Changing the way we eat, one plate at a time
By Jillian Chandler
Photo by Jason Still
As you first step into Clover in Downtown Spokane, you will find walls adorned with photos of the history of the building and owner. The lighting is warm and the colors masculine. The perfect balance. The fixtures and décor are more contemporary and industrial, a reflection of owner Scott McCandless’ history in engineering. The space is intimate and inviting, from the cozy sunroom to the upstairs bungalow. During the warmer months, guests can choose to dine outdoors on the charming patio, which is filled with herbs and edible foliage, as the kitchen crew uses Clover’s landscape to garden.
A lifelong love of food was instilled in Scott starting at a young age, as he watched his mother lovingly devote her time to preparing farm fresh, locally sourced homemade meals “during the time of TV dinners.”
With a degree in engineering and economics, Scott began his career in the manufacturing industry as an industrial engineer, but due to the demands and constant relocation that came with the job, and raising a growing family, it was time to pursue his deep-seeded passion for food. Together with his wife Liz, who has degrees in both restaurant management and the culinary arts, they made the perfect team. Many years and business ventures later, today, the couple demonstrates their mission in everything they do.
When it comes time to order, the cuisine has Mediterranean influences with a focus and flare on Spanish and Italian fare; though they stay true to their American roots, offering locally purveyed meat dishes, such as lamb and duck.
Clover’s menu is always true to the season. The seasonings, vegetables, oils, vinegars, game, seafood, drinks, you name it; the kitchen gets all possible regionally and locally sourced and fresh elements for its dishes as they become available or in season. The bar is thoughtful, taking into account how it couples with the dishes, the season, and even the temperature outside.
“Our Beef Wellington has been requested so often, it is a staple, as well as our Clover salad with house-made candied pecans and vinaigrette dressing,” smiles Scott. “We have the same demand for our halibut, and with integrity can only offer it when it is in season. Our cobb salad has won the favor from those who claim to know what a good cobb salad is. We hold that kind of feedback in high regard.”
Executive Chef Bryan Doyle leads the culinary team. A “homegrown” chef hailing from Spokane, he brings 13 years of experience with him to the plate. “Chef Doyle is consistently challenging himself to balance out dishes with proper acidity, sweetness, salt and spices, and is incredibly open to feedback from a discerning tongue,” affirms Scott. “It is approachable for those who have never tried some of the more uncommon cuisine options out there.” Think scallops, lamb chops, duck, lobster, quail, octopus and more.
Scott and Liz credit Bryan, their core management staff and operating crew for showing up, working hard and adapting with all aspects that go into creating what is Clover’s reputation in town. Scott shares: “We are proud to provide our unique experience, our culinary expertise and our desire to leave one satisfied.”
913 E. Sharp Ave., Spokane, WA