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Rick Nelson

Columnist/Reporter | Dining and Food
phone: 612-673-4757
Rick Nelson is a restaurant critic and food writer. He also blogs with Lee Svitak Dean in a food blog, Table Talk.
Recent content from Rick Nelson
Lou Nanne's, where celebrity and steaks meet, holds its own

Lou Nanne's, where celebrity and steaks meet, holds its own

REVIEW: Lou Nanne's name may imply a sports theme, but this Edina restaurant holds its own on food.
Another restaurant (Il Foro) calls it quits in Minneapolis Forum space

Another restaurant (Il Foro) calls it quits in Minneapolis Forum space

It has become a familiar downtown Minneapolis story: Culinary entrepreneurs bravely try to revive the glorious art deco landmark that is the Forum Cafeteria. Sadly, the effort fails.
Summer Fun 2016: The best new food trucks

Summer Fun 2016: The best new food trucks

The latest generation of rolling restaurants means if there's a street, you'll find something to eat.
St. Louis Park's Galaxy Drive In restaurant is closed, up for sale

St. Louis Park's Galaxy Drive In restaurant is closed, up for sale

While other metro-area drive-ins have blossomed during this early spring, one has remained quiet: the Galaxy Drive In in St. Louis Park.
Behind the scenes at Smashburger

Behind the scenes at Smashburger

Smashburger's co-founder and chief brand officer pulls back the curtain at the fast-growing chain.
New restaurant openings: Hub City Cafe, T-Rex Cookie and Spitz

New restaurant openings: Hub City Cafe, T-Rex Cookie and Spitz

Here's a look at new restaurants that have opened in the Twin Cities.
James Beard winner Paul Berglund celebrates 'wonderful milestone' with gratitude — and Rick Bayless

James Beard winner Paul Berglund celebrates 'wonderful milestone' with gratitude — and Rick Bayless

Paul Berglund, chef of the Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, was named Best Chef: Midwest by the James Beard Foundation on Monday evening. We caught up with him two days later.
Chefs leave Wise Acre and Co-op Creamery

Chefs leave Wise Acre and Co-op Creamery

After spending five years at the helm at Wise Acre Eatery (5401 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-2577, wiseacreeatery.com), chef Beth Fisher and general manager…
James Beard Awards are a feast for food junkies

James Beard Awards are a feast for food junkies

A night of glamour and good food makes this our favorite awards ceremony.
Bachelor Farmer chef Paul Berglund wins a food-world Oscar

Bachelor Farmer chef Paul Berglund wins a food-world Oscar

Paul Berglund has been named Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation, only the fourth Minnesota chef to receive the award.
2 Twin Cities chefs in running for James Beard awards tonight

2 Twin Cities chefs in running for James Beard awards tonight

Follow the events tonight with restaurant critic Rick Nelson, who will be reporting from the awards ceremony.
Punches and peas: Minneapolis gym teaches boxing — and nutrition

Punches and peas: Minneapolis gym teaches boxing — and nutrition

A north Minneapolis boxing club instills valuable lessons to neighborhood kids, including the firsthand benefits of a well-balanced diet.
Northeast's Sheridan Room and Draft Horse redefine comfort food

Northeast's Sheridan Room and Draft Horse redefine comfort food

With tried-and-true cooking at reasonable prices, newcomers Sheridan Room and the Draft Horse redefine neighborhood restaurants.
Mpls. restaurant Barbette bubbles over with champagne-based addition

Mpls. restaurant Barbette bubbles over with champagne-based addition

Barbette owner Kim Bartmann has taken over an adjacent storefront and is converting the former hair salon into Trapeze, a Champagne bar.
Balanchine's glorious 'Serenade' is ultimate starter ballet

Balanchine's glorious 'Serenade' is ultimate starter ballet

Never mind "The Nutcracker." George Balanchine's glorious "Serenade" – a pivotal work in American dance – finally returns to Northrop.
Check out the road construction this weekend in Twin Cities

Check out the road construction this weekend in Twin Cities

New Twin Cities food trucks hitting streets – here are our top picks

New Twin Cities food trucks hitting streets – here are our top picks

Food truck season has returned, and with it, a bevy of delicious new (or, newish) options, ranging from barbecue to coffee to soul food to good stuff in between. It's time to hit the road and get eating.
Twin Cities chefs respond to Fla. report on mispresentation of 'farm to table'

Twin Cities chefs respond to Fla. report on mispresentation of 'farm to table'

The food world's story du jour? It's the examination of farm-to-table practices in the Florida metro region by the Tampa Bay Times restaurant critic Laura Reiley.
Cafe Lurcat and Bar Lurcat still impress (despite sticker shock)

Cafe Lurcat and Bar Lurcat still impress (despite sticker shock)

