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Garden District isn’t the only place in town with a whole pig’s head on the menu anymore. The Partisan opens today offering a $75 hog snout served with salsa verde, pickled peppers, and a pig ear salad. The platter is just one of the many things sure to make meat lovers giddy at the Penn Quarter restaurant, which adjoins the recently opened Red Apron Butcher.
In addition to the pig’s head, chef Ed Witt prepares a few more dishes that are big enough for a table to share, including a stew of cotechino sausage, smoked heart, belly, pickled tongue, pork bone marrow, and tenderloin with Calabrian aioli ($65) as well as a whole chicken—half roasted, half fried—with honey hot sauce ($38). The rest of the menu consists primarily of smaller plates, which range in size, broken down by beef, poultry, pork, and fish. While this probably isn’t the place you want to take a vegetarian, there are a number of vegetable dishes, like Brussels sprouts slaw and fennel citrus salad, too. (Check out the full menu below.)
Charcuterie is also a main attraction, with a sushi-style check-box menu that lets you choose between more than 30 types of charcuterie produced by Red Apron’s Nate Anda. The rotating selection is divided into categories like bright, spicy hot, smoky, rich and smooth, and herbal and floral. All the charcuterie boards come with tigelle, an Italian English muffin-like flatbread that’s pressed in a special iron to make it crispy on the outside.
Neighborhood Restaurant Group has an all-star team when it comes to drinks: Greg Engert on beer, Brent Kroll on wine, and Jeff Faile on cocktails. The three have each assembled beverage menus that are meant to pair with the meat. The wine selection includes more than 400 wines, with 50 by the glass and half-glass, including 25 on draft. The Partisan also has 17 beers on draft plus more than 50 bottles and cans, with an emphasis on sour ales. The cocktail list is 10 drinks strong, and several specialty spirits will be available on draft, including Willett Pot Still Bourbon, Michters Rye, Amaro Nonino, and Bittermen’s Bäska Snaps Malort.
The front dining room, with salami hanging overhead, will accept reservations, but the larger back area with a 22-seat bar is first-come, first-serve.
The Partisan, 709 D St. NW; (202) 524-5322; thepartisandc.com
Photo of Ed Witt and Nate Anda by Jessica Sidman