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
Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Cranberry Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies (winner), German Sour Cream Twists, Limoncello Kisses and Mocha Cappuccino Cookies fro

The story behind Taste's 'Great Minnesota Cookie Book'

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.
“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.

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.
Holman’s Table at the St. Paul Downtown Airport.

Two new St. Paul restaurants offer a side of history on the menu

Holman's Table and Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery take full advantage of the city's fertile past, with winning results.
Maddie Lu Carlos, the owner of Macarons by Maddie Lu at the Mall of America.

New macaron shop at Mall of America makes for a perfect cookie break

A 23-year-old Anoka native recently opened Macarons by Maddie Lu.
Hennepin Healthcare Clinic and Specialty Center,l 8th Street between Park Av and Chicago Av. [ Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace

10 projects that will change the look of the Twin Cities

These projects, in various stages of the completion pipeline, should elevate the Twin Cities' architectural profile in the not-so-distant future.
Pinku Japanese Street Food, 20 University Av. NE. Minneapolis. Crispy pot stickers.

10 under-the-radar restaurants to try right now in the Twin Cities

Caught in a restaurant rut? Consider working these 10 under-the-radar establishments into your rotation.
Seth Bixby Daugherty has run top-rated restaurants all over the country. "I'm a consummate volunteer," he said.

Top chef feeds sick Minnesotans — and his soul — at nonprofit Open Arms

After years of running top-rated restaurants, chef Seth Bixby Daugherty has landed his ultimate job.
From ramen to chowder, 7 must-eat soups at Twin Cities restaurants

From ramen to chowder, 7 must-eat soups at Twin Cities restaurants

Winter isn't over just yet. Here is some help in staying warm.
Feta makes a creamy addition to shakshuka, a dish that’s a great fit for brunch — or a quick supper — any time.

Here's how to make shakshuka, the egg dish with the awesome name

It's called shakshuka, and saying this easy-to-prepare dish (shack-shoo-kuh) is as much fun as eating it.
Salty Tart’s cured salmon tartine.

St. Paul's new Salty Tart serves up impeccable, yet easygoing breakfast and lunch

Star pastry chef Michelle Gayer hits a home run in Lowertown.
The octopus bolognese plate with bucatini, masago, and pancetta at Octo Fishbar.

St. Paul's Octo Fishbar is the perfect seafood restaurant for our times

Review: Twin Cities foodies are fortunate to be living in the Tim McKee era.
The chicken sandwich from the Book Club restaurant Feb 9, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN.

10 new Twin Cities restaurants you should know about

The restaurant scene is bustling with recent openings, including a hot bakery and a vegetarian restaurant in Uptown.
Wayne Kostroski staged the 27th Taste of the NFL on Saturday.

Chefs gather at NFL's 'Party with a Purpose'

The hunger relief fundraiser in St. Paul drew luminaries as varied as former Viking Ben Leber and Cara Mund, 2018 Miss America.
Customers dine at The Lexington in St. Paul.

3 terrific brunch spots in the Twin Cities

Plan your weekend with Esker Grove, the Lexington and Martina.
Kate Jackson and Michael Pilhofer sat at a communal table at Yum! Kitchen and Bakery in St. Louis Park.

Dining with strangers: Communal tables catch on at Minnesota restaurants

After a (very) slow start, Twin Citians seem to be catching up with the way the rest of the world dines.
Ryan Rosenthal, right, worked the register at lunchtime at Simpls.

25 reasons why you should eat in the Minneapolis skyway

Many skyway restaurants will be open longer hours to feed the Super Bowl frenzy.
Wayne Kostroski is staging the 27th Taste of the NFL on Feb. 3.

Taste of the NFL founder excited to bring Super Bowl fundraiser back home

Wayne Kostroski is staging his 27th edition of the Super Bowl's super-fundraiser, the Taste of the NFL.
Burch Steak and Pizza Bar.

Chefs and restaurateurs brace for Super Bowl in the Twin Cities

Chefs and restaurateurs aren't quite sure what to expect.
The burger at Lowry Hill Meats.

12 Super Bowl-inspired restaurant events that you can take advantage of

While it's true that many Super Bowl events are geared for out-of-towners, there are plenty of restaurant-driven occasions for visitors — and locals — to enjoy. Here's a list.
Chef Mike DeCamp in front of a sign for their Sunday night dinner.

