It’s not often where the name of a restaurant instantly grabs my attention, but Logan Circle’s The Pig had me by the title alone. The newest member of the Eatwell DC family, it is also the group’s most distinct, separating itself from sister eateries Logan Tavern, The Heights, and Commissary.
Incorporating a nose-to-tail approach, The Pig’s menu is a carnivore’s dream. While stepping inside the restaurant, an aroma of barbecue drifts through the air across the 80-seat dining room. Chalkboards hanging up across the space inform diners where today’s ingredients are sourced, including the restaurant’s farm in La Plata where they grow their vegetables.
The Pig does not accept reservations and only sits parties if everyone is present, but the wait wasn’t bad for the four of us on a Friday evening. We put our name down and headed across the street at Churchkey for a few libations.
The Pig’s menu mainly revolves around small plates, but they also feature some entrees as well. We debated ordering a charcuterie plate, aptly titled The Pig Platter, but instead went right for the main event.
Our first dish was the braised cheek, a popular item amongst diners according to our waiter. After taking a bite, I could see why. Sitting atop a bed of stone grits, and topped with Spanish sofrito, the cheeks were delightfully tender. The texture was similar to that of brisket, and of course a knife was not necessary.
Up next was the charred belly. As good as the braised cheeks were, the belly might have one-upped it by just a nose. Succulent and smoky, the fatty piece of belly was complemented with a rich celery root puree, watermelon jam, and pickled rind. Both dishes thus far were stellar, but the smokiness of the belly tipped the scales.
We took a reprieve from the pork and ordered their heirloom tomato farm salad. Featuring tomatoes grown from their La Plata farm, the salad was complemented with basil-goat cheese mousse as well as olive oil-poached tomatoes. It was a light and refreshing course considering what lay ahead.
And that brings us to the buttermilk fried chicken. Listed as a supper item on the menu, this was indeed a full entrée that was split between the four of us. And just because it’s a protein other than pork doesn’t mean it’s an afterthought from the kitchen. In fact, the chicken was surprisingly one of the meal’s highlights.
Situated atop Thai chili gravy and collard greens, and complemented with a pair of herb biscuits, the chicken was crisp, juicy, and had a nice kick thanks to the gravy. For a place that specializes in all things pork, the fried chicken is a worthy contender.
Of course, one has to order mac and cheese at a place like this, and it did not disappoint. Featuring a truffle crust, it added a little crunch to the rich side dish and really went well together with the fried chicken.
The herb gnocchi, which was prepared with truffled corn and topped with crisp pork belly, was another solid dish although it was a tad too salty.
Just when we thought we had enough, we ordered the wild boar ragu as our final dish of the evening. Prepared with pappardelle and Pecorino cheese, the pasta was soft and delicate while the ragu added some heartiness to the dish. It was another hit amongst the table.
Overall, The Pig was a home run. Not only were the prices reasonable, but our waiter provided outstanding service – breaking down each dish with the ingredients used, how they’re prepared, as well as offering some helpful suggestions. We would definitely come back not only to explore more of the menu, but also to be surrounded by that enticing aroma. Oh, and to order more of that charred belly, too.