Staff Directory 10645521

Rick Nelson

Columnist/Reporter | Dining and Food
Phone: 612-673-4757
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Rick Nelson joined the staff of the Star Tribune in 1998 and is the newspaper's restaurant critic. He is a Twin Cities native, a University of Minnesota graduate and a James Beard Award winner. 

Nelson and Taste editor Lee Svitak Dean are publishing "The Great Minnesota Cookie Book: Award-winning recipes from the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest" (University of Minnesota Press) in October 2018.
Recent content from Rick Nelson
Meat and cheese boards, salads and sandwiches from Due Focacceria in St. Paul

Restaurant roll call: The latest openings and closings in the Twin Cities

What's open, what's closed and what's still to come in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Sweet corn is a perennial fave.

6 Twin Cities chefs reveal their Minnesota State Fair food favorites

Sweet corn, mini-doughnuts, Pronto Pups and more: Here's what people who cook for a living enjoy eating at the fair.

The 5 best foods our restaurant critic ate in the Twin Cities this week

From a new modern Mexican restaurant in south Minneapolis to a fixation with tomatoes, here are the highlights of a week of dining for critic Rick Nelson.
The screen porch at the Zumbro Cafe in Minneapolis.

Relish summer at these 4 Twin Cities outdoor dining oases

Looking to make the most of summer with a spot to dine al fresco? Here are four great spots with great food.
Heavy traffic on 4th street due road construction continued to cause delays in downtown Monday September 21, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN. ] Jerry Holt/ Je

Check out the road construction this weekend in Twin Cities

Travel carefully.
Lemon Peach Pound Cake

This cookbook dedicated to peaches is a summer essential

Minneapolis photographer Eliesa Johnson makes "The Peach Truck Cookbook" look good enough to eat.
Jon Wipfli, chef/owner of Animales Barbeque Co. in northeast Minneapolis, fashions imaginative recipes that extend trout, sturgeon, salmon, walleye an

Northeast BBQ chef shares best tips for cooking fresh fish in new book

A new cookbook by Twin Cities chef Jon Wipfli offers dynamic, delicious approaches to familiar freshwater fish.
The fountains at the renovated Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis flowed over the reflecting pool.

$10 million later, the renovated Peavey Plaza is an accessible success

A renovation has restored the downtown gem's singular looks while making it accessible to all.
The dinner table for the Farm Supper by Wise Acre Eatery.

Mark your calendars for these 3 Twin Cities dining events

Here's where you can celebrate summer's bounty.
Brisket, chicken and sides at OMC Smokehouse.

The 20 best Duluth restaurants and breweries

One of the big reasons for planning an I-35 road trip is to take in the city's ever-improving food scene.
Lingonberry ice cream: one more reason to look forward to the fair.

3 things our restaurant critic can't wait to eat at the Minnesota State Fair

Rick Nelson is here to answer any and all dining-related questions. Send your queries to
Croissants by Sarah Botcher of Black Walnut Bakery

New to Uptown: Black Walnut Bakery opening soon

After years of wholesale baking, the maker of the Kouign-amann to end all Kouign-amanns is finally getting her brick-and-mortar location.
Minnesota's State muffin, the Blueberry Muffin.

Here is the best recipe for Minnesota's state muffin

Grade school students paved the way for the state's official muffin more than three decades ago.
Each poem is neatly printed on white paper, secured with twine and placed inside a capsule. A lucky few have a poet’s first published poem.

Vending machines with poems raise money, more for writers in Minn. prisons

The hand-cranked vending machines can now be found in bookstores from Minneapolis to Northfield.
Chef Josh Hedquist demonstrated the tableside mozzarella preparation at Giulia.

'Everyone has been eating mozzarella wrong': Giulia in downtown Minneapolis does it right

Beautiful Giulia focuses on well-crafted northern Italian fare while capitalizing on its historic downtown Minneapolis setting.
Animales Barbeque Co. opened a trailer setup near Able Seedhouse + Brewery last August.

4 terrific smoked meat spots to try in northeast Minneapolis

Let's take a look at the four smoked-meats-centric restaurants that recently popped up in northeast Minneapolis.
The restaurant’s name is Norwegian for “water.” Above, krumkake and caviar.

New seafood restaurant off Lake Minnetonka opening in July

The plan is to focus on what he calls the "lesser-known, but more delicious" sustainable gifts from the sea: abalone, cuttlefish, sea urchin and wolffish, along with seasonal, local ingredients.
Honey berries from Locally Laid in Wrenshall, Minn.

