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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
Sapor owners shutting doors in June

Sapor owners shutting doors in June

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.
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.
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.
Artisanal food makers flock to Northeast's Food Building

Artisanal food makers flock to Northeast's Food Building

Kieran Folliard, a modern-day Pied Piper, is drawing artisanal food producers into a unique facility.
Prolific Minneapolis restaurateur thinks big at Tiny Diner

Prolific Minneapolis restaurateur thinks big at Tiny Diner

Review: Take one former gas station. Add local food and a patio and what do you get? A gift to the neighborhood. The results remain accessible and fuss-free, with short-order fare that frequently yields surprising finesse.
Lyn 65 is a Richfield strip-mall success

Lyn 65 is a Richfield strip-mall success

In a previously forgettable Richfield address, a dynamic team of young chefs is changing the way we think about burgers, fried chicken and pizza at Lyn 65.
Hungry for pizza? Here's what's new in the Twin Cities

Hungry for pizza? Here's what's new in the Twin Cities

Pizza chains are popping up all over the Twin Cities. Here's our take on four newcomers.
In praise of two remakes: Workshop at Union, Le Town Talk

In praise of two remakes: Workshop at Union, Le Town Talk

In very different ways, Workshop at Union and Le Town Talk French Diner & Drinkery inject new life into troubled addresses.
Lighter and brighter German cooking

Lighter and brighter German cooking

A modern schnitzel, spaetzle and sauerkraut? These chefs focus their skills on a cuisine stuck in the past.
Local baker won bronze in Coupe du Monde - the pastry Olmpics

Local baker won bronze in Coupe du Monde - the pastry Olmpics

A coveted bronze medal for Minneapolis pastry chef John Kraus.
Meet the Surly chef

Meet the Surly chef

Chef Jorge Guzman is in charge of food at the massive new Surly brewery.
Say 'be mine' while still being Minnesota

Say 'be mine' while still being Minnesota

When buying sweets for your sweetie, look to local confectioners for truffles, bonbons and other romance-inducing candies.
Sweet Valentine: 12 best spots for Minn. candy

Sweet Valentine: 12 best spots for Minn. candy

When buying sweets for your sweetie, look to local confectioners.
Tips for each recipe we love in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Project

Tips for each recipe we love in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Project

And the winner is … NEW YORK TIMES' CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES Reason to bake: Where to begin? This recipe is perhaps the ultimate in…
Our much-researched pick for the best chocolate chip cookies

Our much-researched pick for the best chocolate chip cookies

After relying on the Toll House standard, a baker goes in search of a new go-to chocolate-chip cookie recipe, and finds five. All are so delicious — and relatively easy to prepare — that you may never go back to Toll House.
12 anticipated restaurants openings

12 anticipated restaurants openings

Last year saw a record number of restaurant openings in the Twin Cities, and 2015 is looking similarly productive, including these buzz-worthy projects.
Meet Surly's man in the kitchen

Meet Surly's man in the kitchen

Meet chef Jorge Guzman, who loves working and loves learning about beer.
Twin Cities restaurants opening in 2015

Twin Cities restaurants opening in 2015

Last year saw a record number of restaurant openings in the Twin Cities, and 2015 is looking similarly productive, including these buzz-worthy projects.
Remakes done right: Workshop at Union, Le Town Talk

Remakes done right: Workshop at Union, Le Town Talk

Both places inject new life into troubled addresses.
Tryg's, successor to Nora's Restaurant, being torn down for apartments

Tryg's, successor to Nora's Restaurant, being torn down for apartments

Time is running out for fans of Tryg’s. Owner Tryg Truelson is closing his great-looking restaurant and bar on Jan. 31. He’s not making it…
Tryg's Restaurant is closing (bring on the apartment tower!)

Tryg's Restaurant is closing (bring on the apartment tower!)

The 10-year-old restaurant is falling victim to the local apartment boom.
Restaurant news: Rainforest Cafe closing, reopening at MOA

Restaurant news: Rainforest Cafe closing, reopening at MOA

Fans of the Rainforest Cafe, listen up: The mega dining attraction at the Mall of America is closing. Temporarily.
Solera restaurant closes its doors, rooftop bar

Solera restaurant closes its doors, rooftop bar

The building owners will look for a new concept for the space.
Calendar puts sexy back into cooking

Calendar puts sexy back into cooking

After Twin Cities food lovers turned Travail's 2014 Sexy Chef Calendar into a collector's item, the crew is back with an equally over-the-top 2015 edition. Here's the back story.
2015's most anticipated new restaurants

2015's most anticipated new restaurants

The coming year is promising to be as active as 2014.
New restaurants anticipated in 2015

New restaurants anticipated in 2015

The coming year is promising to be as active, new restaurant-wise, as 2014. Maybe even busier.
Lucia's Restaurant changes hands after 30 years

Lucia's Restaurant changes hands after 30 years

As her eponymous Uptown institution approaches its 30th anniversary, Lucia Watson is selling her beloved restaurant to a group of local investors.
Nov. 9: Charlie Award for best eats goes to...

Nov. 9: Charlie Award for best eats goes to...

These honors acknowledge the best of the eat-and-drink world in the Twin Cities.
Suzanne Farrell Ballet delights at Northrop

Suzanne Farrell Ballet delights at Northrop

Dance review: The Suzanne Farrell Ballet delights at Northrop.

