The newest Neighborhood Restaurant Group debut, The Partisan, does things just differently enough to get noticed. The menu at the 100-seat restaurant departs from the typical appetizer, entrée, and dessert menu structure opting instead for a tiered clipboard divided by protein.
While most would tell you to skip straight to the page with pig dishes (including a full pig’s head), the Best Thing on the Menu is Corned Beef Belly with Braised Cabbage, Grated Pumpernickel and Pickled Mustard Seeds. The mustard seeds pop in a caviar sort of way and the meat is salty, smoky and tender. We can’t wrap our heads around what this would be like between two slices of rye with all the fixings of a Reuben.
Another top pick is from the charcuterie menu, which you fill out much like a form at a sushi counter. It’s Red Menace: A Calabrian spreadable sausage called ‘Nduja. During the day you can get it spread between two tigelles next door at Red Apron.
The beverage program at The Partisan is also worthy of some serious cheers and glass clinking. Three booze kings, including beer man Greg Engert, put their brains together to create a program most notable for what’s on tap. Draft beer is familiar, so what’s fresh is Jeff Faile’s decision to put four sprits on tap, including malört. I trust Jeff so whole-heartedly that I tried it. While I know I was supposed to make a face and compare malört to the likes of poison or prison time, it wasn’t that bad. It was like Fernet’s brutish cousin. Here are a few places to try it in D.C.
Furthermore, oenophiles can try one of Brent Kroll’s 25 wine drafts, or a rare wine offered by the glass thanks to new technology.
Click here for more photos from the meal.
Corned Beef Belly not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.