Meet the honeyberry, a new berry popping up in Minnesota supermarkets

Minnesotans are getting to know the blueberry-like newcomer with Siberian roots.
Fun Cone at Minnesota Nice Cream

12 great scoops of local ice cream in the Twin Cities

One of the tastiest developments in the Twin Cities food scene over the past decade is the proliferation of skilled ice cream makers.
Maida Heatter

Maida Heatter, baker extraordinaire, celebrated with chocolate

For several decades, cookbook author Maida Heatter got Americans baking — often, with chocolate.
After telling the story of the first course's origin, Demi Owner/Chef Gavin Kaysen handed bowls of bacon, pea, and mint broth to patrons Wednesday nig

A restaurant revolution has elevated the Twin Cities food scene

The evolution of the Twin Cities' dining landscape is nothing short of revolutionary. But it didn't happen overnight.
Breakfast Potato Skin: Deep-fried potato skin stuffed with scrambled eggs and peppers, topped with blackened beef chislic -- a South Dakota bar food s

State Fair adds 31 new foods and 7 new vendors

Get ready for Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Mini Donut Lattes and Peaches n' Cream Nachos. The Minnesota State Fair has announced its new foods for the 2019 fair, and the list includes the usual attention-seekers and potential gut bombs.
Southdale Library in 1974.

Streetscapes: Why moving the Southdale Library to Southdale mall is a good idea

A proposal to move the 46-year-old Southdale Library into Southdale shopping center makes synergistic sense.
The Southdale Library opened to great fanfare in 1973 with room for 200,000 books.

Southdale Library was a trailblazer

With its stilts, white exterior walls and horizontal profile, the award-winning design was an homage to Le Corbusier's famous Villa Savoye.
12 tasty ways to celebrate National Doughnut Day

12 tasty ways to celebrate National Doughnut Day

Where to get your sugar fix in the Twin Cities on this week's deep-fried holiday.
Sandcastle restaurant at Lake Nokomis.

Summer is coming: 4 great Twin Cities patios to try right now

Patio season has finally arrived (we hope). Here are four Twin Cities spots perfect for a nice day.
Normandy Kitchen & Bar’s salmon tartine.

Normandy Kitchen & Bar serves up French fare in classic tradition

Normandy Kitchen & Bar doesn't have a high profile. At least not yet. But with chef Patrick Atanalian, it just might get there.
Oatmeal-Jam Bars from Better Homes & Gardens.

4 dessert bars tailor-made for summer fun

Bars are often easier to prepare than cookies, and they're just as delicious.
Chef/owner Gavin Kaysen served broth in handcrafted stoneware at Demi in Minneapolis.

Here's why you should spend $200 for dinner at Demi in North Loop of Minneapolis

At 20-seat tasting-menu spot Demi in the North Loop, chef Gavin Kaysen sets new standards for Twin Cities dining.
Wendy Lubovich offers small-group tours via her company, Walk of Art.

Ex-KSTP anchor turned tour guide offers 111 places to visit in New York City

Minnesota native writes guide to city's vast array of museums.
Ann Kim with her James Beard Award in Chicago.

Young Joni's Ann Kim on James Beard win: 'It's an honor, and I want to represent'

"We're not flyover country," she said. "I think people are recognizing that more and more. It's an exciting time to be cooking in this city."
Chef and owner Ann Kim at Young Joni

Ann Kim of Young Joni brings home James Beard chef award

Ten years ago, Ann Kim of Minneapolis was an actor. On Monday night, she stepped onto the stage of the Civic Opera House to accept the country's highest honor for culinary achievement for her work as chef/co-owner of Young Joni restaurant in northeast Minneapolis.
Samlali Raja and husband Hassan Ziadi at Ziadi's Mediterranean Cuisine in Minneapolis.

Couple's Midtown Global restaurants bring taste of Morocco to Minneapolis

Hassan Ziadi and Samlali Raja are delivering the flavors of North Africa to Minneapolis.
Architect James Dayton.

Remembering architect James Dayton, creator of iconic Twin Cities buildings

Through his eye-grabbing work, architect James Dayton made the Twin Cities a better, more beautiful place.
Bark and the Bite’s slaw-topped pulled pork sandwich.

