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
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 • cgonzalez@startribune.com – 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.
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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.
Flourless Raspberry Cake from Rose Street Patisserie.

4 new Twin Cities bakeries to try right now

These bakeries demand immediate attention.
Ina Garten

Celebrity chef Ina Garten will share how to 'Cook Like a Pro' in Minneapolis visit

The Emmy-winning force behind the Food Network's "The Barefoot Contessa" has just released her 11th cookbook.
Sun Street Breads pancakes.

4 terrific Twin Cities pancake options to start your day

Get your day off to a great start with delicious pancakes.
Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Cranberry Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies (winner), German Sour Cream Twists, Limoncello Kisses and Mocha Cappuccino Cookies fro

Go behind the scenes at Taste's Holiday Cookie Contest

Readers asked for a print edition of all the recipes that have won recognition in the Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest. Now the cookbook is here.
Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis.

Bryant-Lake Bowl, a Lyn-Lake landmark, is changing hands

Kim Bartmann, who owns 10 Minneapolis restaurants, says "it's time."
“The Spinner,” a Calder sculpture commissioned by Dayton’s department store in downtown Minneapolis, has ended up in an overlooked location at t

Famed Calder sculpture once graced Nicollet Mall. Can't it return to its home?

A sculpture by Alexander Calder, now in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, originally was in downtown Minneapolis. It had been a victim of the newfangled skyway at the time.
Bagels on a pan at Mevyn in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis.

From bagels to burgers, Uptown's Meyvn is first-rate

Review: It's all in the details at the new restaurant from the team behind Saint Dinette.
The spectacular dining room at Naniboujou Lodge in Grand Marais.

21 great restaurants for a fall-colors road trip, from Grand Marais to Red Wing

The annual autumn-leaves show won't be around forever. It's not too late to make last-minute Lake Superior plans, or to stay closer to home.
Alaskan Salmon.

140 Twin Cities chefs join effort to promote sustainable seafood this month

The James Beard Foundation is calling on chefs to help change the way Americans consume seafood. Twin Cities chefs have signed on, in huge numbers.
Karyn Tomlinson of Corner Table in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis chef crowned 'Queen of Pork' at prestigious Cochon555 contest

With the help of a pig raised in Elgin, Minn., Corner Table chef Karyn Tomlinson is now culinary royalty.
Sweet Chow occupies the first floor of a historic brick building in Minneapolis' North Loop.

Sweet Chow proves North Loop is still home to more great restaurants

Sweet Chow packages lively Asian flavors into a quick, convenient and approachable neighborhood setting.
Whole Grain Milling Co. popcorn is available at most local natural foods co-ops and at Golden Fig in St. Paul.

Some of Minnesota's best popcorn comes from this organic family farm

Not many foods have onomatopoeic names, but popcorn — pop! pop! pop! — is one of them. America’s favorite snack is one of nature’s minor…
Mocha Cappuccino Cookies from the 2017 cookie contest are a favorite. The deadline to enter the 2018 competition is noon on Friday, Oct. 19.

Deadline for the Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest is noon Oct. 19

We need you to help us continue a happy holiday tradition.
Chef Andrew Zimmern poses for a portrait inside his new restaurant Lucky Cricket.

9 Twin Cities restaurants by top chefs we can't wait to open

Twin Cities diners can look forward to a heaping helping of exciting new restaurants.
A scene from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

Celebrate Taste's birthday and see a Hollywood classic at the Heights

There will be plenty of laughs and songs with Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
Barbara Flanagan, a former Star Tribune columnist, sits at Brit's sidewalk cafe after receiving congratulations from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak afte

Legendary Twin Cities journalist Barbara Flanagan dies at 94

As a reporter and columnist, she was a tireless advocate for Minneapolis, especially its downtown.
Signage for Birch's Lowertown, a new tap room and barrel house opening Sept. 11.

Birch's Lowertown Taproom & Barrel House coming soon to St. Paul

Three years after launching the brewery and supper club they dubbed Birch's on the Lake, the owners are coming to Lowertown.
The new restaurant at Elliot Park Hotel.

'Affordable' Italian restaurant opening in new downtown Minneapolis hotel

Tavola will open in the Elliot Park Hotel in late September.
Sweet corn with shrimp paste butter, pork, scallion oil, radish, serrano, fried shallot and caramelized onion (GF) at Hai Hai.

7 don't-miss sweet corn dishes at Twin Cities restaurants

It's the happiest time of year, when Twin Cities chefs find inspiration in sweet corn.
Wild Bill’s Breakfast Bake at the Big Blue Barn.

A critic's favorite foods over 20 years at the Minnesota State Fair

Facing his 20th Minnesota State Fair, a critic looks back at past favorites and flops.
Mmm, cheese curds.

8 Twin Cities chefs reveal their Minnesota State Fair food favorites

What do Minnesota food professionals like to eat at the fair? Their answers may surprise you.
The former Borders Book Shop at the Rosedale Mall will soon become Revolution Hall. The project occupies two floors and is accessible from both inside

Rosedale's food hall 'revolution' may change the future of mall dining

A new kind of food hall is coming to the Twin Cities. And it's in the suburbs. At the mall.
The Minnesota State Fair has announced 27 new beverages for 2018.

Funnel cake beer, 26 more new beverages coming to State Fair

Get ready to drink your way through a big new batch of novelty beers at the fair.
Tortellini is one of the Bungalow Club's signature pastas.

High praise for pasta (and a gem lettuce salad) at Bungalow Club in Mpls.

