The more I learn about Green Pig Bistro, the more I love it. The Clarendon restaurant just opened this past spring, and the list of reasons to love it is long: First, the location. Tucked away down Fillmore street, Green Pig is in the heart of things–but not, at the same time. The quieter street gives it a set-apart vibe in the midst of all the bustle. (With Screwtop wine bar and Trader Joe’s around the corner, this area of Arlington is quickly becoming my favorite stomping grounds!)
Next, great talent went in to the place. Chef and Owner Scot Harlan has worked in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsey, Thomas Keller, and David Bouley. The restaurant itself was designed by Erich Mele and Nicole Facciuto of the Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. This leads to another point: The ambiance. A collection of Le Creuset adorns the center shelves in decoration. The walls are covered with cookbook pages. The lights are low, with strategic spotlights beaming down. (It’s how I got decent photos in the dimness!) The dinnerware is eclectic, with a mix of fancy/classic plates and rustic ones too. The chef’s table in the middle was put together with a metal and stone base along with a top of repurposed barn wood.
I could go on and on. Okay, maybe I will. Green Pig’s philosophy is to use the entire animal to create food that is “hearty not heavy” and sustainable. I will say that while their logo is sharp and I love the design objectively, I just can’t think about it too much!
Chris and I went for one of our recent date nights, and it was a great place for the occasion. I would also love to get a big group together to sit at the communal table. Or, I’d happily just sit at the bar with a glass of wine and a “snack.” More on the snacks in a moment.
For an appetizer, we started with the pig tacos. We were at Green Pig, after all. Yum. I always love a little avacado and jalapeño combination.
There are “plats du jour” every night, and meatloaf was Thursday’s special. Chris chose this, and was quite pleased with his snazzy comfort food. Doesn’t the sectioned dish bring you back to childhood?
I couldn’t decide on one dish and so built a meal off of the snacks and sides areas of the menu. (Yes, there are snacks, sides, and appetizers. I love it.) I will say that if you want to emulate this route, it probably isn’t necessary to go with three snacks–plus split an appetizer! I was hungry though and wanting to try a lot.
First, the macaroni and cheese. I have been addicted to macaroni and cheese over the past few months. I love the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, Screwtop’s trio, and now this version has made it on to my personal mac ‘n’ cheese hall of fame list. Slightly crusty at the top, very creamy directly below, well-spiced, and a very large portion all just for $5! This is the mini dish I would choose if I was semi-hungry and lounging at the bar with some wine. Truly amazing.
My adventurous pick was the snail and mushrooms on toast. This was a creamy and light dish, not as in-your-face flavorful as the macaroni, but I liked it and felt affirmed in my choice since we were, of course, at bistro.
Finally, the spicy rock shrimp roll! My new love of lobster rolls and my continuous love for spicy things made this a winning combination. Another dish that was like a mini meal. I still would probably go with the mac ‘n’ cheese as my top pick though. It was just so hearty and wonderful!
The daily specials come with a nice dessert treat, which we certainly didn’t need, but it was a nice touch.
We are into you, Green Pig Bistro, and you better believe we will be back many times!