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Rick Nelson

Columnist/Reporter | Dining and Food
phone: 612-673-4757
Rick Nelson is a restaurant critic and food writer, and he and Claude Peck are the "RN" and "CP," respectively, of Withering Glance, a Sunday column in variety. He also blogs with Lee Svitak Dean in a food blog, Table Talk.
Recent content from Rick Nelson
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.
Summer dining served on the shores of Lake Minnetonka

Summer dining served on the shores of Lake Minnetonka

While Lake Minnetonka has long been a water-centric retreat for day-trippers, weekenders and summer residents, the past few years have witnessed the development of another draw to its shores. Namely, food.
4 Minneapolis restaurants that serve a great breakfast

4 Minneapolis restaurants that serve a great breakfast

On weekdays and weekends, four Minneapolis restaurants are making breakfast better.
Summer dining looks sunny: Where to get your patio on

Summer dining looks sunny: Where to get your patio on

Summer is in full swing. Get out there in the fresh air and sunshine, and dine. Here are our favorite restaurant patios in the Twin Cities.
9-by-13 pan comes to the rescue for July 4th picnics

9-by-13 pan comes to the rescue for July 4th picnics

Sweeten July 4th picnics – or any summertime celebration – with easy-to-prepare bars.
Turning up the heat at the Minnesota State Fair

Turning up the heat at the Minnesota State Fair

Let the calorie counting begin. Every year in June, the Minnesota State Fair unleashes its official list of new foods to a hungry public. More…
Star Tribune restaurant critic Rick Nelson drops his anonymity

Star Tribune restaurant critic Rick Nelson drops his anonymity

After 16 years of working undercover, our restaurant critic shows his face. Here's why.
Minneapolis restaurants get national attention

Minneapolis restaurants get national attention

"America's next great food city" is how Saveur puts it in the magazine's July issue.
Taste 50: Women rule Minnesota food scene

Taste 50: Women rule Minnesota food scene

Where would the state's thriving food scene be without women? For this year's Taste 50, we look at the visionary chefs, restaurateurs, bartenders, bakers, writers and entrepreneurs who are making Minnesota a food-lover's haven.
MAP: Child protection in crisis

MAP: Child protection in crisis

The deaths of children have prompted the resignations of child protection officials around the country. Meanwhile, a national commission is studying ways to better protect children from abuse and death.
Food at St. Paul's new CHS Field is hit and miss

Food at St. Paul's new CHS Field is hit and miss

REVIEW: The food and drink at St. Paul's dazzling new minor league ballpark sometimes live up to the stadium's good looks.
Where's the best burger in the Twin Cities?

Where's the best burger in the Twin Cities?

Star Tribune restaurant critic Rick Nelson answers this reader question and others, including ones about morels, hot dog buns, newcomers, wine bars and Ecuadorean fare.
Spoon and Stable offers 4-star splendor in the North Loop

Spoon and Stable offers 4-star splendor in the North Loop

REVIEW: Chef Gavin Kaysen's Spoon and Stable is a Twin Cities rarity in that it is a fully realized restaurant experience, with each aspect of its operation polished to a highly professional shine. That's among the many reasons it earns four stars.
Mother-in-law's legacy lives on through family recipes

Mother-in-law's legacy lives on through family recipes

Beloved family recipes provide a portal into the life of a woman I wish I'd known.
Travail crafting the ultimate pop-up

Travail crafting the ultimate pop-up

The creative-energy-to-burn ownership behind Travail Kitchen & Amusements in Robbinsdale is taking on another project, and it's a doozy.
Sapor owners shutting doors in June after 15 years

Sapor owners shutting doors in June after 15 years

After 15 years, Julie Steenerson and Tanya Siebenaler look forward to "the next chapter."
Live from the James Beard Awards

Live from the James Beard Awards

Minnesotans were well-represented at the ceremony, but ultimately were shut out.
Minnesota snubbed at James Beard awards

Minnesota snubbed at James Beard awards

A lot of excitement but no wins for the Minnesota finalists at the James Beard Foundation awards Monday.
James Beard awards slip by Minnesota this year

