good press cafe at 21c museum hotel st. louis rendering courtesy of hufft

Spanish-inspired restaurant Idol Wolf and coffee shop Good Press opening in downtown St. Louis in late spring

21c Museum Hotel has announced it will open two new restaurant concepts in late spring 2023 under the leadership of executive chef Matt Daughaday. Idol Wolf, a restaurant inspired by Spanish cuisine and tapas-style dining, and Good Press, a coffee shop that will serve breakfast and lunch, will be the flagship dining outlets for the hotel, located at 1528 Locust St. in downtown St. Louis. 

Daughaday, formerly of Reeds American Table, Juniper and Taste, is overseeing both Idol Wolf and Good Press. Idol Wolf will seat over 100 diners across indoor and outdoor dining spaces, including a large dining room and a private dining area for parties of up to 14 guests. The restaurant will also offer a separate area, known as the Billiard Room, which will have its own dedicated menu, taking its cues from the Basque tradition of pintxos, or finger foods served with drinks at the bar. 

The menu at Idol Wolf will be built around shareable dishes, with a section for tapas-style dishes and a selection of larger plates. “We really like the idea of people sitting down at the table and enjoying good conversation, just having wave after wave of different food come out and everyone sharing that same kind of experience,” said Dylan Rauhoff, director of food and beverage at 21c Museum Hotel. 

Daughaday cited dishes like paella, gambas al ajillo or patatas bravas as examples of the kind of classic Spanish dishes that could feature, but he’ll also be incorporating Spanish flavors to create new dishes for Idol Wolf. “We’ll be doing a mushroom dish that will be infused with the flavors of chorizo without actually using chorizo,” he said. A weekend brunch will be introduced at a later date.

As he has done throughout his career, Daughaday will also be looking to local farms and suppliers to supply the best ingredients he can source, and he believes our region’s produce is a perfect match for Spanish cuisine. “Spain is known for having amazing pork, and I think in the Midwest here we have some of the best pork in the country,” he said. “A lot of what makes Spanish food awesome is the quality of ingredients, and I think we’re lucky here to have a lot of them.” 

Daughaday said the way to local hearts is often to infuse dishes – no matter what the cuisine – with flavors that evoke a feeling the diner can relate to. “Things that remind you of stuff that you grew up on always play well to the local neighborhood, so I think we try to search out dishes and search out flavors that brought out those memories,” he said. 

The wine list will feature Spanish varietals prominently, though other grapes and blends will also be highlighted. The Spanish influence will also extend to the cocktail selection, which will include sangrias and gin and tonics. Rauhoff said the beverage menu will also offer nonalcoholic and low-ABV cocktails. 

Good Press will seat 37 guests, serving breakfast and lunch as well as coffees and teas, including products from local suppliers such as Northwest Coffee and Big Heart Tea Co. In addition to the main café space, guests can grab a seat in the adjoining “café library.” Daughaday said the breakfast menu will focus on “simple, approachable things,” from eggs and sausage with toast or pancakes to healthy items like yogurt, granola and overnight oats. Grab-and-go items will also play a role for both breakfast and lunch.   

idol wolf at 21c museum hotel st. louis // rendering courtesy of hufft

Joining Daughaday in the kitchen at 21c Museum Hotel is chef de cuisine Jonathan Duffe. Most recently sous chef under Evy Swoboda at Brasserie by Niche, Duffe was named among Sauce’s Ones to Watch for 2023. Daughaday said he’s been impressed by Duffe since taking him under his wing as a rookie cook at Reeds American Table. “I’ve worked with a lot of people, but he’s somebody who pretty immediately jumped out at me as somebody who would be successful in doing this,” he said. “My goal is to give him the opportunity to learn what I think is his next step on the path and help develop him as a chef. … There couldn’t have been a better candidate for me in that position.” 

Rauhoff said he believes both Idol Wolf and Good Press will be valuable options for people who work, live or go out downtown – and he stressed they are very much intended for local residents as much for hotel guests. “We really want to make Good Press a place that not only hotel guests but locals alike have the opportunity to come in and really enjoy the space,” Rauhoff said.

Idol Wolf is currently expected to open ahead of Good Press, with a late spring opening targeted for both. The hotel itself is accepting reservations for stays beginning in July 2023.