Sue Z Says

THE MOST DELICIOUS weekend of the year, devoted to the 13th annual Twin Cities Food & Wine Experience, begins Thursday, February 22, with Girls’ Night Out at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, followed by three exciting days at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Local and national celebrity chefs, including Rick Bayless, Gale Gand, Govind Armstrong, Joanna Pruess, Tim Scott, and Lorna Sass, will do demos on the culinary studio stages. Special wine luncheons will take place at Masa, Cue, Café Lurcat, La Fougasse, and the Midtown Global Market. Don’t miss the Grand Red Tasting on Saturday night at the Graves 601 Hotel. For more information, go to www.foodwineshow.com. In the metro area, you can order tickets with free delivery from Simon Delivers at www.simondelivers.com.

If you’re not headed out of town this winter, consider “vacationing” at a local hotel, where three great meals a day are available 365 days a year. The newly remodeled Dover Restaurant and Bar at the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park is getting rave reviews for its cozy booths, sharing table, slick new bar, and private dining area. Some of my favorite items are the stuffed French toast, the Canadian walleye, and the flourless chocolate cake.

Thanks to real-estate mogul Ralph Burnet, downtowners can enjoy Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s international menu at the new Chambers Kitchen in the Chambers Hotel on Ninth Street and Hennepin Avenue. Be sure to try the spiced chicken samosas—and leave room for pastry chef Chris Szczeniowski’s divine desserts.

They call it “Heaven on Seven” at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Minneapolis, but the seventh-floor gem is also known as the Café Northstar. I like the diverse offerings on the menu and the sensational soups.

Sue Zelickson is the host of WCCO Radio’s Food for Thought.

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Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.