Q • My wife and I have lunch at the Wolf on Clayton Road. She loves the lentil soup.
A • At breakfast, lunch and now dinner, “We like being the local place to hang out,” says Denise Biribin, who along with her husband, Bob, operates the Wolf, the coffeehouse, café and music venue on Clayton Road in Ballwin. “All around us is corporate food. This is unique, this is local,” she says.
Last fall, the Birbins hired executive chef Carl Zimmerman, a culinary grad and a new St. Louis resident. (Zimmerman and his wife, a scientist, are parents of a 3-year old daughter.) The three share common values about “real food” — defined as house-made food from locally sourced, thoughtfully selected ingredients.
This month, the Wolf began serving dinner five nights a week, Tuesdays through Saturdays. While breakfast and lunch are still ordered at the counter, at night, there is table service. Some day-time menu items carry into dinner, but there are new evening-only dishes, too. Look for a menu that includes burgers, pizzas and entrée-size family-friendly home-style comfort food plus small plates to appeal to music lovers who gather in the Wolf’s community room for weekly open mic nights and other live music.
“We’ve struggled with our identity,” Birbin says. “Our menu is beginning to fit our lodge-like setting.”
The Chicken Lentil Soup is just one of a rotation of soups, some vegan, many vegetarian, a few with animal protein. In this soup, Zimmerman says that lentils add extra complexity and heartiness. This week only, it will be available every day through Sunday.