Tuscan Pig Italian Kitchen: Longview's Artisan Crafted Italian Food
Tuscan Pig Italian Kitchen, in Longview, is the only non-pizzeria Italian in all East Texas.
“So if you’ve ever had any Italian food in East Texas, it’s probably been out of a pizzeria,” said Rodolfo “Rudy” Stefano, Managing Partner of Tuscan Pig. “Our menu items are items that you’re not going to find in any other Italian restaurant…We looked at where you can get Italian food here in Longview, or East Texas, and we did something completely different.”
Rudy and his wife Miriam, are the owners of Tuscan Pig in Longview, and their journey began a couple of years ago at a farmer’s market.
“We started seven years ago as vendors at the farmer’s market and all we had were two items: lasagna and tiramisu,” said Rudy. “And somehow the Lord’s blessed us more and more every day and here we are. We’re blessed to be here.”
Rudy describes Tuscan Pig as Italian modern with a twist. And a lot of that twist is based on the Piney Woods.
“You have to acclimate to the area that you’re in,” said Rudy. “So here in East Texas it’s all about a lot of good food that’s going to stick to your ribs, and good cheese. So we decided to go with the pig.”
Rudy adds that “it’s all about what’s called Tuscan style pork. It’s shoulder meat that’s cooked down for about eight hours in tomato sauce, hence the name Tuscan Pig.”
Rudy and his wife created all the dishes on the menu, and they specialize in handcrafted pastas, lasagnas, pesto and more. All their sauces are made from scratch, including their pesto.
“It’s made fresh here with the walnuts and pecans and things like that,” said Rudy. “You’re not going to find pesto anywhere else like this in East Texas”
What’s their most popular item?
“Country lasagna!” said Rudy. “It starts out with our shredded pork at the bottom, our Tuscan style pork, bolognese sauce, béchamel sauce and and a flat sheet noodle. And then it’s a five-cheese mix on top. It’s real simple, but real hearty.”
The Country Lasagna is so popular that it’s been enjoyed by over 10,000 diners.
So why Longview?
Rudy was born in Italy, and when he was 6 years old, he left Naples, Italy and began his life in New Jersey.
“I left New Jersey and then went to California for 20 years,” said Rudy. “Then Good Shepherd Hospital here in Longview had an assignment for the company I was working with and they called us our for 90 days. Well that 90 days turned into 2 years, and at that point we decided to stay put. Longview’s just an amazing town and embraced us and loved what we do. And we decided to stay.”
In 2013, Rudy and Miriam started with pickup delivery and catering, as well as the farmer’s market. They spent two years building their clientele, and then in January of 2016 they opened the doors to Tuscan Pig restaurant. And, over the last 4 years, they’ve expanded from a 10-table restaurant to their current 125-seating restaurant with their wine room.
Tuscan Pig is located at 401 South High Street in Longview.
Their hours of operation are:
Lunch: Tuesday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner: Thursday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
For more information, you can visit Tuscan Pig’s website.
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