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.
Supermarkets and bakeries open on Thanksgiving

Supermarkets and bakeries open on Thanksgiving

Ran out of sage? Need an extra can of pumpkin purée? It’s not too late. Several Twin Cities area supermarkets and natural foods co-ops are open on Thanksgiving.
Withering Glance: Who needs streets? We've got skyways

Withering Glance: Who needs streets? We've got skyways

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more. Today, skyways.
Tapping the savory side of the sweet potato

Tapping the savory side of the sweet potato

The Thanksgiving staple – also known as yams – has a life beyond the marshmallow.
Forum Cafeteria: Downtown's art deco thriller will cook once again

Forum Cafeteria: Downtown's art deco thriller will cook once again

The lights are coming back on at this National Historic landmark, thanks to a team already immersed in reviving another Twin Cities legacy restaurant.
April 27, 2010: Deco reborn again

April 27, 2010: Deco reborn again

The lights -- and they're gorgeous -- are back on at the former Forum Cafeteria, one of the country's great Art Deco interiors. Just don't call it Goodfellow's, or Scottie's. The Forum name is back.
June 24, 2010: Forum makes yet another comeback

June 24, 2010: Forum makes yet another comeback

When it comes to the former Forum Cafeteria, go for the Art Deco, stay for some of the food.
Can we learn to love Minneapolis' Peavey Plaza again?

Can we learn to love Minneapolis' Peavey Plaza again?

With money, maintenance, a sensitive update and more programming, perhaps Peavey Plaza can regain its old civic magic.
Review: New Hard Rock Cafe at Mall of America feels over the hill

Review: New Hard Rock Cafe at Mall of America feels over the hill

The rock 'n' roll-themed restaurant has landed at the Mall of America with a resounding thud. Really, is this the best the region’s most popular tourist attraction can do?
She's taking a 'Minnesota Nice' approach to 'Top Chef'

She's taking a 'Minnesota Nice' approach to 'Top Chef'

Rosemount native Katie Weinner is a contestant to watch — and root for — on the current season of the reality TV series.
Great Chefs: Patrick Atanalian adds a personal touch

Great Chefs: Patrick Atanalian adds a personal touch

Once Sanctuary chef Patrick Atanalian implements a new menu, he immediately starts in on plans for the next one, using his five-course tasting menu as his laboratory.
Boom town: Record number of restaurants open in 2014

Boom town: Record number of restaurants open in 2014

In no other year has the number of new restaurants in the Twin Cities ever approached the explosive growth we've seen in 2014. This isn’t about the latest Applebee’s or Chick-fil-A, but mostly independent ventures.

Interactive: Guide to new restaurants, 2014

Since Jan. 1, we’ve charted 91 restaurants that have opened in the Twin Cities metro area, and 42 more are in the pipeline. Here are details on what's available and where to find them.
Withering Glance: Saluting the true dream palaces

Withering Glance: Saluting the true dream palaces

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.   RN: Do you love the Riverview…
Restaurant review: Libertine serves up meat and more

Restaurant review: Libertine serves up meat and more

Tim McKee does it well as he reinvents — and reinvigorates — the latest Uptown restaurant from Parasole. Libertine defies a pat characterization, although a lazy label would be “affordable steakhouse.”
Calling all bakers: Our 12th-annual cookie contest is underway

Calling all bakers: Our 12th-annual cookie contest is underway

The 12th annual Taste Holiday Cookie Contest has begun. Your cookie recipe could follow in the footsteps of last year’s winning Cappucino Flats. But you’ll never know unless you enter.

Twin Cities' 4-star restaurants

It's not every day that Star Tribune restaurant critic Rick Nelson doles out a four-star review for a Twin Cities restaurant. But when he does, it's worth noting. Here are his picks for the best in local dining.
Head south for fall's final day trips -- and prime dining

Head south for fall's final day trips -- and prime dining

All the climatologists are predicting an autumn-leaves season for the record books. That’s reason enough to get out of town for the day, and for a meal.
10 must-try Twin Cities brunch spots

10 must-try Twin Cities brunch spots

Wake up, sleepyhead! There’s a morning meal awaiting you somewhere in town.
Beyond the food truck, Hola Arepa has a tasty way to say 'hello'

Beyond the food truck, Hola Arepa has a tasty way to say 'hello'

REVIEW: At lively Hola Arepa, the welcome transition from food truck to stand-alone restaurant is seamless, and impressive. If a Food Truck 101 course is being taught somewhere, surely the Hola Arepa story will become a chapter in the class’ textbook.
Say goodbye to Figlio, again

Say goodbye to Figlio, again

The company behind Crave has multiple changes in the works, locally and nationally.
A dinner table for 2,000 on St. Paul's Victoria St.

A dinner table for 2,000 on St. Paul's Victoria St.

Over chicken and collard greens, artist Seitu Jones is jump-starting a dinnertime conversation about healthful cooking and eating.

Restaurant news: Ling & Louie's, Foreign Legion, Third Bird and more

Openings, and more openings Following iterations in Phoenix, Dallas and Anchorage, Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill (921 Nicollet Mall, www.lingandlouies.com) has landed…
Withering Glance: Fun times at the fair (Maalox and all)

Withering Glance: Fun times at the fair (Maalox and all)

Fair highlights include Aretha Franklin at the grandstand in a feather-covered wedding gown. But the Tilt-a-Whirl and a steady diet of deep-fried delights? That does not mix well.
Date night at the State Fair

Date night at the State Fair

Traveling in pairs can be the best way to get the most out of the madness that is Minnesota State Fair. Here are food-and-drink suggestions for making an evening at the fair a memorable one.

Restaurant news: Nighthawks and Nadia Cakes

Another restaurant for 38th and Nicollet It’s beginning to look as if 2014 might go down in the history books as the Year of the…
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