Perillo Traveler: Danilo, when did you open Acquadolce and how were you able to find such a prime location right on the lake?
Danilo Discacciati: Living in the area and owning a couple of other restaurants in the town of Como, as well as a cooking school that trains chefs and restaurant professionals, I was aware of this old building near Cernobbio. It had been part of a hotel and had been closed 35 years ago. It was in really bad shape. So I made a deal, gutted and renovated it, and we opened for business five years ago.
The restaurant is divided into two rooms… the inside room seats 35, and the outdoor, glassed-in terrace overlooking the lake seats 95. It’s very romantic. We also have a private pier with six slips, so people can come by boat for lunch or dinner. By the way, we have a famous American neighbor, George Clooney, who has a beautiful villa on the lake. He comes for dinner with friends when he is at his home. Sandra Bullock and Richard Branson have dined with us, too.
PT: Tell us about your chef, Francesco Cranchi.
DD: Francesco has been cooking for 25 years. He was born and raised in Bellagio, another town on the lake. He now lives in Torno, a village a mile away, directly across the lake, so he comes to work by motorboat.
He’s been a chef at many fine, luxury hotels in Italy and because of his food, we have been awarded two Michelin forks in 2015, and were given 77 points in the prestigious Gambero Rosso Guide 2015. We were also recently named the best restaurant of the Region Lombardia in the Il Golosario Guide.