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“Exactly what we were looking for on our last night” 1 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 #261 of 1,973 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".
milwaukee, wi
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Exactly what we were looking for on our last night”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2009

We spent our last night in Florence at the restaurant and loved it. There was a bit of a wait and we were given a complimentary glass of champagne while we waited. Then we sat down and were given a complimentary anti paste that was a great variety and tasted great. My wife and I each got steaks and loved everything.

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Rating summary
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    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
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ker299
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2009

Having returned from spending three months in Florence, I can honestly say that my many experiences at La Giostra remain as some of my finest memories. I visited La Giostra approximately 10 times throughout my stay. My first experience absolutely blew me away and I immediately called home to tell my friends and family about how I had experienced the best meal of my life. The service is impeccable, upon being seated your flutes are filled with champagne (which on a few occasions they continued to fill all evening) and their complimentary anti-pasta is always served. In my opinion, the item not to be missed on the menu remains to be the Pear and Pecorino Cheese Ravioli. The pasta is amazingly fresh and the filling is perfectly sweet, without being overwhelming. It is served in a light butter sauce that does not take away from the flavoring of the ravioli. Moving on to dessert, the "princess dessert" is a wonderful semi-freddo of fresh berries served with gelato, however, the real gem is the rice gelato with (i forget the actual name but the waiters will know what you are semi-freddo referring to immediately). The rice gelato is fresh and has actual grains of rice in it, not to mention it is HUGE! I must admit that no experience I have ever had at La Giostra compared to my first one, and while La Giostra is filled with mostly American tourists, the food remains excellent and is one restaurant everyone visiting florence should experience.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A Tourist trap of the worst sort -- exactly the kind of place you want to avoid”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2009

This is tourist trap of the worst sort and both Frommer’s and Fodor’s should be ashamed of themselves for recommending it. We had dinner there last evening and the food was at the level of mediocre Italian food in the States, the prices were much higher and the service was completely indifferent. The only people there are other Americans who have been directed there by their guide books.

This is exactly the kind of place you want to avoid when traveling.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spain
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A very, very special restaurant in Florence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2009

A very special restaurant in Florence. Romantic, cozy, with something different.
Nice food and nice atmosphere. we'll be back!!!

    • 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.
caterham,surrey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“best food in Florence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2009

This is a fantastic place....and its full of locals.Menu and wine list mindblowing...one of the best meals I ve ever had...and I ve eaten all over the world.Great ambiance...Great staff...wine list very very impressive.The food is beyond critisism...100 euros for two and thats with a 28 euro bottle of Chianti thrown in......If I say its good then its Good.!!!!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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