At Cafe Lurçat, entrees can easily slip into the $40s (and higher), and the kitchen thinks nothing of charging $12 for a side of roasted cauliflower. Lovingly roasted cauliflower. But still.
Headed to Target Field? Go beyond baseball fare at these 3 great places nearby

Headed to Target Field? Go beyond baseball fare at these 3 great places nearby

If you're not in the mood for ballpark fare, check out these Minneapolis restaurants.
S. Minneapolis crime fighter? Try late-night Hi-Lo Diner on East Lake

S. Minneapolis crime fighter? Try late-night Hi-Lo Diner on East Lake

Restored eatery stays true to its roots while bringing people to the neighborhood around the clock.
Twin Cities restaurants will again duke it out for burger supremacy

Twin Cities restaurants will again duke it out for burger supremacy

This year's competition is returning to St. Paul's Harriet Island and will feature 25 Twin Cities restaurants; 15 are returning from the 2015 contest.
St. Genevieve brings a Parisian tavern to south Minneapolis

St. Genevieve brings a Parisian tavern to south Minneapolis

REVIEW: Steven Brown lights up south Minneapolis with a second restaurant, St. Genevieve. Leave it to Brown to undersell and overdeliver.
Bowled over: Our favorite tasty bowls in the Twin Cities

Bowled over: Our favorite tasty bowls in the Twin Cities

At breakfast, lunch and dinner, in restaurants across the Twin Cities area, chefs have taken their focus off the plate and are concentrating on what's in the bowl.
In Palm Springs, Rick Nelson celebrates the restaurant scene

In Palm Springs, Rick Nelson celebrates the restaurant scene

On his annual winter retreat in the California desert, the Star Tribune's restaurant critic found surprising new options.
Interactive map: Jamar Clark protests scheduled

Interactive map: Jamar Clark protests scheduled

St. Paul's Heirloom offers updated 'farmhouse' cooking

St. Paul's Heirloom offers updated 'farmhouse' cooking

REVIEW: Chef Wyatt Evans modernizes what he calls "farmhouse" cooking, with winning results, at Heirloom in St. Paul.
Counter Intelligence: Market Bar-B-Que celebrates 70 years

Counter Intelligence: Market Bar-B-Que celebrates 70 years

How do you properly celebrate 70 years in the restaurant business?If you're Anthony Polski, and your grandfather founded Market Bar-B-Que (1414 Nicollet Av. S.,…
Upton 43 puts a modern spin on Nordic food

Upton 43 puts a modern spin on Nordic food

REVIEW: At the wildly original Upton 43, chef Erick Harcey puts a heartfelt spin on his Nordic heritage.
Counter intelligence: Two Minnesota chefs named finalists for James Beard award

Counter intelligence: Two Minnesota chefs named finalists for James Beard award

Two Minnesota chefs are in the running for a 2016 James Beard Foundation award. Paul Berglund of the Bachelor Farmer (50…
Poutine, eh? Amid Trudeau buzz, it's time to dig in on Canada's favorite dish

Poutine, eh? Amid Trudeau buzz, it's time to dig in on Canada's favorite dish

The Canadian deep-fried, gravy-slathered delicacy is being served at tonight's state dinner honoring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Vincent Burger lives again at Cooper Pub

Vincent Burger lives again at Cooper Pub

Vincent may have closed, but the downtown Minneapolis restaurant's beloved Vincent Burger lives on.
Cool! New French Bakery founder makes K'ul Chocolate in Minneapolis

Cool! New French Bakery founder makes K'ul Chocolate in Minneapolis

The founder of the New French Bakery is now operating the state's only large-scale bean-to-bar operation. Here's a gold-ticket tour.
Robbinsdale's Travail Kitchen turns bar into a pop-up for staffers

Robbinsdale's Travail Kitchen turns bar into a pop-up for staffers

Leave it to the mighty creative forces at Travail Kitchen & Amusements in Robbinsdale to stretch the definition of "pop-up."
Minnesota writer tells how she became an egg farmer in 'Locally Laid'

Minnesota writer tells how she became an egg farmer in 'Locally Laid'

For Duluth author Lucie Amundsen, a pasture-raised chicken operation inspired a page-turning memoir.
Crudo, pizza, cocktails lead at Uptown's Scena Tavern

Crudo, pizza, cocktails lead at Uptown's Scena Tavern

REVIEW: Skilled cooking, reasonable prices and a well-tuned bar outweigh the spotty service and characterless surroundings.
Splendid new restaurants await for lunch in Minneapolis skyway

Splendid new restaurants await for lunch in Minneapolis skyway

Hungry? Chain restaurants abound when it comes to lunch in the Minneapolis skyway system. But these new, independently owned eateries — from world cuisines to salads — are bringing delicious offerings to downtown's second floor.
Take a look at Minneapolis' past and present, one street corner at a time

