…
Kristy Dirk’s newly opened Lucky Oven Bakery in south Minneapolis has a wall of retro Easy-Bake Ovens.

The classic Easy-Bake Oven is inspiration behind new south Minneapolis bakery

It's an ode to the humble beginnings of proprietor Kristy Dirk, who, like many pastry chefs, started her baking "career" with the culinary toy.
As Minnesota’s unofficially crowned King of Cold, entrepreneur Eric Dayton has built a reputation for loving and unapologetically promoting all thin

How Eric Dayton convinced Minnesotans — and rest of country — to embrace the 'North'

Eric Dayton wants all Minnesotans to take pride in our state's true North spirit
Substitute that pretzel necklace with meat. You'll be the talk of your tailgating party.

Step up your Vikings tailgating game with these insane 'meat necklaces'

Throw out those lame pretzels, and add meat to your gameday snack necklace.
Hasty Tasty's food will be centered around a wood-fired rotisserie and custom-made smoker.

Fun and food head to Lyn-Lake corner in Minneapolis with Hasty Tasty

A long-dormant corner of the busy Lyn-Lake intersection has been revived. Hasty Tasty (701 W. Lake St., Mpls.,, a restaurant and bar…
Pentair and Urban Organics are partners in this 87,000-square-foot indoor fish and produce farm in the old Schmidt brewery that provides greens and se

Winter doesn't faze 87,000-square-foot aquaponics farm in St. Paul

Three-plus months after debuting in its new, vastly larger location, Urban Organics continues to expand.
The night before Thanksgiving, also known as “Drinksgiving,” has become one of the year’s biggest drinking holidays. And Twin Cities bars, resta

How the night before Thanksgiving became the 'biggest drinking day of year'

Also referred to as Blackout Wednesday or Black Wednesday, Drinksgiving was coined about a decade ago.
At the main pool at La Perla, vacation-goers lounge in cabanas, sip frozen cocktails and cool off from the early autumn humidity.

Cancun-area travelers weigh concerns about tainted alcohol, violence

Playa del Carmen charms, despite the recent worries that have travelers thinking twice about visiting.
Victor's on Water closes in Excelsior, new Italian restaurant replacing it

Victor's on Water closes in Excelsior, new Italian restaurant replacing it

Downtown Excelsior quietly lost an Italian restaurant at the end of October. At the same time, it gained promise of a new one — albeit…
The former Sunrise Inn is now Bull’s Horn, serving a welcome change to the famed dive bar.

One of Minneapolis' last 3.2 dive bars reopens with new concept, stronger beer

Family photos hang on the walls. Longtime inside jokes have references on the menu. Nods to Doug Flicker’s past are everywhere at Bull’s Horn Food…
The former Nye's Polonaise Room in Minneapolis.

New cocktail bar and lounge will take over the former Nye's site in Minneapolis

A Nye's "regular" is opening Sonder Shaker, featuring a small menu of laid-back sandwiches and oysters to pair with the drinks.
Pepitos in south Minneapolis is facing a possible closing.

After 46-year run, Pepitos in south Mpls. could close following string of hardships

Beloved Mexican restaurant up for sale amid owner's health struggles.
Patrons in the open seating area of Lake Wine Kitchen + Bar in the MSP Mall in the Lindbergh Terminal.

What's the rush? MSP Airport offers many reasons to linger

We’ve all experienced the maddening roller coaster that is airport security. One day, you speed through the screening machines in 15 minutes flat. The next,…
The new speakeasy, Velveteen, in Stillwater.

New Stillwater speakeasy bar requires a hunt to find it

The cocktail bar has no sign outside the building, but etched in the concrete on the main entrance is a "V," and the words "Follow the rabbit."
Select Oyster Bar in Boston was a new find in a familiar city.

From the Travel Desk: Joys of reliving a former stamping grounds

It was the kind of experience I travel for. Each dish, artfully composed, was better than the last. The togarashi-spiced salmon crudo. The chimichurri octopus.…
It's time for beer and a game of hammerschlagen.

