A Small Restaurant in Pienza Makes Suckling Pig a Religious Experience
Located in the stunning hills of Val d’Orcia, between Montepulciano and Montalcino, Pienza is a charming Renaissance village that produces some of the best pecorino cheese in the country. Pienza also serves up Southern Tuscany’s best crispy-skinned suckling pig at family-run trattoria, Latte di Luna. The restaurant specializes in regional country cuisine, from honey-soaked pecorino cheese to house-made pasta with hearty wild boar sauce. Specials are seasonal, like succulent wild rabbit or roast duck with black olives. And during truffle season? No culinary holds barred.
I’ve been a frequent Latte di Luna devotee for the past six years, and rarely deviate from my favorite meal plan. I like to start with a glass of the house red and a small plate of mixed crostini. I’m a big fan of the “Tuscan” style, prepared with a chicken liver paté.
When dining with friends, I take advantage of the additional stomach space at the table and order another simple favorite: plain bruschetta made with toasted country bread, spicy new olive oil and rubbed down with loads of fresh garlic.
This next picture might just blind the biggest truffle fans out there. I adore truffles, and truffle season. This area of Tuscany is teeming with all varieties: black truffles, white truffles and summer truffles. A yearly truffle festival even takes place each November in the nearby community of San Giovanni d’Asso. If there are any truffle specials listed on the daily menu (like the truffle crostini below) take advantage of them!
The truffle theme continues with homemade tagliatelle al tartufo. The pasta is light and buttery; the perfume of the truffles fills the entire room. This dish is a head-turner. Each time I order the pasta (and make embarrassing “delicious food” sounds) I watch as two or more plates pass through the dining room within the hour.
The most famous dish at Latte di Luna is also their best. Maialino. Roast suckling pig. The dish is served steaming hot on a metal tray. This is the most tender, flavorful pork I’ve ever put into my mouth. It’s transcendent. The skin is roasted to absolute, deep-brown crispness. This dish could change the world; it could convert even the most vehement vegetarian.
Word of the restaurant’s incredible culinary success has already spread. During the high tourist season, call several days in advance to secure a reservation. When you arrive, be sure to tell Roberto that the ragazza bionda from Castelmuzio sent you, and that she says “hi.”
Latte di Luna is located at: Via San Carlo 2-4, Pienza
Telephone: +39 0578 748606
2010 Mileage Total: 41983