Sue Z. Says

I recently revisited the Atrium at International Market Square (275 Market St., Mpls., 612-238-4444), where D’Amico and Partners has their famous Valoriani wood-and-stone pizza oven from Italy.

I was there for a cocktail hour, but they also serve delicious weekday sit-down and buffet lunches under a skylight that makes even gloomy days bright.

But back to that oven. You can install a similar version at home from the Wood Stone company in Bellingham, Washington. Their ovens bake perfect pizzas, breads, and other dishes like those served at restaurants. Go to for more information.

For a quiet meal or meeting, Café Northstar, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Sixth Street and Second Avenue (Mpls., 612-338-2288) offers create-your-own omelets for breakfast and delicious soups, salads, and bread sticks for lunch. Hotel chef Rob Lang also serves dinners in the Krona Lounge on street level.

At the newly remodeled downtown Minneapolis Marriott City Center on Seventh Street (612-349-4000), executive chef Donna Lovett’s Northern Shores Grille features a Minnesota-themed menu served in a chic atmosphere. The hotel’s ballroom and lobby have also been remodeled, making the space perfect for events.

Though the Good Earth (Galleria, Edina, and Roseville) is best known for a menu full of healthy entrées and smoothies, I recently rediscovered the restaurant’s pecan sticky buns, which, believe me, are worth the trip to any of their locations.

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

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.