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“festive atmosphere, great food”
Review of La Giostra

La Giostra
Ranked #166 of 2,722 Restaurants in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: European, Italian, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, 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".
New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“festive atmosphere, great food”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

we loved the ambiance and vibe of the patrons, the service, and of course the food. we tried all vegetarian selections and a few pastas - all very very good. rock solid wine list and knowledgeable waiter. international crowd with mix of tourists and locals. A bit cozy, so don't go if you want lots of room...make a reservation.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank spskill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,428 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish 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
new york
Level Contributor
97 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Not worth the money.”
Reviewed November 15, 2013

The experience felt a bit more "staged" than I had hoped. The food was tasty and the menu offers a wide selection (almost too wide). However, it seems like the servers are just following a script when they interact with you that is well described in the various reviews on Trip Advisor. The wine service, the recommendations for food and wine, the "on the house" antipasto, the welcome Prosecco, etc. Only thing, we didn't get our Limoncello "on the house" as mentioned by some of the other reviewers. It just didn't feel like a very authentic dining experience. That being said, the portions were large, the food was tasty, the restaurant was crowded with both Americans and Italians. It is a lively restaurant that seems a bit more upscale than your basic Trattoria. With all the choices in Florence, I'm surprised to read the reviews of all the repeat visitors.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ellen5181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Snooty waiter”
Reviewed November 14, 2013 via mobile

Isn't it a shame how one obnoxious waiter can taint what was otherwise a nice and generous restaurant. that's what happened here. One of my family made the grave error of asking if they had meatballs on the menu and the waiter told us "this isn't the Olive Garden". sorry buddy, but our Italian grandmothers raised us on good meatballs and sometimes we re just in the mood for one! The waiter's superiority reflected a sense of this place that it has been overrun by tourists and they are worn out. The walls were covered with celebrity visitors and they definitely seemed a bit understaffed. However, the offerings were very generous and very good so other than the service this was a fun place.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jody L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Food Delight”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

Biggest memory is how the waitress served the red wine; quite a show.
Food was tasteful, presentation great. Seated by fireplace with wait bar activities, not really comfortable seating. As my husband said, his right shoulder was halfway into fireplace. We didn't complain, but it was obvious to owner as he came over and tried to move our table out a little, but no improvement. Reservations a day or two ahead absolutely necessary. Dinner lasted 2 hours; lots of time between courses, service sometimes felt a little too slow. Would recommend but get only 2 courses. Expensive.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LAMEL67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
42 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing Food!”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

I loved this restaurant! I went here with my parents and it was amazing. The service is great and the wine list was great!! I went here while I was studying abroad and I hope it has not changed (that was 3 years ago....)

I would really recommend. I did not find this place touristy at all which was really nice.

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

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