Between them, chef Charley Snadden-Wilson and wine guy Lyndon Kubis have CVs that read like laundry lists of some of Melbourne’s favourite eating and drinking spots.

Snadden-Wilson has worked at Etta, Embla and the now-closed Ramblr. And Kubis’s mini wine empire includes The Hills, The Alps, Toorak Cellars, Milton Wine Shop and The Moon.

And they’ve just added a new wine bar to the stable: Clover on Swan Street in Richmond, just next door to Future Future.

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The approach is by no means new to the duo – natural pours and simple but superbly executed small plates are what they’re both known for. But at Clover, they’re flipping the script somewhat with a classical European-inspired offering. The former light-fitting store is now a charming 50-seat dining room accented with timber furnishings by West Wood.

Alongside young and experimental drops, you’ll find old-world wines and back-vintage bottles that were embracing lo-fi techniques long before they were cool. The wine list spans Australia, France, Italy and Germany. The menu, on the other hand, is a bit more focused.

“I guess you’d say the food is French-leaning, but as a Kiwi living in Melbourne, it’s very much a melting pot,” Snadden-Wilson tells Broadsheet in the lovely brick-lined courtyard.

The commonality is that it’s all cooked over a Brick Chef live-fire oven and grill that Snadden-Wilson has built into the open kitchen. “We’re not a barbeque restaurant by any means,” he says. “Cooking things over direct heat plays a part in the food as a seasoning more than anything.”

It’s used to slow-smoke tomatoes, served with white asparagus, anchovy and smoky garlic aioli, and to gently steam leeks cooked en papillote and dressed with fresh sage and macadamia cream. “Technically it is a labour-intensive dish but it’s seemingly very simple on the plate, which I appreciate.” In true French fashion, the suggested pairing is a honey-spiked white tin loaf that’s baked in-house daily.

193 Swan Street, Richmond

Tue to Wed 5pm–10pm
Thu to Sat 12pm–11pm
Sun 12pm–5pm