Today’s post is from Steve Grooms
Last September I joined a group of friends who met when we lived together in a dormitory at Grinnell College. David, Jack and Ralph flew into Saint Paul from Boston and the District of Columbia so we could relive old times. Because David made a fortune in the scented candle business, he happily funded the reunion. We would dine in a restaurant two nights. My suggestions about places where the food was good and inexpensive were laughed off. For David, cost is no object. He is used to the very best when dining out near his primary home near Washington, DC.
Since cost was not a factor, I had another suggestion. WA Frost and Company is a splendid old restaurant on Selby Avenue in the Cathedral Hill district. Built late in the 19th century in the Richardson Romanesque style, the Dakota Building, the home of the restaurant, now exudes the charm of an early time. While I had not eaten there in many years, fond memories of the place allowed me to hope it would not disappoint David or my other friends on this special occasion.
The restaurant was as lovely as I’d remembered. The building features arched windows, copper cornices and walls of sandstone and brick. Giant fireplaces provided light and warmth for diners. The room itself was so quiet we could all speak at normal volume as we told stories about our shared past. The wait staff was deft and unobtrusive. The bounty from the kitchen was so good that we kept saying, “This is the best ___ I’ve ever had!”
We had the sort of evening one remembers with a romantic glow. We had expected a great deal, but WA Frost delivered more than anyone could have hoped for. It was perfect.
Other restaurants can be excellent in other ways. The header photo shows Mickey’s Diner, which in its own way is perfect. You don’t go to Mickey’s expecting the elegance and refinement we had at WA Frost, but my last visit to Mickey’s was all we’d hoped it would be.
What memories do you have of a special restaurant, diner, food truck or family eatery? Or do you remember a restaurant that was so bad you can’t forget it?