David Rabin On Cafe Clover’s Chic Healthy Eats And The Lambs Club Possibly Opening Downtown

by Dena Silver

Well-heeled industry insiders have been angling to snag a reservation at Cafe Clover, which has already hosted events hosted by the likes of Eva Chen and Sarah Jessica Parker. While that might be enough to have you reaching for your phone and checking your calendar for availability, there’s even more good news. This West Village restaurant, which is the brainchild of partners David Rabin, Kyle Hotchkiss Carone, Joe Dowdell, and Jeff Kadish, along with chef David Standridge, has a healthy twist: everything on the menu has been vetted by Peak Performance nutritionist Mike Roussell, PhD. That creamy risotto topped with shaved black truffles? It’s made with lentils instead of rice. And that savory lobster dish? It’s cooked in coconut oil instead of butter. By all means, pig out; you’ll barely notice that you’re eating healthy. Need more convincing? Rabin, also the brains behind The Lamb’s Club and Jimmy at the James, sat down with your Daily to tell us what he prefers to order and much more…

Where did the name Café Clover come from?
We agonized over the name for a bit! We really loved the name Ten Downing, which was the name of the previous restaurant, but we obviously couldn’t keep it. Instead we decided to go with the name of something found in nature; something that sounded replenishing. We really loved the name clover, and the alliteration of Cafe Clover worked really well.

Has this spot hosted any haute fashion events?
During Fashion Week Eva Chen did a dinner for the launch of Lucky Shops, and then Vogue did a dinner for Sarah Jessica Parker to celebrate her collaboration with Tome.

Events aside, which other fashion folks have stopped by?
Alison Loehnis
from Net-A-Porter, had an informal dinner for 10 people here. We’ve also had Hamish Bowles stop by with Peter CoppingEmma Wyman, the fashion editor at Dazed and Confused, is the daughter of a friend of mine. She came in recently with a cool group of friends. It’s become readily apparent that everyone’s stalking who’s been eating here on Instagram and Twitter; that’s how the word has gone out in the fashion community.

Which Cafe Clover partner is the most fashionable?
Vanity Fair says it’s Kyle [Hotchkiss Carone], so I’m going to give it to Kyle. I trust Vanity Fair; I’m not an expert.

Everything on the Cafe Clover menu has a healthy spin to it. How did that concept come about?
We felt like downtown was missing a very stylish room that served very healthy food. It was a niche that needed to be filled. But not in an over-the-top or preachy way. From there we started to build the menu with food you would recognize, but prepared two notches healthier than usual.

What’s one dish you crave on the menu?
I love the ivory lentil risotto; it’s the one dish I tend to tell people about. That and the kale salad with blood orange.

And your tipple of choice?
The Tropic Thunder! When our bartender Johnny Swet came up with this drink, I knew it would be good. It’s made with rum, pineapple syrup, lime, and a coconut water ice cube.

So, the media world is dying to know: Is The Lambs Club planning on relocating downtown?
It’s frustrating, but we’re still trying to find a right space for it. I would love to do that downtown.

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