This post takes us back ‘several’ years to when I was stumbling around the Gonzaga University neighborhood looking for a good house party. This was not a difficult task. One of the easiest and most convenient houses was the Hico House which acquired its name simply due to its location behind the Hico gas station. I can’t say I spent much time here but enough to know what the place looked like, which was a dumpy college house that hosted one too many parties.
Fast forward to today. I had heard that there was an amazing new restaurant in Spokane named Clover (http://cloverspokane.com) that was organic and using local ingredients as often as possible. The other thing I heard was that it was located in the lovely and charming Hico House. This I had to see!
We arrived for our dinner reservation and as I walked up to the restaurant I was already impressed with what had transpired. This place had little resemblance to any place I had ever darkened the doorway of in college. There was a festive outdoor seating area with both a fire pit and live music to enhance the dining experience. I proceeded up the stairs and upon entering the restaurant I was mesmerized, this place was transformed, it was gorgeous!
We were seated outside next to a very large bachelorette party, which had the potential to completely ruin our evening, but before we could pass too many judgments our server, Brian Throop approached the table to welcome us and to tell us that the large party would not effect the kitchen’s ability to get our food to us. With all of our worries tucked away we ordered cocktails and an appetizer and sat back to soak in the wonderful Spokane evening.
Towards the end of our dinner my new friend Brian and I were taking pictures together and I had coerced him into giving us a tour of the property. We started in a small house on the back of the lot, where they prepared baked items, some gluten free, and all available for purchase to take home. The bakery produces all the baked goods for Clover and will be also supporting several other upcoming restaurants by the Proprietors, Scott McCandless and Marta and Paul Harrington.
Our tour moved on to the main restaurant where I was able to see even more of the character and transformation.
When I asked Brian what he thought about Clover he said he was proud to work there, he didn’t have to sell it, it sold itself and when you believe in what you are doing it is effortless. You could see the pride as he spoke of his experience as well as the management and ownership of Clover.
Beyond the wonderful ambiance and the extraordinary service I loved the quality of food. Clover and Chef Scott Schultz pride themselves on offering its diners quality organic food. They source locally when possible and get their beef and pork from Snake River Farms and their chicken and eggs from Hangman Valley Farms. In addition to the produce they grown onsite in the greenhouse tucked out back they also procure from Otis Orchards, which is located just North of Spokane.
I shared a grass-fed organic steak with my friend and it was delicious. The beef comes to Clover in primal cuts and they dry age them onsite for 14 days. I asked Brian a little too late what would be the healthiest option from the menu and he indicated that they would be happy to alter anything to make it healthier and that he would have chosen the fresh halibut, made to order without breading and a fresh mango salsa. After that description I almost wanted to order another meal!
I will definitely be putting Clover on my list of places to revisit in the Spokane area! I love to see these amazing places popping up around Spokane, offering local and organic food and a quality dining experience. You should however be prepared to pay a bit more than you would for a college kegger, oh and there are no red solo cups.
Clover is located at 913 East Sharp Avenue in Spokane, WA. (509) 487.2937