Cow and Clover is quietly tucked away in Williamsburg on Kent Avenue in much the same way the word lover is oh so visibly tucked in the word clover—obviously hidden and, once discovered, impossible to overlook. The recently opened restaurant is poised to become a central figure in the Williamsburg food scene.
As the mercury drops outside, it is nice to know that there is a place that is serving food straight from the glowing hearth. The menu at Cow and Clover benefits from Chef Morgan Schofield’s adept usage of the two wood-fired ovens. Earning his stripes at il Buco, North End Grill and Blue Hill, Chef Schofield has brought a vision of banquet dining and seasonal cuisine to the front and center of this destination restaurant.
I would encourage a visit soon to sample the luxurious, wood fired delicata squash with almonds, ruby grapefruit and dandelion. The squash is smoked in the ovens after the end of the previous night’s dinner service and the result imbues the squash with a rich profile that only a seasoned wood oven can provide.
A perfect accompaniment to the squash’s sultry earthiness also comes from the hearth. The wood-fire roasted mussels with a broth of beer, whole grain mustard and spring onions is everything you would want from a dish of steaming mussels but could not yet imagine. The complex notes of the mustard, which were softened by the beer and balanced by the onion, re-imagines a dish that showcases mussels in a new and flavorful way that lingers warmly on the palate.
Moving on from the vegetables and appetizers, one would be hard pressed to choose between the menu regulars that have already become legends. The Piri Piri Chicken with swiss chard and roasted onions or the short rib burger with sharp cheddar and spicy aioli are already tempting pilgrimages. The pan-roasted halibut was buttery and salt-crackled from the fire and perfectly balanced over the comforting twirl of spaghetti squash.
And, of course, in NYC it is only half complete without a great drink. A superb cocktail, beer and wine menu will succor the thirst of any spirit at Cow and Clover. A twist on the Manhattan, “the Williamsburg” stands on its own along with a roasted jalapeño margarita.
While it is easy to get lost in the exceptional tastes composed between the drinks and cuisine, it is equally impossible to not take in the panorama of windows encircling the elevated restaurant which has a great view of the Manhattan skyline. It’s stylish industrial meets farmhouse welcome is laid out so well, with site lines from every seat preventing anyone from having to accept a sub-par chair.
Cow and Clover can claim the title of best destination restaurant in Williamsburg but will also win over the locals for repeat visits throughout the year. Whether it is just to taste the silky, addictive off-menu house made popcorn ice-cream, have a nightcap, enjoy a banquet dinner or enjoy the view from the rumored rooftop terrace that we hope to see in the spring, we are looking forward to many returns.
– Jeffery Owens
Photographs by Jeffery Owens for Socially Superlative
Cow & Clover
291 Kent Avenue