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The Pig Opens in Logan Circle This Week
Repurposed wood, small-batch spirits, and plenty of pig: Meet the newest member of Washington’s ever-growing cadre of barn bistros.
By Jessica Voelker
Blown-up postage stamps dot the wall at the Pig, where a bar boasts keg wines, craft beers, and a collection of regional spirits. Photograph by Jeff Martin.
Comments () | Published May 15, 2012

You’ve seen this before: the repurposed barn wood lined with Americana-style artworks, and the cocktail list boasting regional, small-batch spirits and homemade bitters. A menu dominated by off-cuts of meat, and rustic cotton napkins—two vertical red stripes running up the side—folded atop every table. If you get a sense of déjà vu when you walk into the Pig, the new 14th Street spot from Eatwell DC restaurant group (Logan Tavern, Commissary, the Heights), it’s for good reason.

Call them the barn bistros. Mintwood Place, Boundary Road, Green Pig Bistro, and District Kitchen—it’s a style of restaurant so popular that the terms employed to describe it—nose-to-tail, farm-to-table, lumberjack chic—have been used to the point of meaninglessness. In fact, says Eatwell DC’s Josh Hahn, the owners of the Pig consciously stopped calling their new restaurant  a “nose-to-tail” eatery after deciding the phrase was too clichéd.

So what sets the Pig apart from its rough-hewn brethren? "The menu is 55 percent pork products," says Hahn, who adds that chef Garret Fleming and his team will break down whole pigs in house, then use as much of the animals as possible. "There are odd cuts of other proteins on the menu--venison instead of steak, rabbit liver, monkfish for our seafood homage. But the intense amount of pork is the biggest distinction. It's called the Pig, and I think we're delivering on that."

Meanwhile, the Pig's staffers are being trained to distribute shareable plates to create a smooth flow. "We're going to try to make sure that as food is served, it's coming out in a very deliberate and logical manner, so there's balance. If you're getting a heavy and rich pork dish, maybe the one behind it is something a little bit lighter, like a salad, so that you're not sitting there eating a plate of vegetables, and then ten minutes later you get meat, meat, meat." Along with shareable plates, the Pig will serve suppers designed for individual diners, but Hahn hopes that shared items will give diners incentive to try relatively out-there dishes. "We think the menu is comforting and challenging at the same time. And for six, seven, eight dollars, we're hoping people are willing to invest in the porchetta or the trotter ravioli and just give it a whirl. Because we think they'll be pleased."

The Pig is slated to open Wednesday for dinner, though Hahn cautions the restaurant group will not rush things if staff aren't ready. "If we want an extra day, we're not going to try to force the issue." [UPDATE: THE PIG IS NOW SLATED TO OPEN THURSDAY, MAY 17]

The Pig. 1320 14th St., NW, 202-290-2821; thepigdc.com. Open nightly from 5 PM to close. Look for a brunch menu to debut about three weeks from now.

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  • Mattfward

    I think The Pig is fantastic. New places always have kinks to work out. Lighten up...

  • Derek

    I've lived in DC for 13 years but I'm originally from a small town in North Carolina known for its pigs and barbecue. I was encouraged that The Pig was opening and couldn't wait to go.
    And then...I went. What a disaster. The menu leads you to believe that you're going to get something special and in a way, you do. It’s especially disappointing in a whole new way- you don't get what you expect AND you pay too much for it.
    I went there expecting, well I don't know, something akin to the Bacon Flight at Eola and this is what I got at my brunch visit.
    We showed up for our 12:30pm reservation and noted the awkward doorway and hostess stand set-up…moving on… I ordered the Cottontail cocktail to start as I'm a big drinker. This was basically carrot juice and huge chunks of ginger at the bottom of the glass- that needed a quick return to the bar with the suggestion that they never serve that again. Thanks to my brunch date who returned it very politely for me. Still optimistic, I ordered the High Tea. Now this would have been a good cocktail if they actually served a cocktail instead of a shot in a cordial glass for $9.
    We loved the menu and decided to order the stuffed French toast, sweet potato pancakes, smoked char and the spiced sausage, smoked bacon & eggs. Of course, it was only 12:30pm and they were already out of French toast. This was yet another sign this train was about to wreck my brunch. The sweet potato pancake impostor arrived at the table. It’s really just miniature sweet potato latkes and crème fraiche juice that sat under a heat lamp. On top of trickery- they were also burnt.
    Then arrived the smoked char…cute…someone decided to put little smoked pieces of salted char on top of grilled plums and those sweet potato latkes. Now out comes the spiced sausage, smoked bacon and eggs with the cheese grits. Yes! I’m getting excited. UNTIL…a nice family plate from Denny’s shows up. Yes folks, these people stole the regular nasty breakfast plate from Denny’s, put it on our table, and charged us $11 for it. I’ve had better bacon at local carry-outs and the mushed cornmeal they call grits was disrespectful. Not to mention their Whole Foods sausage.
    People- don’t get tricked. If you like pig and want someone to make it for you…you’re better off ANYwhere else but here.

  • Douglas Herbert

    Those aren't postage stamps, they're tax stamps.

  • Anonymous

    Garret is spelled with one "t"

  • campbler

    Thanks, we've corrected it.

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Posted at 06:10 PM/ET, 05/15/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs