If anyone understands the Thurston County restaurant scene, it’s Olympia native Rick Nelsen. The grandson of restaurateur Dave Wilson — owner of Olympia’s famed Dirty Dave’s Pizza Parlor — Nelsen was primed for success in the South Sound restaurant industry. Nelsen started Ricardo’s Kitchen + Bar in 2003, and since then it’s established itself as an award-winning fine dining experience with menu items like duck confit with white cheddar grits and cranberry gastrique. We chatted with this purveyor of fine food and found out about his favorite places to eat, travel, and more.
To be Inspired
Roller skating at Skateland
La Petite Maison, Olympia
Forza Bistro, Lacey
For Coffee or Tea
Olympia Coffee Roasters
To Work Out
“Go big or go home.”
Coming to America
Favorite TV Show
What’s the first meal you remember eating?
Probably Dirty Dave’s Pizza
What is the best restaurant you’ve ever visited?
That’s got to be Canlis in Seattle.
When did you first know you wanted to open a restaurant?
What projects are you working on right now?
Family, always working on that. And then we’re working on a gastropub and a coffee shop.
What do you do when you’re not in the restaurant?
I like to dance, and I like to be a dad.