After three years as executive chef at Taste, Matt Daughaday plans to open Reeds American Table in Maplewood in the former Home Wine Kitchen space (7322 Manchester Road).
Daughaday gave 40 South News an update on how the new restaurant is coming along.
Daughaday plans to use both floors, for a total of 90 diners. Previously just the first floor was used. He said Home Wine Kitchen was coded for 45 upstairs and 45 downstairs, so he’s assuming he will be as well.
He said right now the debate is whether to add a second restroom on the first floor. Daughaday removed one of the first-floor restrooms to enlarge the kitchen. “We have full intention of doing a second restroom, but do we need to do it before opening or can it wait? Anything you can wait on is generally always the better idea,” he said.
He said his architect and contractor are pushing for the second restroom now, but Daughaday said the law is you need one for every 75. “I caved in and finally added the second bathroom,” he said.
As long as no one imposes any changes, Daughaday said he expects to open right after 4th of July—somewhere in that first week. He said if everything is in line he plans to sneak out of town in the end of June for a “foodie vacation” to a few of the restaurants he’s been wanting to get to around the country.
He said his kitchen team is together and is looking good. “It’s pretty exciting, the people we’re getting to work with,” he said. “It’s a good mix of people. All familiar faces from some of the good spots around town.”
Andrey Ivanov is the sommelier—he’s competing in national events this summer. Summer Wright, currently at Claverach Farm, will be the pastry chef. Wright has worked in New York and San Francisco.
Daughaday said the menu should match up well with folks around Maplewood. “Pretty casual—not simple, necessarily—technique driven more than ingredient driven, in terms of simple things done very well.”
He said working at Taste, where he did “small plates,” broke him of thinking every plate has to have a starch, a vegetable and a protein. “I think it kind of affected how you look at doing full plates of food,” he said.
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He said the menu is filled with lots of vegetable options. “Something we’ve always been good at is cooking vegetables,” he said. “With the market right there (Schlafly Farmers Market), I can go pick up a case from whoever is down there,” he said.
Daughaday said it’s crazy to think they didn’t consider Maplewood initially. “I grew up in U. City, right down the street. For whatever reason it never came across the radar,” he said. “People stop by, they’re curious and excited. A lot of areas of town you definitely wouldn’t get that.”