August 15 in Italy is Ferragosto, a holiday in which many Italians head to the beach and go to festivals featuring parades, music, food, and fireworks. Last weekend, Osteria La Spiga brought this festival off the streets and into its restaurant, and served up a whole pig as part of its party.
We hear a wide variety of opinions about Spiga, but can solidly state that they do this kind of event very well, setting up stations of street food (and wine and beer) in various parts of the restaurant—including the cozy back patio, where workers were grilling sausage, lamb skewers, and vegetables. Chef Sabrina Tinsley looked happy, surrounded by family while doling out treats like tortelli alla lastra and gnocco fritto. We loved the liver and other nibbles at the front bar, which was a great place to take in some live music. There were salads and such, but two favorites were in the back corners: some satisfied their sweet tooth eating bomboloni, while even more hovered around a table with truffled pasta that perfumed the room in a positively delicious way.
But while the truffles distracted the crowd, we made a couple of visits to the pig. Weighing in at about 80-90 pounds, it was roasted for about 14 hours. Unfortunately, none of the most fun parts was there (tail, ear, or anything on the bone), but the meat was mighty tasty. We joined a group of people at a big table on the patio, made some new friends, and while no one talked about fertility or ripening or anything related to the original meaning of Ferragosto, we did pig out—with a good time had by all. Thanks, Spiga!