Green Pig Bistro Aiming for Mid-March Opening

by ARLnow.com February 13, 2012 at 10:45 am 8,390 48 Comments

Interior construction is starting to wrap up at Green Pig Bistro, a new American/French bistro at 1025 N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon.

The restaurant, under the leadership of chef/owner Scot Harlan, is seeking to provide a selection of meat-centric comfort food that is at once familiar and challenging to suburban palates. Harlan, who used to work under celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, says his biggest investment will be hiring good people in the kitchen — while other details like glassware will be relegated to commodity status.

“I’d rather pay for labor and technique than pay for ingredients and glassware. I’m literally buying used plates from places,” Harlan told the Washington Post in November.

As of last week, Harlan said he was aiming for a mid-March opening. The restaurant, located in the old American Flatbread space, will have a small sidewalk seating area.


  • Ballstonienne

    Good, we don’t have enough good bistros around here.

  • TG30A

    He’d rather pay for labor and technique than ingredients?

    No thanks

    • School Dad

      I couldn’t agree more. Ingredients matter, I will not be going to this restaurant if he is planning to skimp on the ingredients and not use locally, humanely raised meats.

      • OldTimer

        A Frenched Steak-um with 2 Buck Chuck ain’t gonna cut it.

    • TheButcher

      They miss quoted him. He doesn’t want to pay for expensive ingredients like filet and caviar. Instead quality off cuts, like shoulder and belly, at a good price.

  • Adam

    Not sure how I feel about him skimping on the ingredients… Perhaps that is a misquote? I can see getting used flatware and whatnot, but flat out saying you are going short on ingredients in lieu of technique is garbage.

    • Tabs

      I agree. Yuk.

      And glasses matter, as does cleaning and rinsing them properly. I am so sick of paying $8 for a glass of detergent.

      • CourthouseChris

        Well, presumably the good people in the kitchen will have advanced glass rinsing techniques.

        • OldTimer

          Spit shine.

      • Regular Arlington Girl

        I don’t think he means he’s not going to clean things, that’s breaking a health code law. Instead, he’s not going to focus on buying cool glasses and intricate dining ware, but instead, buy standard, plain pint glasses and your run-of-the-mill plates.

        As for the ingredients, fiinnaallllyy, somewhere that isn’t hellbent on buying organic and charging $15 for a sandwich. Plenty of places don’t rely on pure-organic-local-small-amounts-trucked-in-daily ingredients for all aspects of a dish. Tomatoes brought in once a week in bulk and stored properly are just as fine as ones brought in daily, only they cut down on transportation costs and utter wastes of gas/time.

        I don’t mind places that serve you in fine dinnerware and perfect glasses that when dropped cost a place a buck to replace. But overpriced, over zealous food places around here are getting too much to bear. I just want a simple place I can grab a bite to eat without breaking the bank and without walking out going “What was I just forced to eat?”

        • ArlingtonChick

          I bet you the sandwiches will still be 15$. Studied under Gordon Ramsy = pricy food.

          • CourthouseChris

            Hopefully his studies under Mr. Ramsay didn’t include skipping out on creditors.

          • Cat

            I hope he doesn’t charge Gordon Ramsay prices, since apparently he didn’t even pay the minimal amount of attention required to realize that Gordon Ramsay values use of high quality, local ingredients far more than he values technique or amount of labor.

        • Swag

          All I want is food with names that I can pronounce (and don’t have stupid, gimmicky names)

        • VarietyisTheSpice

          I’m the kind that will pay a bit more to eat local, humanely raised stuff like eggs and meat – not so much organic but there are those that find that important as well. I’ll also enjoy a place for inexpensive, good food regardless (just won’t order the tortured chicken dish :o)

          This plce maybe will get it’s theme from the Frugal Gormet (anyone remember that show?). That was all about reviving “peasant food” with the techniques needed to make cheaper cuts of beef etc taste good. It is some of the best food, that peasant food.

          • Dan

            “Frugal Gormet (anyone remember that show?)”

            Thursday nights on WETA …

          • G Clifford Prout

            Oh yes. Remember it well. Always had a little fantasy about the Frug and his little kitchen assistant Craig. Oh, wait…

          • You may be in luck, if you’re a 15 year-old boy.

    • Aaron

      Fancy-pants ingredients did American Flatbread no good. The market for that stuff is more-or-less saturated in Clarendon alone, whereas I can’t think of a single place in that area with service that stands out. In fact, the places that I frequent on a repeat basis really have one thing in common: staff stability. Knowing that ownership/management actually treats their personnel like people lays the foundation for an enjoyable dining experience.

    • I read that more as “I don’t need trendy locally sourced grass-fed ‘Kobe’ beef” to have a great steak. You know what? I agree. Eating expensive ingredients doesn’t make you a foodie.

