Secretly tucked away in a two-story renovated home in the middle of GU district is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Spokane. This restaurant isn’t flashy. In fact, if you didn’t know where it was, you might walk right past it. That is what Clover is all about. They do not focus on anything unnecessary, they focus on doing the basics really, really, really well.
Throughout our visit, we were absolutely spoiled by Executive Chef Cody Geurin. Cody has been at Clover for the past five years, and in 2017, was promoted to his current position. Cody has a knack for flavors combinations, and served dishes that were, for lack of a better word, genius.
Our journey began with three of Clover’s homemade sodas. We tried the cream soda, which comes in peach, raspberry, vanilla, and orange flavors, the cucumber lemonade soda with rosemary, and the ginger mint lime soda. All three were light and left your tongue tingling.
For our appetizers, we were served the charred octopus and the savory Dutch baby. The brightly colored octopus dish consisted of green olive puree, watercress-fennel salad, grapefruit, orange, olives, spiced candied pine nuts, and chorizo chips. This dish had so many different flavors and textures, making every bite a different adventure.
But, the star of the day was the Dutch baby. I was only familiar with the sweet version of the dish before, so I was a little hesitant to try it. But oh boy, I am a believer. The Dutch baby served as a bed for the juicy merquez lamb sausage, roasted delicate squash, piquillo chilis, braised winter greens, cotija cheese, and quail egg. All the components came together in perfect balance of sweet & savory, and it is one of the most unique dishes that I have ever tasted.
Next, we sampled two of Clover’s popular salads: the Northwest beet salad and the poached pear panzanella. The beet salad is a beet double feature, with pickled red beet and yellow beet puree. This dish was stunning and the beets were melt in your mouth fresh. The sweet pears and savory soaked bread of the panzanlla was the perfect combo, and ideal for those who oppose “traditional” salads.
After all those delicacies, Cody brought out the main course. Our first taste was the braised rabbit ravioli. I had never tried rabbit before, so again, I was skeptical. I should have known better because I absolutely loved it. The rabbit, wild mushrooms and fresh ricotta were surrounded by handmade sweet potato pasta and topped with more wild mushrooms, wilted radicchio, brown butter sherry sauce and pickled mustard seed.
On the heels of the pork tenderloin came the ora king salmon. Clover gets their salmon from a sustainable source in New Zealand, ensuring fresh fish year-round. The salmon is served apple-sweet potato puree and a savory rye bread pudding (which was so good!)
With beautiful fall colors and explosive flavors, the kurobuta pork tenderloin was another standout. Tender pork medallions were paired with barley wild mushroom fritters, smoked cauliflower puree, grilled radicchio, cranberry-chili relish, port-wine fig gel, and spiced candied walnuts.
Last, but certainly not least, was the matambre. The matambre is dish with Argentinian and Portuguese roots, and is a must-order. Let me break it down for you: juicy flank steak rounds stuffed with cured chorizo, pablano peppers and romano, and accompanied by fingerling potatoes, carrots, chimichurri and bacon cornbread. It was an absolutely delightful mixture of flavors, textures and spices, and it should be no surprise that this dish was the standout of the night.
You’re probably thinking “Wow, that’s a lot of food. Y’all are probably done eating now.” Although we may have had to loosen our waistbands a notch (or two), we are just getting to the best part: dessert! To round out our feast, we tried the pumpkin churro tartelette, which is a cinnamon churro tart with a light pumpkin mousse and a bourbon cider reduction. It was light, airy and tasted just like fall. Next, we tasted Liz’s chocolate cheesecake. The recipe is the owner’s, and after I devoured it, I wanted to ask her for it. Her rich chocolate cheesecake, with a chocolate wafer crust, was topped with raspberry coulis, whipped cream and candid cocoa nibs.
I left Clover blown away. Everything from the fresh, local ingredients to the impeccable presentation to the outstanding service was nothing short of perfection. Cody and his team have deliberately and thoughtfully executed every single dish on the menu, making this meal at Clover one of the best I’d had in a long, long time.
Clover (913 E Sharp Ave, Spokane, WA 99202 / 509.487.2937)