I'm always suspicious of popular restaurants on Tripadvisor.
I had terrible experiences in the past and, even if it's an essential tool to make our food tours in Bologna known, I don't trust it that much.
That's probably the reason why it took me so long to visit Trattoria di Via Serra, #1 restaurant in Bologna on Tripadvisor.
But I have another powerful tool in Bologna: very trusted foodies friends who kept repeating me how great it was.
So I went.
Curious to find out if Trattoria di Via Serra is the best restaurant in Bologna?
From the mountains with love
Flavio and Tommaso are from Zocca, a small village of Appenino mountains famous for tigelle, great cheese and an Italian singer (not my favorite), where they owned Trattoria del Sole.
They moved to Bologna in 2012, to bring the flavors of the mountains directly to the city.
This Trattoria takes its name from the street, Via Serra, which is set inside Bolognina neighbourhood.
It's not a fancy area, you don't go to Bolognina for a drink or aperitivo: it's a multicultural worker's neighbourhood that rises close to the railway station, the site of strikes and protests during the '70s.
So you need a good reason to go there.
How's the food at Trattoria di Via Serra
Most of the suppliers are the same as their previous restaurant, so cheese comes from Caseificio Rosola and the organic flours from Mesini farm.
I started with a simple antipasto made with tosone, the trimming of Parmigiano Reggiano, bacon and balsamic but if available go straight to the crescente (tigelle) with mushrooms.
But it was with the first course that I was surprised: the out-of-menu green chitarra pasta with codfish, pine nuts and tomatoes will probably end up in one of my best dishes of 2017.
If you prefer to stay on the tradition, handmade tagliatelle with ragù and tortelloni with ricotta cheese won't disappoint you.
The rabbit amongst the second courses is a must, hard to find in most of bolognese restaurants for the long process which needs.
Leave space for the desserts like Torta Benassi, a chocolate cake without flour and yeast, or a cheesecake with visciole cherries.
Why eat at Trattoria di Via Serra
One thing that surprised me was the attention to detail.
You can feel that they care a lot about their customers. Not only for the warm welcome or the cosiness of the place but for the food itself.
Bread arrives from Forno Brisa, one of the best bakeries in Bologna, and the house wine (which usually sucks, you know that) was an organic red of unexpected quality.
Even at Osteria Francescana, where I had around 6 waiters around the table, I didn't feel such important.
Is Via Serra the best restaurant in Bologna?
If you're looking for it, I don't know if it's the place.
But is that important?
Flavio and Tommaso probably don't even care. They just want you to feel happy when, at the counter, you will have their homemade wild fennel amaro. And you'll say goodbye with a smile, sure you'll meet them again soon.
Via Luigi Serra, 9/b, 40129 Bologna BO
Tel.051 631 2330
Open every day but Monday, Tuesday