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“Best Restaurant in Florence” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Giostra

La Giostra
Ranked #168 of 2,660 Restaurants in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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".
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best Restaurant in Florence”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

My wife and I have been visiting La Giostra for years. It is our custom to eat there the first night we are in the city and the last. Eating at La Giostra is as essential to our stay as walking in the Boboli Gardens or having gelato at Vivoli. The food is excellent, the wine list is flawless, and the staff genuinely want the experience to be memorable.

The only possible complaint is that non-Italians have to prove themselves to get treated like a non-tourist. One time I had to speak perfect Italian to the waiter for 30 minutes before he finally stopped speaking choppy English to me. It was funny...but a little annoying. I've been speaking Italian for more than 7 years and I used to live just blocks away from the restaurant. Oh well, it was still a great night at La Giostra.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“All things perfect!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I ate here 9 years ago and now again tonight. Amazing experience. Kathleen met us at our table with Prosecco and a beautiful Hungarian smile.

The house anti-pasta and the Burratta are worth the trip. But, do stop there. Dive into the pasta with pear and hot melted pecorino oozing as you bite into it. Amazing!

Then, please.. The tiramisu is the best in all Italy. Ask me how I know!

My ONLY complaint had nothing to do with the food. Since 9 years ago the original owner has since passed and now there is a dining room set up for the English speaking crowd. I miss being with the locals!!!! It's their love for life and their passion about food and wine inspires me.

Put your nickels and a few Euroes together and make a memory here.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank TRBar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
55 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Fun and good food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

A popular place with pictures of many US celebs. We had fine service and very good food. All these places are pricy so forget about saving money.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank PVCDDS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
86 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“This is the best restaurant in the world”
5 of 5 bubbles 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

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TMROMBOLI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cherry hill new jersey
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“a wonderful dining experience”
5 of 5 bubbles 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!!!!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank michiegirl91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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