The Pig's The Thing

A Spanish cochinillo supper at Bellmónt in Coral Gables

Simplicity: Sometimes we crave it during the holiday season.

A leisurely Spanish meal of suckling pig at Bellmónt is the antidote to a frenzied calendar.

First, gather three or four friends and make a reservation for the traditional cochinillo feast ($180; 24-hour notice required).

Leather lines the chairs and walls at Bellmónt.

The new Coral Gables restaurant exudes minimalist style, but most striking is the pleasant, lingering aroma of the wood-burning oven. Owner and Madrid native Sergio Catalina Bellmónt shipped the nearly 15,ooo-pound brick oven from Spain; he likes things done right when it comes to the food of his home country.

Catalina Bellmónt chooses the youngest milk-fed pigs, which Bellmónt chef Martin Pintos roasts for five hours in a pan filled with only water, fresh thyme and a few pieces of garlic.

Restaurant owner Sergio Catalina Bellmónt displays the roasted pig before it's plated.

What results is a crackling skin that furls around delicate, aromatic meat. It arrives accompanied by roasted bell peppers, potatoes and tomatoes seasoned with nothing more than the subtle jus from the suckling pig. Nothing more than a touch of salt on the vegetables is necessary for this sumptuous meal.

Bread arrives with a lilting, fruity Arbequina olive oil. Gracious servers refill glasses with full-bodied but velvety 2009 Mesoneros de Castilla Ribera del Duero (included). 

The final step: Leave the table at Bellmónt nourished and ready to face the rest of your holiday to-do list.