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“Mixed experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of La Giostra

La Giostra
Borgo Pinti, 10/12/18 R | 10/R 18/R, 50121 Florence, Italy
055 241341
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Ranked #246 of 1,969 Restaurants in Florence
Cuisines: European, Italian, Central European
More restaurant details
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".
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Mixed experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

We walked by the restaurant and it was always packed, so we looked up the reviews and decided to give it a try. They actually have two restaurant spaces a few doors apart. We went on a night when the big dinning area was closed and we were packed into a small restaurant. Despite having a reservation we had to wait, it was obvious that they were overwhelmed. The food was very good, but they made it obvious that they did not want us to eat slowly. We actually heard them ask one couple to leave after they had paid the bill. The ravioli was wonderful, the waiter was very nice and helpful, it was just the rushed atmosphere that was too bad. I still recommend Della Giostra.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“la giostra”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

i had heard this was a popular restaurant and so i booked it two months before my july vacation. the restaurant is small. we were seated all the way in the back. there are candles at every table- making this place a slight fire hazard considering the ceiling of the restaurant is dated back to the 1600's. also on the ceiling are strings of little white lights- otherwise it is fairly dark inside.
we needed gluten free items- which i thought would not be difficult in italy. as it turned out this place had no gf pasta.(many restaurnats do have gf pasta but you must ask for it) they offered us the ability to make only 2 appetizers and 2 entrees-now the menu is really large but they would only make these two items for us. also- they do not sell wine by the glass- you must buy a bottle- but the preseco is complimentary.
i thought the food was mediocre at best and have no idea why the restaurant gets gets good reviews.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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RistoranteLaGiostra, Public Relations Manager at La Giostra, responded to this review, July 14, 2013
Thank you for your visit.

We are so sorry that you did not like your table accomodation,
im sure if you asked to be seated elsewhere there was other options.
The restaurant is quite small but also we have another dining room wich is larger and higher, still candles everywhere though, Some people find it romantic.
We have a great staff trained from the Fire Department.

La Giostra is a little place were you can taste beautiful products wich are freshly prepared everyday.
Now Gluten Free product is not one of ours, actually in most of Tuscan or Italian kitchen is flower based.

We would like to take your suggestion and maybe come up with a gluten free selection.
Unfortunately no wine by the glass.
The prosecco has always been a complementary glass of wine and you can ask for it as much as you like .

So sorry Again for not meeting your or our own expectations.

"Food is necessary, but choosing is a privilege."

Best `Regards
La Giostra
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Perfect romantic meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I came here on our last night in Florence for our honeymoon. It was amazing - the restaurant itself is beautiful, dim lighting, candles - very romantic! From start to finish the service was the best we've had in all of italy. The servers all work together at each table,and we felt very well taken care of. The complimentary champagne is an extra bonus :)

We both got the veal which was superb. We will be recommending this place!

Visited July 2013
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Willow, New York
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“La Giostra”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

This can be a hard place to find. Have a good map and directions. When you get there prepare to be overwhelmed by the atmosphere, the art on the walls, and, of course, the food. Reservations here are a must. There were seven of us at dinner, and we sampled almost every antipasti selection. The restaurant itself put antipasti on the table, gratis, as a welcome. The primi and secondi selections were of a wide variety, including fish on the secondi. We had 7pm reservations, and got lost on the way. Only two of our party got there on time. They held our reservation, and sat our two friends at our table while they waited for our arrival. In a restaurant as busy and popular as this one, that was an impressive display of hospitality.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

There are not enough words to describe how heavenly, perfect, and fantastic our dinner was. My dad and I managed to get a table right after walking in, but I highly suggest making a reservation because there were literally no other tables left when we walked in. We received free glasses of Prosecco after sitting down, and also a free sampler appetizer. We had this amazing bufalo mozzarella a ciliegia antipasti that was probably one of the best things I've ever eaten in my whole life. Then we had spaghetti di mare and finally a mouthwatering osso bucco. The service was wonderful.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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