Take a look at Minneapolis' past and present, one street corner at a time

Here are before-and-after shots of the street corners of downtown Minneapolis, 1960 to 2016. In many cases, it's tough to make the case that today's streetscape is an improvement over yesterday's. But judge for yourself.
5 great places to get pizza in the Twin Cities that aren't pizza places

5 great places to get pizza in the Twin Cities that aren't pizza places

At some Twin Cities area restaurants, chefs are stepping into the pizza arena — some for the first time — to change the way we think about one of life's great pleasures.
Review: Vegetables shine at the new Co-op Creamery

Review: Vegetables shine at the new Co-op Creamery

The Seward Co-op branches out and blossoms as it broadens the notion of sustainability.
Red Table Meat Co. wins big at Good Food Awards

Red Table Meat Co. wins big at Good Food Awards

Three cured meats receive notice at the national Good Food Awards competition.
Meet the siblings behind Minneapolis' new vegan butcher shop

Meet the siblings behind Minneapolis' new vegan butcher shop

A vegan butcher shop? Isn't that an oxymoron? But siblings Aubry and Kale (yep, that's his name) Walch are defying expectations.
March brings a dining switch-up at the Walker

March brings a dining switch-up at the Walker

Beginning in March, D'Amico and Partners is out, and Culinaire International is in at the Walker Art Center.
Lowcountry cooking gets attention at 4 Bells in Loring Park

Lowcountry cooking gets attention at 4 Bells in Loring Park

REVIEW: Despite the intent of Lowcountry cooking, the real attention-getter at 4 Bells is seafood.
Changes in the kitchen at Uptown's Parella

Changes in the kitchen at Uptown's Parella

Chef Todd Macdonald is out at six-month-old Parella.
Sameh Wadi to open ice cream shop, Milkjam, in early January

Sameh Wadi to open ice cream shop, Milkjam, in early January

For Sameh Wadi, chef/co-owner of the superb Saffron Restaurant & Lounge and quick-service World Street Kitchen, a foray into ice cream feels right.
Past and present: Twin Cities culinary movers and shakers

Past and present: Twin Cities culinary movers and shakers

Before we greet the new year, let's take a look (way) back into the Star Tribune's archives, for a peek into the careers of those who continue to influence the local culinary scene.
Rick Nelson's Top 10 dishes of 2015

Rick Nelson's Top 10 dishes of 2015

From pancakes to pie and pasta, Rick Nelson goes back into his 2015 dining-out diary and highlights the year's 10 most memorable dishes.
Year in review of Twin Cities restaurants: Where and what folks are eating

Year in review of Twin Cities restaurants: Where and what folks are eating

Twin Cities dining trends of the year included variations on raw food, eating in the suburbs and going Italian.
Local chef makes good as Spoon and Stable earns best restaurant

Local chef makes good as Spoon and Stable earns best restaurant

Minneapolis' four-star Spoon and Stable immediately earned its reputation — with good reason — as the toughest reservation in town since the doors opened late last year. It's our restaurant of the year.
This year's winning holiday cookie is a true star of wonder

This year's winning holiday cookie is a true star of wonder

Pecans, cinnamon and cardamom, paired with Minnesota-raised apples, are a combination that becomes even more festive with a celestial presentation. The resulting cookie is the winner in our annual Holiday Cookie Contest.
Baking tips, from a pro

Baking tips, from a pro

On the subject of making cookies, this teacher knows best.
'Splendid Table' host offers ultimate Thanksgiving turkey

'Splendid Table' host offers ultimate Thanksgiving turkey

Of course, "ultimate" is in the eye of the beholder. But this recipe – from Lynne Rossetto Kasper of public radio's "The Splendid Table" – is definitely a contender for the title.
Former La Belle Vie chef breaks tired mold of 'hotel restaurant' at Monello

Former La Belle Vie chef breaks tired mold of 'hotel restaurant' at Monello

REVIEW: At the next-generation hotel restaurant that is Monello, chef Mike DeCamp is demonstrating his crudo- and pasta-making skills. And how.
Drinking (and noshing) at Constantine, downstairs from Monello

Drinking (and noshing) at Constantine, downstairs from Monello

Downstairs from Monello is downtown's latest speakeasy, Constantine. And it's a hoot. Visually, anyway.
Review: Ling & Louie's looks good, but taste isn't so great

Review: Ling & Louie's looks good, but taste isn't so great

The expansive menu at Ling & Louie's in Minneapolis has a something-for-everyone vibe. As is often the case, what happens is that by hoping to please everyone, it ends up pleasing no one. | ★½ out of 4 stars
Old Dayton's building downtown just a shadow of its former glorious self

