Guest Post: Hungry Games: Green Pig Bistro, Arlington, VA

Last Saturday night was a much needed girls’ night out with a group of my besties. EDO got really excited when we told her we’d venture out of the District and go to Arlington (gasp!), so she booked a reservation at the Green Pig Bistro, located at 1025 N. Fillmore Street, not too far from the Clarendon Metro Stop. We put on our brown flip-flops and walked past some Starbucks to try out this new spot.

The restaurant had a very pleasant, relaxed ambience. We started at the bar while we were waiting for everyone from the group to arrive. Most of the girls ordered some of the Virginia wine specials for $5 a glass and found them enjoyable. The bartenders were very nice and described some of their favorite items on the menu for us. When everyone arrived, we were seated in the dining room. It was a light, open space with a bit of a rustic feel and a view of the open kitchen.

I was very excited about the choices on the menu. It had quite an assortment of foods that I don’t regularly see—animals of all kinds, from the land, the sea, the sky, the farm—rabbits and snails and octopus, oh my!

We started with several appetizers and snacks /sides (small plates). My favorite was the green gazpacho ($14) made with tomatillos, jalapenos (it was not spicy), green apples, avocado, topped with lump crab and frisee. It was delicious. I’m still thinking about it.

I liked the fried pimiento cheese ($5), which were light and crispy on the outside, and beautifully melty on the inside.

The cornbread with maple butter ($5) was also quite good—very moist and sweet.

My friend Very Curious George ordered the tomato salad with watermelon, basil and goat cheese ($11). She loved the creamy feta cheese underneath the salad and remarked that people do not use enough watermelon in food.

We also had the loco corn ($6), a grilled corn on the cob, spread with a bit of mayo, and sprinkled with cheese (I think it was parmesan, but I could be wrong). It was fine, but I’ve tasted better. I’m spoiled by the grilled corn at Café Habana on Prince Street in NYC, which is what I had in my mind when we ordered.

My friend Rock had the pig taco ($7), pork, red cabbage and avocado in a corn tortilla (not pictured). I would order it again.

For the entrees, I was very excited about the rabbit cake ($22), especially after the bartender confirmed that I should try it. He told me it was a patty of rabbit meat, held together with a bit of mayo, and that it was one of his favorite items. It was a beautiful looking dish served over wax beans. The menu said it had peach and fennel, neither of which I remember eating. Maybe it was in the sauce or in the rabbit cake? The meal was ok, but it was nothing special. EDO thought the rabbit tasted like a turkey burger. I think I agree.

EDO had the trout ($21) served with leeks, cucumber and charred tomato quinoa. It too had a beautiful presentation. She really liked the leeks. Otherwise, her meal was good, but not outstanding.

Rock and Woo ordered the Cornish hen ($19) served with cornbread stuffing, turnips, and chard. This was my favorite of the entrees. The bird was nicely cooked, but the stars (according to Woo) were the cornbread stuffing and the root vegetables.

Pants did some crazy, spur of the moment ordering for her entrée. She went with two small plates, including the snail ($8) and the duck liver gravy poutine ($9). I kind of cringed when I heard it…snail and liver! (I did not know what poutine was, I don’t typically like liver, and I’ve only had snail once before). I was quite pleasantly surprised. The snail was served in a creamy sauce with mushrooms over thick toast. They are very similar to mussels, and I really liked this dish.

The duck liver gravy poutine turned out to be an awesome plate of French fries smothered in melted cheese and gravy. Delicious!

Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience at Green Pig Bistro. They have quite a few really wonderful appetizers and small plates, but their entrees are somewhat underwhelming. The servers were very friendly and attentive and the restaurant had a nice atmosphere (I loved the wall of bookshelves filled with cookbooks that I noticed on my way out). I would eat there again for a wine and tapas type meal.

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