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“Lovely, friendly local restaurant”
Review of La Florentina - CLOSED

La Florentina
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Hove, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Lovely, friendly local restaurant”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We have just returned from an anniversary meal at this wonderfully friendly and welcoming local restaurant. It is well-known in the neighbourhood with retro 1970's decor and lovely Italian food with the Portuguese flavour from the owners. We enjoyed some beautiful Portuguese spirits after the meal. Food, especially the meat and fish, is always fresh and plentiful - the mussels, which we did not have today, have a deserved reputation as the best in Brighton and sauces are fresh and delicious. We have been visiting for over 30 years and it seems just to get better. Joseph greets us as old friends - as he treats every guest - service is friendly and careful and we are always pleased by his recommendations for different Portuguese wines. It isn't nouvelle cuisine but hearty and excellent with a lovely family welcome. There is no sense of being hurried to make room for the next diners, music stays in the background and one feels cared for.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank MichaelBM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

22 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    4
    1
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Romantic and charming, classic Italian with no frills.”
Reviewed September 30, 2012

As the other reviewers have said, it really isn't a modern restaurant, the menu is dated and the décor is definitely a step back into the 70s. However, it does what it does very well and offers delicious classic dishes, generously portioned. So what if the napkins are paper, the moules to start were fresh and delicious, my saltimbocca really was excellent and the bottle of Corvo was perfect. We had a table for two by the window and loved the romantic charm of the place and the friendly staff made us feel very welcome. Excellent value for money too.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank BluestarAndy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Charming Retro Experience”
Reviewed August 12, 2012

La Florentina is unashamedly a leap back in time, about 40 years or so. I well remember the artexed type decor from my youth and the menu makes no concessions to any modern trends and is very typical Italian restaurant type fare.

However, as long as you go there expecting this it is a very good experience. The friendly owner does the serving and his wife the cooking, and a very good cook she is too. We have visited quite a few times and I have never seen any other staff. The food is good, and the beef dishes are particularly recommended especially the pepper steak and the beef stroganoff. Vegetables are generally cooked just right and the desserts are enormous for a very modest price - £3.75 I think. Moules at £7.50 for lunch are also very good.

This is a nice relaxed place, which is on Western Road, so I am not sure why it has a Norfolk Square address although it is opposite there. Its not on the fashionable list, so usually not too crowded and easy to get a table.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank pentangle99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent restaurant, traditional Pan-Mediterranean dishes, quality ingredients, lovingly prepared”
Reviewed August 6, 2012

It is a real pleasure to find a restaurant that does not succumb to the latest trendy food-fad. La Florentina has a small menu of superb dishes from southern Europe and the western Mediterranean. The sea-food is particularly good, always locally sourced, fresh and succulent. Their mussels are often the best in Brighton.

Their meat is simply the best available. The steaks are lovely, properly aged beef, served with traditional sauces. The Portuguese and Neapolitan styles are excellent – try the steak pizzaiola it is a marvel. The wines are from Portugal, Italy and France, and if you’ve never tried Portugese wine, do it, it’s a lot better than the French plonk served at twice the price in many restaurants. Our only complaint is their house red, which is pleasant but might do with a bit of an upgrade. But try the Grand Arte Trincadeira or the Commenda instead. All the dishes are prepared from scratch with care and attention to detail, so you may have to wait. This is real food, at an affordable price, prepared by people who love what they do.

Yes, the décor is so retro it is practically surreal. But that’s part of la Florentina’s considerable charm. And we’d much rather eat here than in many of the neon-lit echo chambers that pass for modern. And if you prefer your food drowned in balsamic vinegar, and arranged in little piles, then fine, this might not be for you. Go somewhere else, you’ll leave more room for us. We’ve been coming to this very special restaurant since 2006, and will be back many times more.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innerleithen, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Dreadful restaurant, poor ingredients, decor & service”
Reviewed April 11, 2012

Walking in you are immediately struck by its tacky 70’s décor, diner style booths and tired, stained carpet.

We were on the verge of asking for our coats when we finally got served as the owner hadn’t even come over to let us order drinks despite serving two other tables. The cutlery is cheap, the napkins are paper and everything is as low frills as you can get except the price.

The “complimentary bread and olives” (which we were later charged for) must have come from the cheap section of the supermarket as the olives were tasteless and the beard was bog standard. Where was the olive oil and Balsamic vinegar dip? Where was the lovely hand made or shop bought selection of quality bread?

The chicken, cheese and ham we ordered was a piece of chicken with some cheap ham slapped on top and tasteless cheese. No attempt at bringing this menu kicking and screaming from the early 70’s. No locally sourced good quality food here, no lovely quality smoked ham and perhaps a nice blue cheese. It was as cheap and tasteless as possible.

Our night here was a disappointment.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Hedley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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