The menu at Spiga has evolves slowly, so many of my favorite dishes have remained in place for several years. The Lobster Bisque for example is a classic, though on this visit I opted for an appetizer that was new to me. The speck-wrapped jumbo shrimp and scallop app featured two succulent, tender morsels of the aforementioned shellfish wrapped in salty, slightly chewy speck, that served to highlight both he sweetness and tenderness of the fish, which were served atop a light salad garnished with dried tomato and avocado slices adding additional textural dimension to the dish.
Spiga’s wine list is also worth mentioning, as it is very fairly priced and well chosen for the menu. We started with a white, the 2008 Tommasi Il Sestante Lugana San Martino, a wine I have not seen stateside but have enjoyed in Italy. It was a wonderful pairing with the seafood salad. It’s sweet core of fruit was well balanced by a subtle mineral edge and the mouthfeel was soft and satiny. Delicious.
As we moved onto to our main course we needed to switch gears to red wine. I usually am not one for over-priced Super Tuscans, but finding the 2004 Sassicaia on the list for 215 Euros made the decision pretty easy, and it was after all the final night of a great vacation.
The Sassicaia was velvety and rich with sweet tannins buffered by bright but balanced fruit and a snappy core of acid that made it a wonderful foil for the food to come. One of Spiga’s classic items is their gnocchi in Gorgonzola sauce. These are lovely, light gnocchi, that retain a core of potatoey sweetness to contrast the subtle bite of the Gorgonzola. The dish benefits from the addition of a touch of spinach, and sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, helping to add color and textural contrast to the dish.
For my entrée I chose the pork two ways, a lovely set of medallions, wrapped in pancetta and partnered with a links of locally made sausage. The dish came draped in a light yet richly flavored reduction sauce. The pork was perfectly prepared, a hallmark of Spiga and one of the first things I noticed many years ago during my first meal here. They prepare a mean pork dish! No easy feat.
Another member in my party enjoyed a more typically Italian dish, the tagliatelle with shrimp and zucchini. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the sauce, a crustacean reduction, was rich, deep and satisfyingly clingy, adding it’s rich flavor to each bite. Just writing about this meal makes me want to start planning my next visit. It should go without saying, if you visit St. Martin make sure you leave at least one night for a dinner at Spiga.
And with that my look at wining and dining on St. Martin is complete. I expect to return in May for another visit to enjoy all the island has to offer, and indulge in the culinary pleasures of Grand Case. I’m talking with several people on the Island in hopes of organizing some great events so if you would like to join us please don’t hesitate to email me for more information.