Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Pig

The Pig, located in Logan Circle, is a nose-to-tail restaurant featuring a menu that blends a culinary experience in American Southern with influences from Italian and Asian cooking. Whole pigs are crucial to the menu’s philosophy and are sourced from Eco Friendly Farms in Virginia. The menu is mainly designed around sharing plates with prices ranging from $4 to $14.  Closest Metro is Dupont Circle or McPherson Square.

The highlight of the menu are The Pig Platters, showcasing house cured meats, house pickles, condiments, local cheese and artisanal breads. Supper plates are also available for those less inclined to share. The diverse menu also features other locally sourced ingredients from organic farms such as: Dragon Creek in Virginia for specialty fish; Irwin Mushrooms in Pennsylvania; Trickling Springs in Pennsylvania for eggs and dairy; and most notably, EatWell DC’s very own EatWell Natural Farm in La Plata, Maryland.

To support Dining Out For Life, we headed to The Pig for dinner as they were contributing 25% of each diner's total bill towards the charity.  We had 6pm reservations and were early enough to get a great table by the front windows.  Our server, Kyle, greeted us warmly and gave us his spiel of the menu layout.  He recommended we order 2 - 3 dishes each to share.  But first, we ordered drinks. The Pig features eco-friendly wines, small batch bourbons and craft cocktails.  I chose This Little Piggy - a tropical cocktail made with Pritchard’s Crystal Rum, papaya, pineapple juice, and lime.  I loved the chunks of papaya in it, and this drink was fitting for the lovely Spring weather we finally have in DC.  Keith ordered a Virginian amber lager called Devil's Backbone, which he enjoyed.

Being that plenty of pork was on the menu, we decided to start off with a couple lighter dishes.  First, we shared a salad of Bacon & Burrata.  With maple bacon, arugula, baby chard, roasted grapes, almonds, and a garlic-thyme vinaigrette, this salad was refreshing and very delectable.

Next, we shared the Hamachi Crudo topped with strawberry relish, mint, crushed pea vinaigrette, and sea salt.  The fish was cut nice, however the peas were whole and had a weird taste in my mouth with the herbal combinations.  But that was probably just me, as I am not the biggest fan of peas to begin with.

I really wanted to try the Southern Shawarma, and was surprised by the large portion that arrived.  Keith took one half and I took the other.  This sandwich was very flavorful and ended up being my favorite dish of the night.  The pulled pork was tender and was further 'porkified' with the addition of bacon.  Pimento cheese, fries, and a sweet & sour carrot slaw were also packed into the flatbread to make a great Southern spin on this Turkish sandwich.

As a side dish, we picked the Mac & Cheese that was classically baked with a truffle crust.  The serving size was a little small compared to everything else we received, but we did not mind as we had plenty more dishes to eat.

From the heavier "Pig" side of the menu, we ordered the Berkshire Cheek.  Peach braised tender meat of the pig cheek were topped with smoked peanuts and placed on a bed of mustard greens and grits.  I liked this dish very much too.  The meat was slightly thicker and a more intensely flavored version of the pulled pork from the shawarma.  It was delicious with the creamy grits, and the peanuts gave an extra crunch that contrasted textures nicely throughout the plate.

Our server, Kyle, checked in on us as he knew we ordered a lot of food.  He almost convinced us to skip on the Bratwurst, but Keith really wanted to try the veal & pork sausage along with the warm bacon potato salad.  This German inspired dish was a transition from the other Southern-style dishes we had, but not as much of a standout.  The potato salad did have a nice mustard flavor, and I appreciated the use of thick-cut fingerling potatoes.

Finally, Kyle highly recommended we try the Porchetta Char Siu.  The belly meat is layered with a Chinese barbeque glaze, and then rolled and pan-fried to give a nice charred crust to the fatty meat.  It was sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and served with black turtle beans in a sauce studded with Chinese five spice to amplify that Asian touch.  The meat was a bit too fatty for my liking, but I did like the glaze and the beans.

Overall, we had a large meal for a decent price that is fit for pork-lovers of all kinds.  Service at The Pig was friendly, expeditious, and professional.  The ambience inside was a bit average, but the location is prime along the bustling 14th Street corridor in Logan Circle.  The Pig would be a good place to go with a larger group.

Total Rating: 4.33
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:
Bacon & Burrata
maple bacon, arugula, baby chard, roasted grapes, almonds, garlic-thyme

Hamachi Crudo
strawberry relish, mint, crushed pea vinaigrette, sea salt

Southern Shawarma
flatbread, pulled pork, bacon, carrot slaw, pimento cheese, fries, hot sauce

Mac & Cheese
truffle crust

Berkshire Cheek
peach braised, mustard greens, grits, smoked peanuts

Plus Keith ate:
grilled veal & pork sausage, warm bacon potato salad

Porchetta Char Siu
Chinese bbq glazed belly, black turtle beans, chili, toasted sesame, five spice

The Pig on Urbanspoon

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