3 rejuvenated new restaurants to try across the Twin Cities

Pulled pork, boozy malts and Italian food in a stylish setting: Add these newcomers to your dining to-do list.
Birchwood Cafe’s battered walleye is gluten-free.

14 Twin Cities restaurants where fish fry is on the menu

The season is in full swing, although for some restaurants, the ritual is a year-round occasion, and it's not always reserved for Friday.
Croissant Pain Perdu with Rum Barrel Aged Maple Syrup at Bellecour in Wayzata.

Yes, rum can make maple syrup better, says Wayzata's Bellecour restaurant

When Mary and Don Somers began their habit of dining at Bellecour, they would show up with a gift: a bottle of maple syrup…
Co-owner and chef of Young Joni, Ann Kim, is nominated for Best Chef: Midwest.

3 Twin Cities chefs honored with James Beard award nominations

In addition, Sean Sherman of the Sioux Chef is honored with the foundation's Leadership Award.
Burnsville High School's Felix Bunnithi arranged his beef salad plate during a practice for the ProStart Invitational. “I think Felix got six job of

Minnesota high school teams prepare 'restaurant quality' dishes in chef competition

The annual Minnesota State ProStart Invitational is sparking the next generation of chefs.
A pecan pie from Turtle Bread.

Pie for Pi Day today? 10 top Twin Cities spots to try

Buy it or bake it — we've got ideas to help you celebrate March 14.

Tips from experts on how to make pie dough

One of the first guides to making pie crusts to appear in Taste was published on Oct. 27, 1971, and writer Judith Bell used a…
Ruchika Singhal, center, and Kannan Kase enjoyed cocktails and salt-and-pepper fried tofu at Hai Hai’s bar

Fish-fry season: Our critic reveals his favorite spot

Rick Nelson is here to answer any and all dining-related questions.
Restaurateur Kim Bartmann’s restaurants will feature wines from female winemakers during March.

Openings, closings and Women's History Month celebrations

Restaurateur Kim Bartmann is offering a way — literally — to raise your glass to Women’s History Month. During March, Bartmann’s Barbette (1600 W.…
The woodfire grill gives the food that smoky flavor at Popol Vuh and Centro in northeast Minneapolis.

At these 8 Twin Cities restaurants, wood-burning stoves and ovens take the chill out of winter

Sometimes there's nothing more soothing than taking refuge near the warmth and glow of a restaurant's wood-burning hearth.
PieCaken Bakeshop at Revolution Hall, the food hall at the newly expanded and renovated Rosedale shopping center in Roseville.

By shopping mall standards, Rosedale's new food court is 'revolutionary'

Most shopping malls would kill for a dining venue like this.

Young Joni, Rustic Inn sidelined by fires

Editor's note: After this story was published, Young Joni reopened. Acclaimed northeast Minneapolis restaurant Young Joni is closed while it assesses damage from a…
It's time to get shopping in the freezer aisle.

Get fresh in the freezer with these 9 food items at Twin Cities markets

In February, the supermarket's frozen foods section is the place to be.
Fig + Farro owner Michelle Courtright in her Uptown restaurant.

After rocky start, vegan restaurant Fig + Farro hits stride in Uptown

Review: A year after opening, the Calhoun Square restaurant seems to have found its new footing.
The #503, Pho Trap Cam (or the “Combo Pho”) from Quang Restaurant, located at 2719 Nicollet Av. It contains fresh sliced beef, meat balls, tripe,

Quang in Minneapolis undergoes major update

When Quang, the acclaimed pho-and-more restaurant, opened with just four tables on Minneapolis' Nicollet Avenue 30 years ago, there wasn't such a thing as "Eat…
Hot chocolate from Kopplin's Cafe.

How to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate

Want to know how to make a perfect cup of hot chocolate? Follow the advice of a professional.
Bagels on a pan at Mevyn in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • – October 11, 2018, Minneapolis,

Ask the critic: Great bagels, new brunches, Valentine's ideas in Twin Cities

Restaurant critic Rick Nelson is here to answer any and all dining-related questions.
The interior of Fhima, a remake of the former Forum Cafeteria retains its Art Deco style.

Fhima's shows promise in classic downtown Mpls. Art Deco restaurant space

Drawing on lessons from the failed attempts of others, chef David Fhima takes on the troubled but glorious Forum Cafeteria.
Chicken pizza at Pizza Karma in Eden Prairie.

Four new restaurants are tasty additions to the Twin Cities suburbs

With pizzas, pastas, short ribs, oysters and much more, chefs showcase dynamic dining.
Restaurant review of In Bloom at Ken & Case Wednesday December 5, 2018 in St. Paul, MN.

Restaurant of the Year: St. Paul's In Bloom masters lost art of cooking with fire

An old way of cooking — at the hearth — is made anew at the hot new restaurant inside Keg and Case food hall.
Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed by the National Restaurant Associated said “globally inspired breakfast” will be the year’s biggest trend.

What food and drink trends are expected in 2019? You may be surprised

Oat milk. Azerbaijan cuisine. Watercress. Food and drink forecasters predict what will be occupying the nation's appetites in 2019.

What were the 10 best dishes at Twin Cities restaurants in 2018?

Restaurant critic Rick Nelson's look back at 2018, one delicious dish at a time.
Sean Sherman, along with partner Dana Thompson, is planning an indigenous foods restaurant at St. Anthony Falls.

The most anticipated Twin Cities restaurant openings of 2019

So much to look forward to in the new year when it comes to fresh eats.
Final days: The Metropolitan Building, shortly before its demolition in 1961.

New book by Larry Millett brings mighty Metropolitan Building back to life

Architectural historian Larry Millett reveals the history of a long-lost Minneapolis landmark in his new book, "Metropolitan Dreams."
Chef Daniel del Prado in the kitchen of his restaurant, Martina.

Restaurants year in review: Twin Cities' best chef, breakout star and more

What a year! Here are the people and places that really caught our attention in 2018.
Craig Cohen, developer of Keg & Case Market, poses for a portrait inside the market.

Why St. Paul was the place to be for dining in 2018

From the historic Schmidt Brewery transformation to charming neighborhood restaurants, St. Paul is having a food moment.
Fhima's Minneapolis.

Looking back at the biggest Twin Cities restaurant openings of 2018

These openings made a splash in the local restaurant scene.
Jamie and Andrew Pearson.

How Minnesota's Fat Cheeks butter makes burgers — and everything else — better

A Golden Valley couple are transforming butter with sweet and savory ingredients.
Holidazzle, at Loring Park in Minneapolis, continues through Dec. 23.

Headed to Holidazzle in Minneapolis? Here's what's new to eat and drink

Keep warm (and full) with these fun new offerings at the Minneapolis holiday celebration in Loring Park.
And the winner of the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest is ...

And the winner of the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest is ...

This year's winner taps into a "new" ingredient for the contest: figs.
White Chocolate and Cherry Teacakes

White Chocolate and Cherry Tea Cakes

An elegant interpretation of the Mexican Wedding Cake cookie.
Jonathan Gans.

Four-star Bachelor Farmer lands new executive chef after national search

Jonathan Gans stepped into the role this week.
Marzipan Almond Shortbread by Cynthia Baxter of Minneapolis.

Marzipan Almond Shortbread

The flavors say "holiday," loud and clear, in this simple treat.
Coffee and Irish-Cream Dreams

Coffee and Irish-Cream Dreams

Fans of Bailey's Irish Cream, this is your cookie.
Dark Chocolate Fig Rolls with Mocha Ganache

Dark Chocolate Fig Rolls with Mocha Ganache

An imaginative remake of an Italian favorite.
Sugar Plum Doodles

Sugar Plum Doodles

Mulling spices and plum jam place a festive spin on the snickerdoodle.
John Cook, the Minneapolis architect who helped translate Frank Gehry’s ideas into steel, concrete and brick, looks back on the landmark project.

On Weisman's 25th birthday, Minn. architect explains how famous building took shape

The University of Minnesota's Frank Gehry-designed art museum is marking its quarter-century birthday this month.
Do not miss the doughnuts at Valley Pastries.

3 cheers for these 5 Twin Cities neighborhood bakeries

Find doughnuts, pastries and more at these Twin Cities area bakeries.
The new Boludo Empanadas in Minneapolis.

8 Twin Cities restaurant openings, from a retro diner to suburban steakhouse

The local restaurant scene is buzzing with these additions.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s formula for roasting at a high temperature yields a Thanksgiving bird with juicy meat and crisp skin.

'Splendid Table' host offers ultimate Thanksgiving turkey

This recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper is definitely a contender for the "ultimate" title.
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will perform “Divertimento No. 15,” among other works, with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Pittsburgh Ballet duets with SPCO on Mozart-inspired classic by a dance legend

Choreographer and composer merge in a collaboration between Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
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