Old Dayton's building downtown just a shadow of its former glorious self

Although the name on the door has read "Macy's" for the past nine years, for many Minneapolitans 700 Nicollet will forever be "Dayton's." But downsizing has left the downtown building half-empty, its future uncertain.
Restaurant trends for next year? Twin Cities are in midst of them already

Restaurant trends for next year? Twin Cities are in midst of them already

We're two months away from the new year, but industry trendspotters are already laying out forecasts for what we'll be eating and drinking in 2016.
Meet Mexico's No. 1 chef: Enrique Olvera

Meet Mexico's No. 1 chef: Enrique Olvera

With an English-language cookbook, modernist chef Enrique Olvera is reaching new audiences. He's visiting Minnesota this week.
French restaurant Vincent closing after 14 years on Nicollet Mall

French restaurant Vincent closing after 14 years on Nicollet Mall

After 14 years, the French restaurant is closing its doors, the latest in a list of high-profile closings in the Twin Cities
The ultimate auction item: Dinner at La Belle Vie

The ultimate auction item: Dinner at La Belle Vie

When the news was announced that La Belle Vie was closing on Oct. 24 after a 17-year-run, the four-star restaurant's remaining reservations were snapped up in a few hours.
A conversation with chefs Ferran Adrià and José Andrés

A conversation with chefs Ferran Adrià and José Andrés

Ferran Adrià, the Salvador Dali of the cooking world – along with his disciple, José Andrés – mesmerized an overflow audience at the Minneapolis Institute of Art last week.
La Belle Vie, Minnesota's pinnacle of fine dining, decides to call it quits

La Belle Vie, Minnesota's pinnacle of fine dining, decides to call it quits

After 17 years, the top-rated Minneapolis restaurant is a victim of changing tastes and rising costs.
Build a better burger with these tips from top Minnesota chefs

Build a better burger with these tips from top Minnesota chefs

In the end, it all comes down to two components: the patty and the bun. Mess either one up, and it's back to the starting gate.
Restaurant review: At Lowertown's Saint Dinette, bologna is king

Restaurant review: At Lowertown's Saint Dinette, bologna is king

At tons-of-fun Saint Dinette in St. Paul, rising star chef Adam Eaton skillfully refashions the familiar. Lowertown is fortunate to have him.
Forum Cafeteria is back, and better than ever, as Il Foro

Forum Cafeteria is back, and better than ever, as Il Foro

REVIEW: The dazzling Forum Cafeteria, rechristened Il Foro, has a chef-worth-watching in the kitchen, and he's cooking with an Italian accent.
Counter intelligence: Old Town Pour House out, City Works in at Mayo Clinic Square

Counter intelligence: Old Town Pour House out, City Works in at Mayo Clinic Square

The change is driven in part by semantics.
Rick Nelson Q&A: Where can I get State Fair food year round?

Rick Nelson Q&A: Where can I get State Fair food year round?

Rick Nelson answers any and all dining-related questions. Send your queries to rick.nelson@startribune.com.
Cauliflower: the chameleon of the produce section

Cauliflower: the chameleon of the produce section

Versatile cauliflower is adept at taking on all kinds of global flavors for the dinner table.
Twin Cities chefs share their State Fair food favorites

Twin Cities chefs share their State Fair food favorites

What's on your list of once-a-year treats at the Minnesota State Fair? We asked a dozen Twin Cities chefs for their favorites.
Record number of new State Fair foods, but which ones are best?

Record number of new State Fair foods, but which ones are best?

Quantity wins over quality in this year's nod to over-the-top excess in a season that boasts the most-ever new State Fair foods. We sampled dozens of offerings and rated them all.
Nothing better than breakfast at the Minnesota State Fair

Nothing better than breakfast at the Minnesota State Fair

The most underrated food category at the Minnesota State Fair? Breakfast. Think about it. The crowds? Thin. The parking? Easy. The heat? Coming later. The prices? Reasonable.
Who cooked for Woody Harrelson in Twin Cities? Birchwood's star chef

Who cooked for Woody Harrelson in Twin Cities? Birchwood's star chef

When Woody Harrelson came to the Twin Cities to make a movie earlier this summer, Birchwood Cafe chef Marshall Paulsen helped keep the star on his raw foods diet.
Streetscapes: St. Paul Cathedral architect designed heavenly small churches, too

Streetscapes: St. Paul Cathedral architect designed heavenly small churches, too

Famous for his towering St. Paul Cathedral and lavish Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, French architect Emmanuel Masqueray completed many smaller churches, too, including four in St. Paul.
Review: Revival is Southern-fried fabulous

Review: Revival is Southern-fried fabulous

At Revival, chef Thomas Boemer is masterfully re-creating the cherished foods of his Southern childhood. You'll want to get in line. Now.
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