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
Chef Shack in Bay City, Wis.

Make a day trip with leaf watching and dining at these 3 spots

These delightful getaways combine two of fall's great pleasures: autumn color and delicious food.
Lois Parker created a sourdough starter in 1970, and for the past 49 years she’s been using it to prepare breads, English muffins and waffles.

Minneapolis baker has used same sourdough starter since 1970

Here's how a Minneapolis home baker has been fueling her breads for 49 years.
In the kitchen at Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale in Minneapolis with executive chef George Lisovskis and owner Louise Saunders in 1976.

The potato salad recipe that had the Twin Cities talking a while back

Famed Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale took great pains to get its important recipe right.
Tejas, in downtown Minneapolis, in 1987.

20 extinct Twin Cities restaurants that we still miss

Aquavit. Cafe Brenda. Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale. La Belle Vie. New French Cafe. The Nankin. The Lincoln Del.
Look back on 18 years of playful, artist-designed Taste covers

Look back on 18 years of playful, artist-designed Taste covers

Poster covers — some beautiful, some weird, some funny and all imaginative — were a Taste signature feature for nearly two decades.
'Very impressed': Recalling James Beard's historic visit to Minneapolis

'Very impressed': Recalling James Beard's historic visit to Minneapolis

A store opening brought James Beard and others to the Twin Cities to bask in the adoration of cooks.
Recipes from the Magic Pan were often requested. Bill Wagner cooked crêpes at the Minneapolis location of the popular chain.

5 of the most reader-requested recipes from beloved Twin Cities restaurants

Tracking down restaurant secrets was a Taste staple for more than three decades.
A timeline of Taste throughout the years shows how we ate ⁠— and how we lived.

A timeline of Taste throughout the years shows how we ate ⁠— and how we lived.

Year by year, page by page, Taste offered a snapshot of our lives.
Look at all those supermarket ads

Look at all those supermarket ads

The combo of grocery ads, recipes and a poster cover kept readers coming back for more.
How much grocery prices have changed over the last 50 years

How much grocery prices have changed over the last 50 years

The rate at which prices have gone up over the last 50 years varies significantly from product to product.
Jun owner Jessie Wong makes Sichuan dumplings from scratch.

Restaurant roll call: New North Loop golf bar; Libertine and Funky Grits close

What's open, what's closed and what's still to come in the Twin Cities and beyond.
The 2014 winners: Espresso-Hazelnut Truffle Cookies, Macadamia Nut Tarts, Italian Almond Cookies, Tart & Sassy Cranberry Lemon Drops and Chocolate Thu

Insider tips on how to win the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest

Here's your opportunity to create a treat that will be baked all over the Twin Cities and beyond.
Dark Chocolate Fig Rolls with Mocha Ganache by Elizabeth Davis of Wayzata.

Time to get baking for the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest

Our 17th annual contest is underway, so send us your favorite recipe — and the story behind it.

The potato salad recipe that had the whole town talking

A famous restaurant took great pains to get a famous recipe right.
Mocha Cappuccino Cookies, from our 2017 competition.

Enter your recipe for the Taste Holiday Cookie Contest

Our 17th annual contest is underway, so send us your favorite recipe — and the story behind it.
Covering more than 20,000 acres, cranberries remain a lucrative crop for growers.

Stunning images show the beauty of the local cranberry harvest

The tart cranberry, native to Wisconsin, looks beautiful as it floats to harvest in the fall.
Bonchon at MOA

Hungry at the Mall of America? Check out these 3 new spots

What's new at the Mall of America? Plenty.
Bartender Carrie Arradondo made a drink at Giulia at the Emery hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

Try 3 upscale Twin Cities spots at bargain prices at these happy hours

Rick Nelson is here to answer any and all dining-related questions.
After 18 months, Sweet Chow has closed.

Now closed: Sweet Chow in the North Loop shutters

The 18-month-old Asian-inspired restaurant has called it quits.
Vivo Kitchen in Apple Valley.

4 suburban Twin Cities patios to visit before summer ends

Campiello Ignore the view, which is basically a parking lot. Instead, concentrate on the great-looking Italian food coming out of this D’Amico kitchen, especially the…
The BLT from Birchwood Cafe in south Minneapolis.

Two top Minnesota chefs share tips on how to make the perfect BLT

Fortunately for all of us, 2019 is shaping up to be a banner year for many Minnesota tomato growers.
The classic fair foods that have stood the test of time at the Minnesota State Fair. Smelt in a boat at Walleye on a stick booth.

13 must-try Minnesota State Fair delicacies

Set aside the Pronto Pups and mini doughnuts. Here are 13 lesser-known treats recommended by critic Rick Nelson.
Halo Cone, Halo Cone and CloudRoll.] ALEX KORMANN •

53 new foods at the Minnesota State Fair, ranked from best to worst

The Minnesota State Fair's 2019 new foods roster includes the perennial mix of attention-seekers, potential gut bombs and trend-observant hopefuls.
W.A. Frost in St. Paul.

Get a taste of summer dining on these 4 charming Twin Cities patios

There are still plenty of nice days left to enjoy outdoor dining. Here are four favorites.
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
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.
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.