Prep the hammerschlagen! Your guide to Oktoberfest parties in Minnesota

Not every international holiday is embraced by Minnesotans. There's something about Oktoberfest, though — and we suspect it's the beer.
Chef Sean Sherman is making plans for two local restaurants.

Waterfront restaurant by 'Sioux chef' company to open on original Fuji-Ya site

Owamni: An Indigenous Kitchen will open as the featured full-service restaurant in the first phase of the upcoming Water Works project on the Mississippi River.
Doughnuts from Sift Gluten Free.

Sift Gluten Free bakery opening brick-and-mortar location soon in south Minneapolis

South Minneapolis is poised to get a new gluten-free bakery and a new juice bar. Sift Gluten Free (4557 Bloomington Av. S., Mpls.,
Crepe & Spoon is opening later this year in Minneapolis.

New frozen treat emporium with vegan ice cream and crepes coming to Mpls.

Crepe & Spoon is set to debut sometime in December.
The moon passed in front of the sun for a total solar eclipse visible from Farmington, Mo.

Eclipse fever? Next total solar phenomenon will be visible from U.S. in 2024

The sailboat we were on drifted further into Cape Cod Bay as the clear skies slowly became hazy. My travel companion and I were just…
A 20-pound ice cream cookie sandwich at Truck Park in St. Paul.

Indoor food truck restaurant opens in St. Paul with 20-pound ice cream sandwiches

The new 8,000-square-foot Seventh Street Truck Park houses various food trucks serving different menus.
Mandy Abdo Sheahan has long been a force in the Twin Cities restaurant scene.

Big Fat Bacon purveyor 'commands the room' from her wheelchair

A Maplewood businesswoman takes a "brains-on" approach to running the Big Fat Bacon booth at the fair.
A rolled ice cream dish from Sota Hot & Cold in St. Paul.

Mesmerizing rolled ice cream craze arrives in Twin Cities with 2 new shops

The rolled ice cream craze has officially hit the Twin Cities, and it's doing so with a bang as two specialty shops for the trendy food are debuting this weekend in St. Paul.
Chef Sameh Wadi at Seven Steakhouse in Minneapolis.

Seven Steakhouse gets a makeover thanks to acclaimed Minneapolis chef

Sameh Wadi of World Street Kitchen and the former Saffron has revamped the massive restaurant's menu and look.
At Mortimer’s at Lyndale and Franklin in Minneapolis, Darlene Rasmussen, left, a customer of 35 years, and Donna Hatton, 20 years, celebrated a frie

Top restaurateurs in Twin Cities see gems in old dive bars

The trend of top-notch chefs embracing the bars comes as costs of outfitting a commercial kitchen rise, casual dining grows in popularity and a hunger for nostalgia builds.
The Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown is reopening under new ownership this week and will have a new name: LRx: Loring & Pharmacy Bar.

Dinkytown's Loring Pasta Bar reopens with new ownership, name

After shuttering its doors for 10 days, the former Loring Pasta Bar will reopen this week with new ownership and a new name. LRx:…
Adam Hart, general manager at Blackeye Roasting Co. in Minneapolis, prepared a nitro coffee dispensed from a tap, much like beer.

Nitro coffee, the new cold brew, is taking over Twin Cities coffee shops

Forget plain old cold brew. It's nitro, cold brew's gas-filled cousin, that's taking over coffee shops here and elsewhere.
Al Roker apparently loves a particular Minnesota chef's food.

Al Roker gushes over Minn. chef's hit restaurants, eats at both in 2 days

The "Today" anchor ate at not one but two restaurants by Twin Cities star chef Gavin Kaysen this week.
Travelers line up at a TSA checkpoint at LAX.

Getting through airport security: not as easy as 3-1-1

If you've traveled much, you probably realize there is an etiquette to the airways, regarding everything from checking a bag to deplaning.
Watermelon, Lime and Tequila Frozen Cocktail.

