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“This is the best restaurant in the world”
Review of La Giostra

La Giostra
Ranked #171 of 2,785 Restaurants in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: European, Italian, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Duomo
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".
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I have lived in New York, Boston, Los Angles, Miami and travelled to Paris, Rome, St Tropez, and this is the best restaurant I have ever eaten at...The menu is new and different everyday...the owner is a waiter and tells you the menu from memory every time

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1  Thank TMROMBOLI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,230 - 1,234 of 2,529 reviews

Reviewed September 1, 2013

made my Florence experience the best. We had the owners son...........a Rock star he is............ he tells you what to order.............no menu............. you share your likes and dislikes and its a dining experience that you savor each bite and appreciate the ambiance around you and know you are in Florence , Italy!!!!!
p.s. I was not feeling well. He sent his dad the owner to the pharmacy to check the Italian meds I was given. And he is friends with bruce springstein and bon jovi, need I say more!!!!

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2  Thank michiegirl91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

If you love amazing food you must go to this restaurant. The first night we went there it was packed, the owner told us buy reservation so we reserved for the next night. The food there is so delicious the service is great, the waiters have always a smile on their face and if you need them they prompt to help you as fast as they can. It looks small but it’s quite big ,it’s like a tunnel of tables that has this old Italian style. The food , the wine, the dessert are amazing, great value for the money. Remember to book before you go. And don’t forget it’s a must.

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2  Thank Jonas W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We had a reservation for this restaurant and arrived a little early but the owner, looking like a rock star with long hair, in jeans and tshirt and armfuls of bracelets sat us at the window table and gave us the menu. The menu is only in Italian but he recited the whole thing in flawless English in about a minute!

The waiters were all super efficient and friendly. By 8 pm the restaurant was heaving and there were as many people waiting outside for a table as there were inside dining! One couple showed up for their 9pm reservation which he had booked a year in advance - when we left at 9:45 they were still waiting!

I had a shrimp salad to start and the bowl they put in front of me could have served 4! The grilled shrimp were 4 very large prawns. My daughters shared a prosciutto melone and good thing too because it looked like they used 3/4 of the melon! My husband had a massive plank of wood placed in front of him that held a variety of cold cuts - again enough to serve 4 people. We could have passed our plates around to the people waiting outside and would still be plenty stuffed!

I had the wild boar pappardelle, delicious with beautifully balanced flavours, my husband had a vegetable risotto then the veal scallopini and the girls had linguine vongole - all excellent.

We had no room for dessert - simply stuffed to our eyeballs!

The food was very good but it was the atmosphere that made the place stand out. Is it good enough to wait 2 hours for a table, I wouldn't do it but others do as we could see when we left.

Reservations are a must but even with one you're not guaranteed a table so the trick is to be willing to eat early (7:30ish), Europeans typically eat late. La Giostra will NOT rush you through your meal even with all the people waiting outside. I saw wait staff bringing out flutes of Proseco and platters of nibbles to the crowd outside. That seemed to be enough to keep tempers down.

This was a fun place to eat. Great atmosphere.

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4  Thank SixStarQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

This place is just excellente the food is magnificent! service is great and the owner is always there suggesting dishes and the best wines.
If you wanna have dinner in the best place in florence La Giostra is the place!

1  Thank Gerente G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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