Fried Pumpkin, Eggplant, Tuna and Prosciutto on Toast
Parmigiano Reggiano 30 Month Crisps
Black Olive Grissini, Butter with Onion, White and Wheat Breads
Tomato and Eggplant Terrine with Celery and Basil
Culatello di Libello Seleziene 30 Months
Lobster Terrine with Oscietra Royal Caviar, Ginger and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Summer Vegetable Fantasy with Pumpkin, Ricotta di Bufala, Eggplant, Sea Bass
Anselmi 2011 I Capitew
Foie Gras with Peaches, Passion Fruit, Sweet Wine Demi, Sorrel
Fresh Fettuccine with Bottarga, Salt Cod, Olives and Salsa Pomodoro
Pumpkin Tortellini with Amaretti, Mostarda and Parmigiano Reggiano
Frog Legs with fine Herb Salad, Celery, Polenta
Roasted Duck with Pear, Apple, Quince and Balsamic
24 Month Parmigiano Reggiano di Collina, Gorgozola Malghese and Caprini della Vialattea with Panettone and Apricot Gelee
Pistachio Mousse with Meringue and Marsala Zabaglione
Pinguine di Ciccolate with Candied Hazelnuts, Ricotta, Biscotto and Gianduia
One of Italy’s most renowned houses of haute-cuisine, the elegant dining room and its proprietors having earned 3-Michelin Stars consistently since 1996, Dal Pescatore has literally turned Canneto sull’Oglio into a culinary destination, a 19h30 Wednesday arrival finding the restaurant newly ready for service with the team fresh off their yearly August vacation.
Opened in 1926 as a family restaurant, but since growing in size and grandeur thanks to the self-trained style of Nadia and Giovanni Santini invigorating the region’s natural bounty with passion as well as technique, Dal Pescatore looks to tell its story in a manner far different from other’s of similar age or worldwide ‘ranking,’ modernist concepts tossed by the wayside in favor of time honored tradition with an eye towards luxury.
Truly a gorgeous restaurant, the front foyer filled with paraphernalia from Dal Pescatore’s history plus several books, guides and awards, it was after a brief look around the space that four were escorted to a table amidst hardwood and bright colors, the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on a center courtyard where several cats frolicked throughout the evening, a choice of the Santini’s most sizable tasting the only reasonable option , a total of ten-courses plus several Canapes and Mignardises easily justifying the €250 cost.
The first table to sample some of the season’s newest inspirations, this the restaurant’s first service after well-deserved time off, lightly fried Pumpkin joined Eggplant Fritters and Tuna with Pork on Crostini to kick off the evening, thin crisps of aged Cheese offering an explosion of flavor before one of many bread services, the Grissini and Onion Loafs particularly delicious with a grinder of Fleur de Sel at the table allowing for augmentation of Butter from a nearby farm and creamery.
Celebrating late-Summer with finely-chopped and marinated Tomato compressed between sheets of Eggplant and subsequently moving to the sixth taste of Culatello in twenty-four hours, Terrine two upped the ante on number one substantially, thin slices of Lobster Ceviche wrapped in sheets of Seaweed topped with a spoonful of Siberian Oscietra Caviar.
Served slow and steady, the mood very European but made jovial by members of the Santini family frequently stopping by, a “Summer Vegetable Fantasy” arrived with strips of Squash curled around housemade Ricotta, Eggplant and Sea Bass, a tense moment occurring next when Nadia and team sent forth Foie Gras with Peaches and Passion Fruit, the often-cloying fruit thankfully mellowed by the sauce plus a splash of local Sweet Wine that the Sommelier poured gratis.
Hand cutting Fettuccine to be paired with briny Bottarga, Salt Cod and Olives before pulling back on the reins with vibrant Salsa Pomodoro, Dal Pescatore’s signature Pumpkin Tortellini was presented next beneath a lacquer of Fruit infused Butter plus gratings of Cheese and Amaretti Cookie, the balance admittedly tilted a bit sweeter than anticipated though the overall effect was still quite stunning.
Rounding out savories with Frog Legs and an aggressive Herb Salad followed by rosy roasted Duck paired to Pear, Apple and Quince in a Balsamic bath, the Cheese course comprised three perfectly aged local specimens with Apricot Gelee and sweet Bread, a silver tray of Mignardises offered for nibbling while desserts were prepared.
Taking advantage of a short break to explore the space further, several knick-knacks giving the elegance levity and a “feels like home” appeal, self-selected desserts included light options such as Pistachio Mousse with Meringue and well as a Dark Chocolate Sundae complete with a smiley face, a truly memorable evening ended by the team asking for a picture with us as opposed to the other way around plus a signed copy of the menu and hand-painted bookmarks to take home with the memories.