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“The finest restaurant in Italy”
Review of Dal Pescatore

Dal Pescatore
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed 26 October 2015

Located in the heart of the country ~Nadia Santini and her family run the most amazing restaurant where she prepares the most outstanding food i have ever eaten - sheer genius. A must for anyone visiting Italy

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1  Thank 773Gareth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 - 24 of 742 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2015

My wife and I dined at Dal Pescatore on September 18, 2015. The restaurant had been recommended to us by friends who had eaten there a year earlier during a trip to Italy.

The location of the restaurant is somewhat unusual. It's in a small village half an hour from Cremona, where we were staying - about a 45 Euro taxi ride each way. The building and grounds are beautiful - modern but very tasteful and understated. We were greeted at the door by a member of the family - Alberto Santini. After a short wait in one of the "waiting rooms", where we were served two complementary appetizers, we were escorted to the dining room and were given a very nicely located table.

We chose the "Menu d' Estate", eight courses selected by the restaurant. We were given excellent advice on wine selection, and we began with a half-bottle of white followed by a half-bottle of red. The timing of the presentation of each course allowed for proper appreciation of the beauty of each dish and the complexity of flavors.

The Menu d' Estate changes monthly, or with the season.

A dinner there is not "fast food". We arrived at 7:30 and did not leave the restaurant until 11. When we departed, the family gathered at the door and presented us with a menu that each had signed. We met and were photographed with three members of the family. The evening was exceptional. The cost is just a number, but the experience was unforgettable.

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2  Thank P Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2015

We made a detour here for lunch on our way from Lake Garda to Parma. It is a mission to get here, but once at the restaurant it is an on oasis of quiet elegance.
We had the degustation. My only negative comments are that it was less innovative than the other Michelin star restaurants we have eaten at and there was a heavy influence on pasta type dishes, 3 of 7 dishes.
That said the food was excellent and the presentation amazing. Every course was a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. My favourites were a lobster terrine and the most lovely piece of sea bass I have ever had, served with tiny pieces of summer fruits.
We had two half bottles of wine and a glass with dessert. At 450E it was an expensive afternoon but a very memorable one which we recommend if you are into fine food and wine.

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Thank Judith042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2015

We were fortunate to visit a total of three Michelin-three-star restaurants in a short trip to Northern Italy (the other two being Osteria Francescana in Modena and Da Vittorio near Bergamo). Each has its own distinct characters and we enjoyed every meal tremendously, but Dal Pescatore lingers in memory as a combination of being down-to-earth and perfectly professional.

It is truly a family affair here, now in their third- and fourth-generations (and the first member of the fifth just born a year ago, as proudly announced on their website). Alberto, the younger son, who is also the sommelier, greets and looks after you the entire meal. Both Nadia and Antonio came out to say hello. Even from a very brief encounter, we could feel such warmth radiating from Nadia, who was voted the best female chef of the world by Restaurant Magazine in 2013.

As hinted on their website, the cuisine is firmly based on traditional Italian and yet they strive to keep up with modern techniques. We opted for the tasting menu (Primavera, which I think implies it rotates at least seasonally). The list of dishes is provided below, which I could not find on their website. I do not wish to violate the owners' wish to keep the dishes not widely advertised if it is indeed their preference, but I think the readers here would benefit from getting some specifics.

Lobster terrine with ossetra caviar and pickled ginger,
Potato gnocchi, tuna roe, pea cream, and crunchy fennel,
Saffron risotto vialone nano, fried artichokes and balsamic vinegar tradizionale,
Pumpkin Tortelli,
Seabass with parsley, anchovies, salty capers, and Tuscan extra virgin olive oil,
Saddle of venison with cabernet sauce and blueberries

There is a slight emphasis on fish and seafood, in keeping with their name and tradition. We were glad to see the Italian dishes in a top restaurant - the sparkling yellow of the saffron risotto presented at the perfect temperature lingers in my memory, and Torelli di Zucca is their signature dish.

I translated the above items directly from the copy of the menu we received at the end of the meal. I had complemented on how beautiful the menu looked at the beginning, and Alberto made sure I left with a "life size" copy of the menu the cover of which is newly designed by artists every few years. Back home, I noticed a brief family history written on the back of the menu in three languages. If you would like a copy, be sure to ask.

For the tasting menu, we paid 175 Euros each, which includes tax, so it is a bargain compared to the comparable meal in the U.S., especially now when the dollar is strong against Euro. The wine list is extensive but also a bit expensive compared to other European establishments - thankfully we are not big wine drinkers. I had a flute of spumante aperitif (Annamaria Clementi, 20 Euros) and a glass of French white (45 Euros).

The location could be an issue for some. It is sort of in the middle of nowhere. We took the train from Milan to Piadena, where we had a little trouble finding a taxi for a 10 Euro ride to the restaurant. An alternative is to arrive at the even smaller town of Canneto Sull'Oglio. If you are driving, you can probably find it easily. The directions are on their website.

In summary, if you want a three-Michelin star experience at an establishment that feels like someone's home where you are served an impeccable meal deeply rooted in Italian cuisine, this is the place for you. The Santini family has done a marvelous job. For nearly a century.

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1  Thank totrotistolive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2015

Our guidebook of choice is Lonely Planet, even though we are seniors now. However we had seen a documentary that included coverage of Dal Pescatore. We decided to go to the restaurant, since we were going to Venice and it was close. It was totally amazing from start to finish, from the email interactions with Alberto regarding making a reservation, to meeting the absolutely lovely chef (winner of best female chef in the world) at the end of the evening. We have never been even to a 2 star Michelin guide restaurant, let alone a 3 star. This may be the only time we will ever go to this kind of restaurant, but we will never forget it. The experience from start to finish was at a whole different level than anything that we had previously experienced. We have eaten many great meals in dozens of countries around the world in amazing settings, but this one was unique. You knew you were in a high-level place right from the first minute. However we never felt out of place, or uncomfortable even though everyone could see that we were not the type of people who normally eat in these types of places. The sense of family history, the grounds with the heritage of family, the respectful staff, and local food, it all permeates the experience, along with being just an extraordinary food experience. We do not have any idea how it compares with other 3 star restaurants. However in the documentary we watched, this restaurant, and the chef in particular, radiated a kind of love for local food and cooking that was palpable, And the evening, along with meeting the chef was even more fulfilling than we could have hoped.

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2  Thank Gboots49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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