Doughnuts today, ramen tomorrow: Twin Cities restaurants change it up

From Monello to Mucci's, more local hot spots are experimenting with the restaurant within a restaurant trend.
Diners can see into and sit by the open kitchen at the Kenwood restaurant in Minneapolis.

Take a seat at the kitchen counter at these 3 Minneapolis restaurants

Corner Table Owners Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone made an inspired decision when they recruited Borough vet Karyn Tomlinson to run their kitchen. Tomlinson’s work…
Shakshuka — eggs poached in a tomato sauce with onions and peppers — is one of many dishes forecast as up-and-coming in 2018.

What's on the menu for 2018? Check out these food trends

According to food trend forecasts, popped cassava chips, maple, shakshuka and activated charcoal are on the menu for 2018.
The Easy-Bake Oven wall at Lucky Oven Bakery in Minneapolis.

8 trends that rocked the Twin Cities restaurant scene in 2017

Brunch service was as hot as ever, while doughnut shops and vegan-friendly restaurants boomed.
Top 10 Twin Cities dishes of the year

Top 10 Twin Cities dishes of the year

Restaurant critic Rick Nelson looks back at 2017's most impressive fare, one dish at a time.
Chef José Alarcon in what will be the more formal of two dining rooms in his next project, Popol Vuh in northeast Minneapolis.

Let's eat: The most anticipated Twin Cities restaurants of 2018

It'll be another big year for restaurant openings, including a new spot by the owners of Revival.
Diners lunch at Upton 43. The former top-rated restaurant closed earlier this year, and the space is now occupied by the recently opened Martina.

Saying goodbye: More than 60 restaurants closed this year in the Twin Cities

The past 12 months could easily be branded the Year of the Closed Restaurant.
Chef Tim McKee at the bar in the dining room of his Octo Fishbar in St. Paul’s Lowertown.

Trailblazer of the Year: Tim McKee remains one of Minnesota's most daring chefs

Minnesota’s first James Beard award-winning chef had a headline-grabbing year. In the span of 12 months, he left his role as vice president of culinary…
Kim Bartmann at her Tiny Diner in Minneapolis.

Titan of the Year: Kim Bartmann expanded her empire to almost a dozen restaurants

You think you had a busy year? Try being Kim Bartmann. The influential and innovative restaurateur remade her Third Bird — first into
One of two main dining areas of the Lynhall in Minneapolis, designed by Abby Jensen of James Dayton Design.

Instagram's best friend: Why Minneapolis' Lynhall is the best-designed restaurant of the year

Upon opening, this new restaurant near Lyn-Lake instantly became a favorite of local Instagrammers.
Diners at a long table in the center of the dining room of Young Joni.

Restaurant of the Year: Young Joni is true original in northeast Minneapolis

When a gifted pizzamaker combines her Korean background with a fascination for hearth cooking, a one-of-a-kind dining experience follows.
Gavin Kaysen.

Chef of the Year: Gavin Kaysen's standard-setting ways continue with Wayzata's Bellecour

The talent behind Spoon and Stable introduced spectacular French bistro fare – and an equally spectacular bakery – to downtown Wayzata.
Chef Jamie Malone and chef de cuisine Alan Hlaeben sat for a portrait at the Grand Cafe.

The Grand Cafe in Minneapolis lives up to its name

At the revamped south Minneapolis eatery, chefs Jamie Malone and Alan Hlebaen are cooking like no one else in the Twin Cities.
Cookies from Thirsty Whale, left, and Twin Cities Paella at Holidazzle in Loring Park.

11 food and drink vendors that put the dazzle in Holidazzle

Beyond the mini-doughnuts, deep-fried cheese curds and roasted nuts, Holidazzle offers plenty of out-of-the-box nosh and beverage talent.
We have a winner in this year's Holiday Cookie Contest

We have a winner in this year's Holiday Cookie Contest

Let's bake: Here are the five best recipes from our Holiday Cookie Contest.
German Sour Cream Twists

German Sour Cream Twists

An old-fashioned, pastry-like treat that stands out in a crowd.
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