HEMINGWAY'S FAVORITE

Ernest Hemingway thought that the best restaurant in the world was in Madrid, Spain — Restaurante Sobrino de Botin (17 Calle de los Cuchilleros; 011-34-91-366-4217), mainly because of its extraordinary roast suckling pig. He had lots of company: Botín has been thriving on the same spot since 1725, and they’ve pretty well perfected the dish. It’s cooked in a ceramic, wood-burning oven that turns the skin mahogany brown and crisp. The meat beneath takes on a velvety texture that makes a knife unnecessary, and it comes with wonderful fried potatoes and garlicky spinach accompanied by either white steins of Spanish beer or a great Rioja wine.

If you have a hankering for roast pig but can’t make it over to Spain any time soon, there is a branch of Restaurante Botín (2101 Coral Way; 305-856-6030) in Coral Gables, Florida. Or you could try these very good places this side of Iberia, all of which serve the dish (though not necessarily every night).

Taste roast suckling pig at these stateside restaurants.

LOS ANGELES: Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave.; (323) 938-1447
MIAMI: Casa Juancho, 2436 S.W. Eighth St.; (305) 642-2452
NEW YORK: Pico, 349 Greenwich St.; (212) 343-0700
SAN FRANCISCO: Restaurant Lulu, 816 Folsom St.; (415) 495-5775
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Cafe Atlantico, 405 Eighth St. N.W.; (202) 393-0812