The southern Twin Cities suburbs generally get a raw deal. The independent restaurants tend to be of the neighborhood pizza joint and pub variety. Nothing wrong with that, but there’s an appetite for something more.
The Clover delivers. Yes, on a Saturday afternoon they were playing Bingo to raise money for youth sports. And, yes, there are TVs everywhere in this modern version of a sports bar. But then you order beer-battered crispy smelt as an appetizer, and it comes out piled high on a platter and topped with a sprinkle of spicy pickled vegetables.
How about harissa-lime brussels sprouts topped with curry aioli? Fantastic.
The main event here is the house-smoked roast beef. Giant roasts sit in the smoker for six hours and are thinly sliced. There are five very creative sandwich options. You can get traditional beef with horseradish and banana peppers on a caraway salt bun, which reminded me of the legendary Beef of Weck you’d get in Buffalo, New York.
The RB is swimming in a pool of house-made Cheez Whiz, with roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. You can get a roast beef reuben topped with kimchi instead of sauerkraut, too. All come with these really cool fries that are more like curved, skinny potato wedges.
The Clover is a bar and, of course, has a burger. This one has almost a homemade feel to it. It’s a coarsely ground mix of chuck and short rib with American cheese, and is meat-forward, if that makes sense. The single almost had too much bun—the ratio wasn’t quite right—so I’d recommend going for a double and sharing with a friend.
The culinary team behind St. Paul and Edina’s Pajarito runs the Clover, and you can see the influence those chefs bring. The service here was incredibly friendly, and this is the kind of neighborhood tavern we all wish we had close to home.
14845 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount, 651-448-2220, theclovermn.com