The Inlander asked a handful of local public figures to tell us about their Spokane Restaurant Week experience, and what they look for in local dining. Read more responses later this week and previous coverage here.
On the first night of Restaurant Week last Friday, Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn went out with two friends to dine at Clover. They recommend Clover’s signature salad for the first course, and the chicken — stuffed with pesto, fontina and roasted red peppers, wrapped in bacon and served on a bed of smashed potatoes with a lemon butter sauce — for the entreé.
For dessert, they decided to try all three options by ordering one of each and sharing. “While the Crème Brulée and Chocolate Ganache Tart were excellent,” O’Quinn reports, “the Orangesicle Cake was melt in your mouth delicious. Hands down, the perfect ending to a perfect meal.”
O’Quinn took the time to answer some additional questions from The Inlander.
What kinds of food did you love as a kid?
Growing up we were a “meat and potatoes” type family. Comfort food. I loved Cracker Barrel! My tastes have evolved over the years as I have traveled and lived in other parts of the country/world and as I look to be more health-conscious. (Monterey, California, changed me forever — I was exposed me to farmers markets and fresh seafood. Who ever thought I would like calamari and love artichoke hearts?!)
What kinds of restaurants and cuisines do you prefer today?
Today I prefer Mediterranean cuisine; bistros; heavy on the veggies/light on the meat — and everything fresh (not frozen, please)!
My general rule of thumb for restaurants: no chain restaurants (with a few local exceptions, of course!). When I travel, I will search out the local favorite, and I will always try anything — once.
How did you enjoy Clover?
The atmosphere was cozy. Loved the restored old house, classic paint colors, candlelight. Perfect location to catch up with friends — not too noisy. Serving staff were gracious, offered suggestions and very pleasant. ... Best cocktail menu in town! I typically stick to a safe glass of wine — can’t go wrong with a pinot grigio. However, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go with a recommendation by our server, a drink called a North Utsire. Not normally a gin fan, I was pleasantly surprised — this drink was refreshing and not too sweet.
What do you think of Spokane Restaurant Week?
Restaurant week is a great opportunity to introduce the Spokane community to our local restaurant scene. It is the perfect excuse to catch up with old friends over great food. For all those who think they need to go to Seattle to enjoy a unique dining experience, I encourage you to browse the restaurant week menus and try a new experience this week!
Yes, Doug Clark — I had to work out twice the next day to keep to my weight loss challenge, but it was worth every bite! Remember, it is not about deprivation, it is about moderation. Every once in a while it is fun to splurge!