      Some of the best food I’ve eaten have been at hole in the walls. I’m paying for the food, not the wallpaper and giant useless statue by the entrance.

  • drax

    To get to the Green Pig, head up Glebe and take a right at the Greene Turtle and go past Rabbit.

  • Swag

    Author left out the most important detail: How many flatscreen TVs will it have?!?

  • Food lover

    That location is cursed. No foot traffic, no other nearby resturants or retail, no real drive-by traffic, and nowhere to park. It’s too bad places dependent on high foot traffic, i.e., restaurants, keep opening up there. Sadly, I think this joint will fail, too, regardless of whether or not the food is good or pricey or has second-hand plates and glasses.

    • Clarendon

      There is stuff in the same building down the street that seems to be doing well. Bakeshop, and Screwtop for example. I’ve never used it but I thought there was parking under the building too.

    • Tabs

      If they are more welcoming than Flatbread, they’ll do fine.

    • DK

      Bakeshop and Screwtop seem to be doing fine. The problem with American Flatbread was terrible planning and management, not to mention an attitude problem. Places on this block can do fine and keep in mind office space is moving in so there will be more of a lunch crowd.

    • Say what?

      Completely misinformed comment. For good food, people will travel. Look at H Street. What was once a destitute area is now a thriving foodie destination with throngs of NoVa residents making the trek.

      The main Clarendon strip is a short 1 block inward walk on Filmore. We’re not talking about Siberia here.

      If the food is good, it will thrive. BakeShop and Screwtop are killing it.

      • OldTimer

        Agreed. H St NE is great. Almost faster to get there than the 3 blocks I have to travel to Clarendon and get parking. Walking is too dangerous!

  • Well

    If the food is good it will not fail. Word of mouth is the best advertising.

    • Tre

      American Flatbread had amazing food and failed because they relied on word of mouth advertising.

      • Ballstonienne

        That’s not what I heard.

      • Southeast Jerome

        very liberal use of “amazing food”

  • TJ

    Arlington needs more Angry Birds themed restaurants.

    • Ballston


    • mr t

      could you be more specific? i can only think of putting the plates of food in a sling shot and hurling at customers. which i don’t think is a bad idea if you master it…

  • Sarah

    Honestly, that name is gross. What about “green pig” is supposed to sound appetizing or appealing? Kinda turns my stomach and makes me think of something spoiled.

    • CourthouseChris

      There’s a pretty famous and successful restaurant in Chicago called The Purple Pig; perhaps there is precedence for colorful porcine names.

    • novasteve

      I bet you don’t drink Sangria at all, right?

  • Green
  • ArlBallston

    I wonder if he got his plates from the Eleventh auction.

  • Congratulations Scot! I know your parents are very proud of you. Can’t wait to come and visit. We wish you the best of luck!

  • I’ll check it out. This area lacks good affordable French. Kudos on trying to not being expensive for the sake of being expensive. An amazing for $20 is much more note-worthy than an amazing meal for $200, because if I’m paying $200, it better damn well be nothing less than perfect.

  • MC

    “Meat-centric comfort food” – that alone is enough to assure I will never set foot in it. Naming a restaurant both “Pig” and “Bistro” is further indication is going to be phony and disappointing. Why do wanna-be restauranteurs who watch too much celebretity-chef TV shows assume such nonsense is “challenging”?

  • treemonkey

    first of all – some of the most presumptuous and overly-critical internet blowhards I’ve read. but i guess that’s what you find on sites like these. so most of you guys “wont step foot inside” because of some 2 paragraph write up? gimme a break.

    Secondly, the quote used in the write-up is misleading. By affordable ingredients, he simply means off-cuts of meat…that means it can still be local and/or organic. but its not gonna be the expensive ribeyes and ny strips, instead you’re gonna get cheaper cuts from the same local slaughterhouses…cuts most americans have never heard of (that’s why they are cheap), but they are still delicious…

    anyway – I suggest you dont judge a book by its cover as I promise you this place will offer an excellent dining experience.

    • Stephen

      Seriously, if people actually read the menu linked in the article they would see that Harlan plans to put the highest priority on serving excellent food. He isn’t serving Filet Mignon or Dover Sole on brand new bone china; he’s offering the customer an opportunity to discover new flavors in a comfortable setting. Personally I think his approach to tableware is innovative and his menu is one of the most exciting and challenging in Arlington. I can’t wait to try it out.

  • Henry Spencer

    I found a draft menu from last November, so they may or may not be on the same path. It does look somewhat challenging.

  • Yeah

    You could have just clicked on the link in the actual story to get to the same menu.

  • MaureenSL

    What’s happening with GPB? Opening soon?


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