Dinner With Dad

by Whitney Frykman, Tastemaker in Residence

My favorite memories with my dad actually involve dining at other peoples’ tables, more specifically - chefs at various restaurants in the Twin Cities.

Since moving to Minnesota six years ago I have lived in spaces not always conducive to entertaining. Meal after meal learning the local foodie scene has been a tasty excuse to learn about the new community. I am blessed that my dad’s work frequently brings him venturing north, at which point I will find a new place on our bucket list to dine. I have noticed that in conversation when restaurants come up, my reviews almost always now begin with “when my dad and I went there…” 


Over the years our mutual enjoyment of sharing both the meal and the conversation has been a special way to connect considering we live over 1,000 miles apart. He has become my favorite dining companion not only because this is an opportunity to connect face-to-face, but because of his genuine enthusiasm around the experience. His reaction around each new restaurant that I suggest is continually, “you’ve done it again – I’m not sure how you topped the last one.” His positive comments and attitude are contagious; and being a type-A individual with a minute-by-minute itinerary for any out-of-town guest, I feel comfort knowing whatever activity or restaurant I jot down for his list, he will enjoy the experience. 

We love to dine by ordering numerous small dishes to taste all we can before filling our stomachs. Not only have the meals themselves been tasty (I attribute my “yelp elite” status to my dad); my relationship with my father has evolved where I find myself now genuinely seeking his advice during visits on topics anywhere from work troubles, to future goals, to personal relationships. 

As I continue to learn and grow from him, I am excited to share my new future goal of hosting one of these monthly dinners on my own, in my tiny apartment. I have no doubt he will still say “you’ve done it again.”