Dal Pescatore

Canneto sull’Oglio, 48013, Cannetto sull’Oglio, Italy

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Dal Pescatore is situated in an isolated spot in the countryside east of Milan, between Cremona and Mantua, in the Parco dell’Oglio nature reserve. Owner and restaurant manager Antonio Santini’s grandparents opened a restaurant on this spot in 1925, the restaurant name changing to Dal Pescatore in 1960. The kitchen is run by Antonio's wife Nadia Santini, who has held three Michelin stars at the restaurant since 1996. Nadia was trained by her husband’s grandmother Teresa, who was running the restaurant when she married in 1974; Nadia had never cooked professionally before. Her son Giovanni works alongside her in the kitchen.

The restaurant has no rooms but if you want to stay locally there is a pleasant bed and breakfast not too far away called Muse 9. Dal Pescatore itself has an attractive terrace and a garden at the back, fully equipped on the evening of our visit with the family golden retriever (called Whisky) and a black cat (called Nerino) who appear to get on fine with one another. As we looked at the menu (whose tasting menu costs €170) we nibbled on some fine ham and looked through the wine list.

The latter extends to 17 pages and has choices such as Antinori Tignanello 2000 at €210 compared to a retail price of around €85, Gaja Brunello di Montalcino at €240 for a wine that costs around €100 to buy, and Jermann Vintage Tunina 2008 at €85 compared to a retail price of about €35. The dining room has generously spaced tables looking out to the garden. Bread is a choice of white, onion and nut rolls, and was perhaps the least interesting thing about the meal, seeming to me pleasant but somewhat tasteless (15/20).

The first nibble was a cold dish of aubergine and tomato with olive oil and a little basil and thyme, featuring dazzling-tasting tomatoes and just enough lemon to balance; such a simple dish, and yet perfectly balanced with superb flavour. The tomatoes had that great flavour that you only seem to get from ones grown in a Mediterranean climate (20/20).

The first dish of the menu was a very pretty one of cold lobster in champagne jelly, alongside marinated eel with pickled ginger, and caviar Baerri Royal. The lobster was very tender indeed and the dish attractively set out, but I wondered whether the components were such a great combination, even though each element was in itself excellent (19/20). Risotto with peas and porcini and sweet herbs was beautifully made, the peas in particular having a beautiful sweetness, the rice perfectly cooked, the porcini excellent. It is hard to imagine how this dish could be improved upon (20/20).

Occhi di lupo arrived as several small pasta loops filled with Burrata cheese, Bottarga (tuna roe), tomato confit and basilic sauce. The pasta here was rather hard in texture, and I found the fillings merely pleasant, a dish several notches down from the risotto (15/20). Sea bass with olive oil and mint was served with celery and leeks, the fish itself excellent, with great flavour and perfectly cooked, but the celery and leeks were even better, having utterly superb taste (19/20).

Frog legs with aromatic herbs were pleasant, but again seemed to me less exciting than some of the other dishes; there was little to criticise, but little to excite either (17/20). Kid with parsley and lemon was nicely prepared and was quite light, and well seasoned (17/20). At this point my wife had an excellent fillet of dentex (a fine Mediterranean fish a little like sea bass) with a cube of fried polenta (18/20).

Cheeses were all from Italy and in very good condition (18/20). An orange soufflé was technically good and served with passion fruit coulis, which I enjoyed very much (19/20). A torta with Amaretti biscuits, panna, coffee and croccante was even better, with fine chocolate and lovely texture (20/20).

Service was charming and efficient throughout, with the final bill coming to €215 each, which was far from unreasonable given the standard of much of the food. Overall, while I had some superb dishes (such as the risotto) I found the overall standard of the dishes more variable than my previous visit, so overall was 19/20 rather than 20/20 overall; this is proper 3 star cooking, but there were just a few dishes that slipped below the standard for me to be entirely comfortable with an overall score over 19/20. However, it was a most enjoyable experience, and the cooking reflects the lovely ingredients that can be found in this part of the world.

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    I went here in September 2012, and it was a mixed affair. A couple of very lovely dishes (one was magnificent), but too many bland ones. It seemed like some of these dishes had been created in 1985. Nevertheless, the staff was very hospitable. See full review and pictures at

  • Name unavailable

    Just had a fabulous meal at Dal Pescatore. For those who might be interested with some latest updates, here's my photo and text review:

  • Oliver Thring

    I visited Dal Pescatore in October 2008. A full review is available on my blog, Thring for Your Supper, at

  • Mark Thompson

    We dined at dal Pescatore on October 13, 2007 and enjoyed the 'Menu d'Autunno'. Many of my favorite restaurants are in rural or out-of-the way locations (Rochat, Roellinger, Troisgros, Marc Veyrat, Regis Marcon, and Al Sorriso). However, dal Pescatore might be the most remote, but it is an oasis of beauty, very fine dining, and extremely personable service. The venison in a Cabernet reduction was excellent. However, the best course was a warm pumpkin ravioli with freshly grated parmesan ... I would include this course in my "all time" menu. Plating was excellent and our service was very personable. He took extra time to show us their home grown saffron and persimmon fruit for their sorbet. I am always impressed when dining in Italy (Al Sorriso, dal Pescatore, and Aimo e Nadia). This is clearly one of our best dining experiences.

  • micro chow

    I come there for lunch and it needs 300 euros to get there. I hire a driver and a car. It should need more if I go by taxi. next time I have to learn to drive in Europe. It is too expensive to come to Michelin restaurants by taxi, since most of them are far away from city centre. The next day I go to Al Sorriso, and it takes me 200 more euros. Dal Pescatore is definitely at the top list of michelin 3 star restaurants. I like its surroundings and atmosphere. it is much better than those in Paris. The latter are too commercial and the service is not good enough. Perhaps the two operated by Marc Veyrat can compete with dal pescadore. Fat duck is too small, Louis V is too luxurious, not comfortable enough. as for the food, it is excellent but not perfect. i give it 9/10. i taste 2 different desserts. both are unsatisfactory, only score 6/10 to 7/10, giving me a bad ending. however, the beginning is perfect. the owner who is also the chef, welcome me by waiting outside the main entrance. her hands hold a plate of top parma ham so that we can take some to the mouth before coming into the house. and then, we take a rest in a homely sitting room, served with a house of books and snacks. after that, the son of the owner lead us to visit the farm house and explain the history of the restaurant. fantastic experience. it should be the best restaurant in italy. much better than al sorriso. as for the food itself, in my personal opinion, aimo e nadia (in milan city centre)is a bit better than dal pescadore, the range is around 92/100 and 90/100. in last word, its location is too remote. i doubt does it worth a journey or a detour to go there, except for those gourmet like andy or me.