Beat the heat with frozen cocktails you can make at home

It must be 5 p.m. somewhere. Time for a cocktail of the icy variety you can make at home.
Delicata in St. Paul.

A restaurant-starved St. Paul neighborhood gets a new buzzed-about pizza joint

The team behind Bar Brigade and Republic are opening a pizza and gelato restaurant on Wednesday.

Luxury lounge, day spa, bubbly: How to pamper yourself at MSP Airport

If traveling stresses you out, you're not alone — and there is help. MSP offers many possible antidotes.
PGA Golf Experience

A golf range? Furniture shopping? Fun ways to pass the time at MSP

Time on your hands? Here are some great ways to pass the time. at MSP.
A traveler uses Walk Way, a treadmill, desk and charging station, in Concourse C, top. French Meadow is in the Airport Mall, above.

Where to eat and drink at MSP Airport now

The locavore movement has landed at MSP. Here are some of our favorite places to dig in at the airport.
New whiskey emporium Dalton & Wade is now open in North Loop.

New North Loop bar now open with 200 whiskeys, 'Road House'-inspired name

Ten years later, friends-turned-business-partners have spun their social-night gatherings into a whiskey-focused bar and restaurant.
The relatively new Escape Lounge at MSP provides calm spaces and a stellar views of runways. Unlike airline lounges, it’s open to anyone who pays th

See what's coming soon to MSP Airport

What's getting ready for takeoff at MSP? Here are some highlights.
Sparks restaurant in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood.

Former Tilia chef puts mark on Minneapolis neighborhood restaurant, Sparks

For the past six months, change has quietly been taking hold at the corner restaurant in the Bryn Mawr area.
Spoon and Stable's Southside.

Drink your vegetables this summer at Twin Cities eateries

Move over, salads. There's a new way to consume vegetables, but it's probably not what your mother had in mind.
The patio bar at Psycho Suzi's in northeast Minneapolis takes full advantage of its site along the Mississippi River.

10 Minnesota eateries with spectacular food and waterfront views

With 10,000 lakes, we've got plenty of waterside dining.
In Santa Clara, Cuba, a dorm-size museum focuses on the revolution with photographs and relics of that time.

Changes afoot for travel to Cuba

Going to Cuba when I did (late last year) and freely walking its streets, meeting its residents and hearing their stories already felt like a…
Rachel's, at 222 E. Hennepin Av. in Minneapolis, closed last year. New ownership is opening Bardo.

Former Rachel's on E. Hennepin to open as Bardo this summer

Chef Remy Pettus, formerly of Eastside, is opening a restaurant in a space that housed Rachel's for 10 years.
Sushi hand rolls at Kado No Mise in the North Loop.

Owners of North Loop's new Japanese restaurant set to expand with another concept

After a successful debut of Kado No Mise — a sushi and simple Japanese restaurant in downtown Minneapolis — in early May, owners Shigeyuki Furukawa…
Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery is renovating an 1850s saloon building, shown here in 1937 (A.F. Raymond).

New St. Paul brewpub restoring 1850s saloon with antique German style

Everything from the lighting to the music to the beer will hark back to the 19th century.
Union 32 Crafthouse is opening this summer in Eagan.

Twin Cities' first self-pouring brewpub to open this summer

Union 32 Crafthouse will offer all Minnesota craft beers, and patrons will be able to pay for brews by the ounce.
Road tripping lets you cover a lot of ground. During a Texas trip, a friend and I saw cowboys in Fort Worth because we had a car.

The power of a Texas road trip: finding hidden gems

The exit off Hwy. 71 looked like nothing special. Somewhere between Dallas and Austin, Texas, we’d pulled off to refill our rental car with gas.…
Instagram influencer Kim Ly Curry (@kimlycurry) took photographs of dim sum at Jun in Minneapolis.

Twin Cities' most influential Instagram food star is a suburban working mom

With more than 30,000 followers, social media star Kim Ly Curry has passion, persistence and "food porn"-quality photos. "Am I food-obsessed? Yes. I just love everything food."
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