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La Giostra

Borgo Pinti, 10/12/18 R | 10/R 18/R, 50121 Florence, Italy
055 241341
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Ranked #212 of 1,948 restaurants in Florence
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: European, Italian, Central European
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Description: Twenty years ago, the Hapsburg Lorena princes decided to open a restaurant in Florence: La Giostra. The new of a noble family managing with dishes and napkins made headlines, but it was not a surprise to everyone. The friends who were accustomed to gathering around the table of the prince at the castle of Barberino Val d'Elsa, in Chianti, had often suggested him to do that. The restaurants that were supplied with olive oil, wine and other products of the family estate had always been feared of the idea ,as many of their best recipes they had drawn from the Prince own mouth.The son Soldano personally supervises the cellar, and he knew that passion would eventually infect and involve it in a full time job. The passion started in Vienna, when the grandmother used to takie the nephew in the kitchens of the castle -and the servants away-, showing him a "big magic": the sourdough of kraphens.. A fantastic spell that charmed the young prince, destined for a life to browse old manuscripts of recipes, anecdotes, and suggestions to prepare the traditional dishes of the Hapsburg Lorraine's.."The sciences are not as Minerva came all armed from the brain of Jupiter, are the daughters of time", here is the secret of La Giostra. We expect a typical kitchen and you will taste new flavors, ancient hundreds of years. The flavors of a Tuscany Lost, when still the place ,where the restaurant is now located, covered by arches sixteenth century in red brick hosted the tournament in Piazza Salvemini, that is the reason of the name . Where shiny horses rested, today there are just sixteen tables, at which sit couples in love, beautiful women, celebrity guests, sometimes entire theater companies ... All united by the love for good food and the pleasure of a refined hospitality: in a "homley", home, warm and informal.. Merit of the prince's son, first of all. Merit of flattering reviews from the specialized press. Merit of the historic chef Ubaldo Tonarelli, Florentine doc who is now joined by a number of new talents. Merit of Liliana, who every morning kneads pappardelle noodles and ravioli, bolognese style, with all the freshness of the ingredients freshly picked. A 'merry band of dispensers of joy ... "Because food is necessary and choosing is a privilege, but cooking is art".
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1,019 reviews from our community

79% Recommend
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    226
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Hamilton, Ontario
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014 NEW

Second trip to Florence, second visit to La Giostra, but quite a different experience than in 2008. The food is still excellent, but service was spotty, inconsistent and at time pressured. There is still the time honored, and welcome tradition of prosecco and antipasti platter to start. But to get our order, servers basically hovered over us until we made... More

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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014 NEW

After studying in Italy 10 years ago I recently took a trip back and immediately booked a reservation at la giostra. Just like it was then, it is still one of the best meals I've ever had. Everything from the food, service and decor etc were perfect! I recommend it to anyone and everyone who visits florence!

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chicago, illinois
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014 NEW

I found the decor to be pleasant and inviting, and the service overall was good. Some reviews had warned about the food being overpriced and average, and I felt the same way after our experience. My Greek salad was non descript and my veggie pasta was on the "tough" side. It's a bit if a noisy place but some of... More

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Wantagh, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014 NEW

My husband and I were on our honeymoon and several of our friends recommended us to come to La Giostra. I was hesitant because of some of the reviews but am so happy I took a chance. My husband and I arrived and we were promptly seated. The owner came over and brought over prosecco and an appetizer. Then we... More

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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014 NEW

We had RSVP for 10 guests and we had a large array of the menu and everyone was in awe of how delicious it all was. From the fish to the pastas and great champagne and wines. In my opinion not to be passed on when in Florence. Family owned with history in its kitchen and it's location.

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Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014 NEW

For the price, this place should be unforgettable, but a month later, I've forgotten what I ate there. Don't get me wrong, the food was good, but for the cost, it was ok.

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Stamford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014 NEW

Walking in the place was very dark but had a warm candle glow. Pictures of celebs were hung around the place and people were dressed up in trendy outfits. The meal was lovely but pretty expensive. Our waitress was a bit impatient while we ordered our wine and lacked general friendliness and charisma. We ordered a ton appetizers including mozzarella... More

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Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

One of the best meals we had while in Italy. It definitely withs a visit. The food is flawless and the place is really interesting. The chef is such a character! I will never forget this small gem! Delicious and funny!

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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014 via mobile

We were recommended La Giostra by a few people and went there with an open mind. Firstly, the menu is in Italian. My Italian is pretty basic at the best of times. Our beautiful waitress sold the menu as a 3 course meal, wizzed through the 5 page menu in 20 seconds flat and said she'd come back in 2... More

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Charlotte
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

This is my second visit to this intimate fabulous restaurant. During my first visit several years ago, we were treated wonderfully, even though we had no clue what we were ordering. We trusted the waiter and he did not fail. ( I think I even ate donkey and goat!) The owner even came to our table and poured the wine,... More

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