Harlan is aiming for a February opening for his restaurant, the Green Pig, which will marry modern technique with classic flavors at a price point that he hopes will be competitive with more corporate neighbors such as the Cheesecake Factory. If Harlan’s name seems familiar, you may remember the 31-year-old chef from his stint at the pastry stations of tony local stops the Inn at Little Washington, 2941 and Inox, though the well-traveled toque has also spent time in such New York kitchens as Daniel, Bouley, Danube and Gordon Ramsay at the London.
Harlan’s first restaurant won’t have such starry aspirations: He says he hopes to create a family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere that focuses on unfussy, nose-to-tail bistro classics and a budget-friendly wine program and list of classic cocktails. To achieve the latter he has enlisted cocktail maestro Andrew Shapiro, who manages the bar at Dino.
Harlan is keeping it local in the kitchen, too, where he has brought in Will Sullivan, 29, from New York to assist behind the stoves. The fellow Arlingtonian is returning home to help open the Green Pig after a run as executive chef at West Village Southern spot Low Country. The two chefs are still developing the menu, but Harlan says they will shy away from luxury meats and fussy dining trends: “Our motto is no baby veg, no micro greens, no loin.” The chef has also sworn off another au courant restaurant trend: fancy, house-made charcuterie. “It takes a lot of gall to think you’ll get even close to the soppressata some Italian family has been making for 10 generations,” explained the chef, “but I can make a mean bologna. I call what I do redneck charcuterie.”