The Mallahan family. Photo courtesy of Driftwood


Dan and Jackie Mallahan of Driftwood Share Tips (and Joys) Around Dining With Kids


Resy has partnered with Kalamata’s Kitchen and Taste Bud Travel Guide — experts on Officially Kid Friendly food experiences across the country — to develop articles like this one for the Field Guide to Family Dining. Dig in for more helpful resources.

Today, we’re chatting with Dan and Jackie Mallahan, the folks behind Seattle’s beloved Driftwood.

Resy: What are some things that make a restaurant experience with kids more enjoyable? 

Having snacks. Kids don’t understand time and definitely don’t have patience. Waiting for food to be delivered to a table can take too long for them. 

What’s a dish or experience that your kids loved that either surprised you or made you super happy? 

We received some live sea urchins. Our oldest (two-and-a-half years old at the time) wanted to help clean them. She got super into it and wanted her little sister (six months old) to try it too. They both loved it.

What are some of the foods that you’re excited to see your kids try? 

Both our daughters are very adventurous eaters and have had a lot of interesting and delicious food — more than some adults. We are most excited to travel, eat in different countries, and experience other food cultures. 

What’s your favorite part about dining out with kids? 

We love dining in restaurants with open kitchens as both of our girls like to watch the chefs work. We also like introducing new flavors and textures. It’s fun to see their reactions. (They’re mostly positive.) 

What’s your best piece of advice to parents dining out with kids? 

Don’t bring them out to eat on an empty stomach, have non-screen related distractions available (crayons, waterpaint books), and engage with them about the food. Explain what things are, ask if they like it, and talk about it the next day.  We have had very successful dining experiences using these techniques.