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“Bad fish from this famous restaurant owned by an European prince”
Review of La Giostra

La Giostra
Ranked #158 of 2,746 Restaurants in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: European, Italian, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, 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".
Menlo Park
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Bad fish from this famous restaurant owned by an European prince”
Reviewed August 26, 2008

While in Florence our place of stay was across the street from La Giostra, which was voted world's top 10 restaurant by some fancy magazine and whose walls were adored with celebrities who have eaten there, such as Brad Pitt, John Travota, etc. My husband and I decide to try this place out at the end of our Florence trip as a way to celebrate. Since it was a very pricy place, for all the 4 days prior we ate cheaply at sandwich shops, which were delicious anyway. On June 8, 2008 we dined at La Giostra. I ordered steak and my husband had fish. Everything went well but within 30-60 minutes after we left, my husband was attacked by this big episode of diarrhea and looked aweful. We suspect it was the fish he ate at La Giostra, since I ate steak and everything else we shared and I was diarrhea free. After my return to the U.S I wrote to the restaurant and they offer to refund my dinner, but a month went by nothing happened. I wrote them to remind them again and again, another month goes by and nothing was credited to my credit card. So, unfortunately spending 94 Euro at La Giostra was a big mistake. We've had 4 Euro sandwiches at other shops and never had a problem. That just goes to say money does not buy quality. I am also not happy that the restaurant made empty promises regarding refund my husband's share of dinner.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Los Angeles
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best meal of my life”
Reviewed August 24, 2008

I've had many good meals, but nothing was better than the meal I had here. It's a year later, and I am still thinking of it. We stumbled upon this place one night not knowing anything about it. As I began eating the food that was brought to our table I realized this was no ordinary restaurant. Truly exceptional. The atmosphere was cozy and amiable, and the cost was very reasonable considering the quality of food. I had the spinach gnocchi (life-altering) and we shared the salumi platter. When I was there they brought out a complimentary antipasta plaster to each table, which was delicious. I was so stuffed after this meal. i kept eating & eating because the food tasted so wonderful I didn't want to stop.

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1 Thank Saha004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brinklow, MD
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Favorite”
Reviewed August 20, 2008

It's been a while since we ate at La Giostra. But I was reading some of the negative reviews and wanted to add my impressions. My husband and I visited Florence in 1999. While there (4 nights), we ate dinner three times at La Giostra. It was a lovely stroll from our hotel. The service was friendly and the food was fantastic. I loved the crowded tables - we met some very interesting people that way. This restaurant didn't just provide a delicious meal, it provided a real experience!

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2 Thank bkwerm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PHILADELPHIA
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“excellent dinner at La Giostra”
Reviewed August 11, 2008

We had dinner at La Giostra on Aug/08. It was a great experience, and one of the better restaurants we ate in Italy.
I read with much interest some mixed reviews before our departure, but we had some great experience. The restaurant is well decorated with a pleasant ambience. Some say La Giostra is over prized....don't think so if you're looking for quality.
They have several local wines for 25-32 euros, reasonable for a quality place.
They offer an excellent complimentary appetizer for the table so unless you are super hungry there is no need for a salad or "Primi".
Our waiter was "SAGI"...tell him Riccardo from Phila send you..he'll treat you very well.
In summary, we loved this restaurant and would go back anytime when in Florence.
Buon appetito.
"

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1 Thank HANNAPhiladelphia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Great atmosphere and fantastic food!!! be sure to reserve”
Reviewed July 22, 2008

Great atmosphere and fantastic food!!! be sure to reserve

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