Dal pescatore, top Italian Michelin starred restaurant

I finally went to one of the most iconic restaurants in Italy: Dal Pescatore in Canneto sull’Oglio, which is a small town close to Mantua. In 1925 Antonio Santini, a fisherman working on the Oglio river, decided to open an osteria and name it ‘Dal pescatore’ (in Italian it means at the fisherman’s): it’s still owned and managed by the family who brought Dal Pescatore to one of the highest expressions of Italian cuisine. Talented chef Nadia Santini leads the kitchen and she’s the first woman to be awarded with 3 Michelin stars.

When we arrived to the restaurant the owner Antonio Santini gave us a very warm and friendly welcome that made me feel at home (before going there I feared I would be intimidated to be in such a sacred place). We had a drink before lunch and Nadia came to say hello: from her bright eyes and solid handshake I felt the passion, the force and the motivation of the person who’s considered the world’s best female chef.

And then the show started. Traditional Mantua cuisine presented at its highest level with an innovation flavor. Their most amazing and famous dish is tortelli stuffed with pumpkin, amaretto, white watermelon mostarda and parmesan cheese. I have been eating tortelli with pumpkin for at least 20 years in my tours around this area, but I’ve never tasted something like this: they are just perfect.

Menu 2015: Couleurs d'Italie

Menu 2015: Couleurs d’Italie © Sg

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The best pizza hotspots in Amsterdam

I always love trying different kinds of cuisine and I must say in Amsterdam it’s quite easy to find good Chinese/Thai/Indian/Indonesian/French (and many many more) restaurants. If someone asked me “what dish would you bring if you had to move to another planet?”, I would reply with no hesitation: pizza! Pizza is home to me, if I think about it and I get instantly hungry, it is one of the beautiful things Italia made. But pizza is serious stuff and it’s not easy to find a very good pizzeria, especially outside Italy. It’s all about good ingredients, natural raising, wooden oven and a proper cooking time.

Here is the list of my favorite pizzerias in Amsterdam, where you can have amazing pizza Italian style!

FUOCO VIVO | PIZZA in AMSTERDAM

Pizza margherita at Fuoco Vivo, Amsterdam

Pizza margherita at Fuoco Vivo, Amsterdam © Sg

My favorite pizzeria is Fuoco Vivo, a restaurant in De Clercqstraat with a great pizza. Always cooked in an excellent way and with good ingredients. I still remember the first time I called to reserve a table for dinner and they picked the phone talking in Italian: I felt so much at home! Bonus: the outside tables, nice for summer dinners.
ADDRESS: Fuoco Vivo – De Clercqstraat 12 Amsterdam

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Magic food experience in the Netherlands

I know, it doesn’t sound right. When some Dutch friends of mine told me about some divine chefs in the Netherlands, I must have thought: “Seriously? They are talking about food and chefs with an Italian, do they really think they can impress me?” Ok, I admit I was biased, but I’m a very curious person and after some time I decided to experience with my eyes and my taste buds if those statements were true (It’s a tough job but after all someone has to do it!).

To start my Dutch cooking discovery process, I asked my boyfriend to give me as a present for my 30th birthday a dinner at De Librije, 3 Michelin stars considered the best restaurant in the Netherlands. The venue is just great: it’s located in the former library (in Dutch, ‘librije’ means library) of a 15th-century Dominican abbey which is close to the main canal in Zwolle.

The chef Jonnie Boer – he’s the owner of 3 restaurants, 7 Michelin stars in total – is a big friendly Dutch guy, who welcome guests and usually introduce the menu: if you decide to go for the tasting menu, you have to choose the main ingredient for each course without any other details about the dish (the staff will ask you about any allergies or ingredients you don’t like). After a very pleasant drink in the waterfront courtyard, you’ll be conducted to the table inside the former library where the show can start: you’ll be offered some meat, fish, vegetables, leaves and flowers in very original and ecstatic combinations.

Here are the amazing dishes I’ve been so lucky to taste:

Amuse bouche: oysters from the North Sea, clams, Dutch shrimps, razor clams

Amuse bouche: oysters from the North Sea, clams, Dutch shrimps, razor clams © Sg

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The best restaurants in Milan I have been recently

You probably know I love eating out, especially when the venue is cozy, the food is delicious and I’m with someone who I care about. Since I have been living in the Netherlands for almost 2 years, it’s not that easy to try new restaurants in my beloved Milan, but I always try to catch-up when I go to Italy to visit family and friends! Here are the restaurants in Milan I tried recently and I fell in love with!

UBARBA

Ubarba, interior

Ubarba, interior © Sg

One of my favorite places in Milan by far. At Ubarba, you can feel at home, the atmosphere and the vibe are just lovely, the food looks cooked from your imaginary grandmother from Genoa who gives you love through good and simple food: focaccia, trofie with pesto, testaroli, pansoti with walnut sauce, ravioli, cima. It’s amazing to have dinner in summer in the inner courtyard close to the pétanque field. Smart (and efficient) idea the menu for groups. The cost of the dinner is around 25/30€.

ADDRESS: Ubarba, via Decembrio 33 Milan
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5 best Thai restaurants in Amsterdam

Thai cousine is definitely one of my favorite ones. Part of this affection surely comes from my boyfriend’s mother who is from Bangkok; she taught me how to appreciate the complexity of sweet and sour combined together, the strength of chili pepper, the freshness of lime and the mystery of mixed spices. We often try Thai recipes at home, but more often we prefer to entrust someone who can cook much better than we do!

Here my five favorites Thai restaurants in Amsterdam!

Thai bird 

F a b u l o u s. Located in the heart of Chinatown, you can go either to the proper restaurant or to the snack-bar (in front of the restaurant) for a quick and easy meal. Bonus: the tom yam kung is amazing and there’s an interesting selection of vegetarian choices.

ADDRESS: Thai bird Zeedijk 72-74, Amsterdam

Thai bird interior

Thai bird interior © Thai bird

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