I have been living in Parma for several years now but I’m not originally from here. It is rare, in this city, to find a place, even the most simple and modest one, where the typical Parmesan dishes are not made with love and respect for tradition. I will soon publish a selection of my favorite Parmesan restaurants, in case you might need some advices on where to eat when in Parma, but today I will tell you about a trattoria that does not belong to the Parmesan tradition but that I have loved since the very beginning: Le Viole.
It is a “Friulan enclave” in the Food Valley, a few kilometers from the city, going towards the Bassa Parmense area, almost impossible to locate during the winter due to fog. Managed in the dining area by Rosanna Petrera, originally from Gorizia, and in the kitchen by the husband Roberto Oppicci (yes, he is indeed Parmesan). Born in 1963, Roberto knew his life path since the very beginning. Diploma at the School of Hotel Management and Catering of Salsomaggiore, experiences in France and Italy to learn the culinary art until, after meeting the Petrera sisters (Also Lucia used to work at the restaurant until recently), he started a new project with them opening in 1989 the restaurant Le Viole.
The place is welcoming and refined, similar to an elegant country house. Two serving rooms, a bigger one and a small, closed veranda. During the summer is it possible to enjoy the meal also in a wonderful outside garden.
The menu, not that wide in the “à la carte” offer, has anyways a nice selection of dishes that varies frequently. Yet, it is the off-menu list of dishes that always surprises the client with the variety and alternation compared to the main dishes. Rosanna narrates the menu with passion and with her typically Friulan cadence that was not (luckily) erased by time. Excellent wine list with bottles coming from different regions and terroirs, but I suggest drinking Friulan since we are in “Friulan territory”.
Seasonality, simplicity and lightness characterize the cuisine of Le Viole, together with the passion of the owners, which shines through the refined plating as well as the service.
Amazing desserts. Generous portions. What about the prices? Absolutely fair considering the quality and very honest overall. On an average, the starters are around 8 euros, first dishes between 10 and 12, main dishes around 15 and desserts are 7 euros. The difference in the bill is given by the wine, as we already know.
Why do I like this place? Because it is welcoming, neat, clean, well-managed. It conquers you with its simplicity behind which hide love, care, passion. For the food, tasty, flavorful, healthy, that satisfies bigger appetites as well as more contained needs.
It not being specifically Parmesan does not mean anyways that there is not a curated proposal of typical Parmesan dishes – as the website also underlines-. So – if you are deeply craving a plate of tortelli- they will satisfy you also in that. After all, we are in the Food Valley, where food is culture, history, tradition.
Trattoria Le Viole
Strada Nuova di Castelnovo, 60/a – Castelnovo di Baganzola (Parma)
phone +39 0521 601000
closed on Monday
QUALITY / PRICE: 8
THE FOODRIVER MARK: 8