James Beard awards slip by Minnesota this year

A lot of excitement but no wins for the Minnesota finalists at the James Beard Foundation awards Monday night, at press time.
Three high-profile Italian restaurants coming to Minneapolis

Three high-profile Italian restaurants coming to Minneapolis

Italian cuisine is routinely singled out as Americans' favorite foreign fare. But here in the Twin Cities, we're not exactly awash in Italian restaurants. Serious ones, anyway. That's about to change.
Great chef: Hai Truong of Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

Great chef: Hai Truong of Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

After growing up in a restaurant-owning family, Hai Truong chose a different career path out of college. But the lure of the kitchen proved an irresistible gravitational force.
Taste of nostalgia fuels couple's bakery, cookbooks

Taste of nostalgia fuels couple's bakery, cookbooks

Griffith and Cheryl Day have just released a follow-up to their popular "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook." Like the modernized renditions of time-tested pies, cakes, cookies and bars served at their nostalgia-fueled bakery in Savannah, Ga., the new book is "Made With Love."
Top chef: Ngon's Hai Truong

Top chef: Ngon's Hai Truong

Hai Truong chose a different career path out of college. But the lure of the kitchen proved an irresistible gravitational force.
Balanchine, Mark Morris and more coming to Northrop

Balanchine, Mark Morris and more coming to Northrop

The auditorium's 2015-16 dance season is full of audience favorites, from ballet to tap to jazz.

Project: Burger Friday

Hungry? How about a burger? Every week, Taste restaurant critic Rick Nelson takes a look at the best that Twin Cities restaurants have to offer on Burger Friday.
Wedge Co-op to sell Gardens of Eagan

Wedge Co-op to sell Gardens of Eagan

After seven years of growing organics, the Twin Cities natural foods co-op is going to concentrate on sales.
Streetscapes: Pracna on Main defined the changing riverfront

Streetscapes: Pracna on Main defined the changing riverfront

How an 1890 building, filled with antiques and run as a restaurant for 41 years, sparked the revival of one of the oldest, most picturesque districts in Minneapolis.
New library gives much-needed visual heft to busy Uptown corner

New library gives much-needed visual heft to busy Uptown corner

A Minneapolis firm on a spartan budget replaced a 1980s eyesore with an inviting library for the 21st century.
Restaurant review: Spoon and Stable

Restaurant review: Spoon and Stable

Spoons in hand, a native son returns to offer 4-star splendor in the North Loop.
Food Building finds a home in NE Minneapolis

Food Building finds a home in NE Minneapolis

Kieran Folliard, a modern-day Pied Piper, is drawing artisanal food producers into a unique facility.
Spoon and Stable leads Beard nominations

Spoon and Stable leads Beard nominations

It's the first time a Minnesota restaurant has been nominated in the national category.
John Kraus and the Coupe du Monde

John Kraus and the Coupe du Monde

After 20-plus years of dreaming about competing in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, John Kraus got his wish. He came home with the bronze medal, a huge accomplishment.
Modern Cafe's closing means the end of an era

Modern Cafe's closing means the end of an era

We'll soon be living — and dining — in a post-Modern Cafe world. Cue tears.
Two bakery-cafes that impress, for different reasons

Two bakery-cafes that impress, for different reasons

There's plenty of promise in a pair of neighborhood cafes, one launched by a cycling-obsessed Belgian, the other from a farmers-market success story.

Restaurant notes: Brunch, Macy's Flower Show

Brunch on the way Just in time for Easter, two top-performing Minneapolis restaurants are dipping into Sunday brunch for the first time: Brasserie Zentral…
Could massive Mpls. post office become a food marketplace?

Could massive Mpls. post office become a food marketplace?

A City Council member has a delicious vision for the art deco wonder.
Dreaming of a food marketplace in downtown Minneapolis

Dreaming of a food marketplace in downtown Minneapolis

A Minneapolis City Council member has a delicious vision for the art deco wonder that is the downtown post office.
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