At the Bungalow Club, chef Andrew Kraft demonstrates a clear affinity for tortellini, spaghetti and gem lettuce.
The new Nicollet Mall features more trees.

July: Nicollet Mall deserved better than its underwhelming $50M remake

The new Nicollet Mall is a leafier, artsier improvement over its dreary predecessor. But this is all that $50 million buys?
‘So grateful’: For the past three years, Amanda Weber has volunteered her time to run a choir at the women’s prison at Shakopee. She said, “Th

With Voices of Hope, one choir director makes music behind bars

On Sunday afternoons for the past three years, Amanda Weber has conducted 90-minute rehearsals at the state's women's prison in Shakopee.
5 Twin Cities restaurants you should try right now

5 Twin Cities restaurants you should try right now

From a new ramen shop in north Minneapolis to a brunch favorite in Wayzata, the restaurant scene is as busy as ever.
The new Meyvn is doing great things with bagels.

5 restaurant, bar openings hitting the Twin Cities

These new dining options are offering first-rate bagels, doughnuts, ice cream and more.
Must-try flavors at 9 Twin Cities ice cream shops

Must-try flavors at 9 Twin Cities ice cream shops

It's hot out there. Time to cool down at an ice cream shop with one of critic Rick Nelson's fave scoops.
Martha’s Daughter’s owner and chef Nyanyika Banda.

An exploding restaurant scene drives the hungry to Duluth

Meet the talented veterans and gifted newcomers who are investing in the food and drink scene in the city by the lake.
Travail Kitchen & Amusements chef/owners Bob Gerken, James Winberg and Mike Brown will move the restaurant and convert its current space to a bigger h

Travail pushes envelope again with ambitious new building, fine dining theatrics

At a time when fine dining is in retreat, the chefs at Travail Kitchen & Amusements are embracing a more refined (and expensive) experience.
The BBQ Split at Midtown Global Market’s Mama D’s is one of the new foods coming to the Minnesota State Fair.

Minnesota State Fair reveals 27 new foods, including tuna poke and Norwegian waffles

A handful of newcomers join those serving up the State Fair fare, including a coffee vendor and two Midtown Global Market tenants.
Marine Landing b.o.t.m. (“back on the map”) is a semi-secret restaurant on the St. Croix River.

Hidden restaurant on St. Croix River offers good food, great views at a low price

A riverside destination with a peculiar name is the secret eating spot of summer.
Laurel Elm, general manager at Saint Dinette, taught Robyn Nelson the proper way to carry multiple plates.

Restaurant pros mentor St. Paul students: 'I learned how to debone a chicken'

Teens in the Stage program were immersed in the culinary arts, guided by chefs, bakers, managers and other industry professionals who volunteered their time.
Keg and Case Market in St. Paul.

New tenants announced for food hall at old Schmidt Brewery site in St. Paul

Nearly 20 tenants were named, including a restaurant by the owners of Revival, plus Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and modern-day cotton candy.
Mark Palm, owner of Minneapolis-based Chameleon Concessions, converted one of the Twin Cities area’s first food trucks, Simply Steve’s, in 2010 an

Meet the Twin Cities man who's helping drive the food truck craze

Pioneering food truck builder Mark Palm is one of the most influential players in the Twin Cities street-food scene.
Ward 6 in St. Paul is closing on June 3.

3 restaurant closings and 1 new opening

Be’wiched Deli, the first-rate sandwich destination, with locations in the North Loop and Plymouth, quietly closed last week. “It was a good run,” said…
A to Z Produce and Bakery in Stockholm, Wis., is the gold standard of “pizza farms” in the region.

33 of the best places to dine outdoors in Minnesota

Restaurant critic Rick Nelson names 33 of the best places to dine "out" — literally.
Chef/owner Andrew Kraft in the dining room of his Bungalow Club in the Longfellow neighborhood.

From Roseville to Richfield, 6 noteworthy new restaurants

The new spots offer pasta, poke and more.
Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern to start up Chinese restaurant in Twin Cities

Andrew Zimmern is getting back into the restaurant business. Not that he’s ever far from it. The Twin Cities-based star of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre…
Gavin Kaysen was named Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation at its annual awards gala, which took place in Chicago on Monday evening.

Minnesota chef's 'pretty amazing' birthday present: James Beard Award

The chef/owner of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis and Bellecour in Wayzata talks about being named Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation.
Gavin Kaysen

Gavin Kaysen is named Best Chef Midwest at James Beard awards

Chef/owner of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour won at the "Oscars of the food world." He's the fifth Minnesota chef to win in the category.
Eastside restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, designed by Shea.

Meet the master of design for more than 50 Twin Cities restaurants

David Shea's impact on the way Twin Cities restaurants look is unparalleled.
Barb Zapzalka with a pint of her rhubarb ice cream at Pumphouse Creamery in Minneapolis.

7 Twin Cities restaurants where women run the show

City Afrique At her warm and welcoming restaurant, chef Bea Karngar serves generous portions of the flavorful, hearty stews of her native Liberia, with an…
Sameh Wadi in the steakhouse room at Seven in Minneapolis.

These 3 Minneapolis restaurants are flying high with new chefs in the kitchen

Star chefs are putting their own stamp on Seven, Corner Table and Sanctuary.
Jeremy Fox.

In praise of vegetables as a chef's inspiration

Jeremy Fox, a leading voice in plant-based cooking, shares his ideas in an inspiring new cookbook.
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