Dal Pescatore has a 100 year history, operated by the third and fourth generation of the Santini family. The family still makes fresh pasta every morning with a cuisine that draws world wide attention and accolades. It has until recently been the sole holder of the Michelin Three Star rating in the entire Italy since 1996.
Nadia Santini became the first female chef in Italy to gain such top marks. With a comfortable ambiance, perfect service, this is one place to get a unique dining experience.
Where it is?
It is located about 60 miles from Milan in the rustic village of Runate, between Mantova and Cremona. This area in the Po valley with a great emphasis on culture and agriculture, is the heart of the Italian cuisine tradition and history.
What makes it the best?
It has been listed number 23 in S. Pellegrino’s World Fifty Best Restaurants in 2008. Dal Pescatore’s dining room is divided into a series of small intimate rooms. In addition there are two comfortable lounges with fireplaces for a drink before the meal. The spacing of the tables and lighting gives the impression of private intimacy, creating a perfect harmony to enjoy dining at the highest level.
The restaurant has a verdant look as it is filled with profusion of green plants, projecting right towards the picture windows overlooking the lush garden. It gives the appearance of dining out in the garden. Every dish at Dal Pascatore’s is prepared with the finest and freshest ingredients of the day. The menu changes with the seasons as well as with the availability of the freshest produce of that moment.
The cuisine has the additional best products of the Po valley like Parmesan cheese, hams and culatello as well as the salames of Cremona and Feline. Located close to Modena, it also makes generous use of its balsamic prized vinegars. With the Adriatic and Mediterranean lying on either side, it is no wonder Dal Pescatore has fabulous fish cuisine. They use the best herbs from the garden, seasonal fruits and vegetables which are readily available, fresh homemade pastas and bread.
The style of cooking here is much inspired by the rustic traditional farmland atmosphere of that area. The family is greatly innovative in their cuisine and always strives to improve without detracting from the traditional aspect in their cooking. It has fully understood the value of nutrition and ensures that their menu is a perfect balance of a wholesome meal. In some dishes, they have cut down on fatty butter and cheese but compensates it proportionately with the traditional flavors and tastes. With this innovative balance, they have fairly recently created a new dish Risotto of Catfish Filet and River Eel.
Two set of menus are offered, Menu d’Estate and Menu della Campagna, although you can have the tasting menu for small portion variety. They all offer the best in taste and value. This comes across evidently in the Pumpkin Tortelli, a signature dish, the pan fried Foie Gras garnished with pears and the Roast Pigeon with Port. The Risotto with porcini mushrooms, peas, asparagus, and fiori di zucca with a green pea sauce is another exceptional dish. Another excellent dish is the unpretentious braised beef in Barbera sauce, served with Polenta and whipped potato. The fish dish of Branzino in butter sauce served with asparagus, carrots and peas is highly popular. They serve in generous platter the best Italian cheese of aged parmigiano, gorgonzola, and Pienza cheese. For dessert there is ample to choose from traditional sweets and cakes to fresh fruits.
After the hearty lunch or dinner, there is the coffee or grappa served with cookies, and bits of coffee gelato with apricot jam. Of course, during the entire course of lunch or dinner one can not ignore the best wine pouring into your glasses. Dal Pescatore has an extensive wine list of the best wines and liquors from Italy and around the world. The wine cellar has evolved in quality and collection over the decades to being one of the most impressive in Italy. It has a vast selection of wines ranging from Italian sparkling wines, wines from California, Spain, Germany, France, Australia, Austria, Lebanon and Hungary which are all stored in this impressive cellar.
The Dal Pescatore also has special menus for occasions such as Easter and New Year’s eve. Reservation is necessary ahead of time since it is packed at all times.