La Giostra

Florence is daily overflowed by tourists, who travel for culture, art, gastronomy or for no special reason. Like in every touristic city it is easy to be fooled and leave defrauded with the said traditional cuisine, practiced in lots of restaurants. Well, fortunately there are exceptions, and some restaurants, although very touristic, maintain the respect by their heritage and are concerned to serve the best ingredients. One of these cases is the La Giostra, an aristocrat restaurant, opened by the prince Dimitri d’Asburgo Lorena, who commanded the kitchen until his decease, based on secular recipes of the family and a profound taste for gastronomy.

Now, the restaurant is headed by the sons, highlight to the charismatic Soldano with his bracelets and rings that don’t let him go unnoticed. But let us leave the history and go to the restaurant, a little seductive entrance transports us to a room of romantic environment, decorated without luxuries and with the walls full of family photos with several visitors, from the Hollywood stars to the common tourist.

At lunch, the space is majorly visited by locals, which is always a good sign when we enter a restaurant in Italy, and the nights are filled by tourists that reserve the day to visit the city.

Passing to what really matters, the food, we are received with a nice prosecco glass and varied antipasti, courtesy of the house.

Anti pasti, liver pate, tomato bruschetta, mortadella, ricotta and spinach croquettes, peppers and eggplant
This is what we could call an extra big amuse buche, with good elements where the highlight goes to the liver pate, with an excellent texture and intense flavor.

Carbonara with white truffle from Alba
Raviolli with Pecorino and Williams Pear
Mezzaluna with burrata and tomato sauce
To our request they made a small trilogy of some of the most emblematic pasta dishes (the choice was hard). In every one of them the quality of the pasta stands out, fresh, daily made by the hands of those who know how to. The carbonara had an elegant and velvety sauce, thick enough to gain another dimension with the addiction of the truffle. The pear ravioli stood out by the freshness of the dish and the perfect matching with the cheese. In the mezzaluna, the burrata filling gives the right moisture to the dish in a classic combination with the tomato and the basil. All of these deserve a taste.

Chianina Tagliata, with garlic, olive oil and herbs
Here is not presented the traditional tagliata, cut after grilled, but a kind of carpaccio that goes into the oven with garlic, rosemary and bay leaf, in order to absorb the aromas and flavors. Accompanied with oven roasted potatoes, it revealed to be a light and interesting dish, after the heavy pasta dishes. The meat, lightly cooked, has a great texture and the herb aromas enhance its flavor very well. As a down fall just the potatoes, a little dry and overcooked.

Vanilla Ice Cream with raspberries and strawberries
Simplest is impossible, a good ice cream sprinkled with strawberries and raspberries previously cooked in order to create a light sauce that melts and mixes with the ice cream. Simple, easy, with a good game of sweet and acidity.

Sachertorte Imperial
Rich and moist cake with a very good filling, a family recipe with Austrian origin. Combing well with the lightness of the whipped cream, it turned out to win us by becoming a little heavy for a meal that was big by itself. However, it is an excellent option for the chocoholics.

We accompanied the meal with a San Vito Chianti 2011, a simple wine with light tannins and fruity, that accompanied the meal adequately well.

The service is relaxed, with genuine sympathy and assertive in the timings and attention to the client.

A picture of the charismatic Soldano could not be missed

Final Remarks
La Giostra is one of the traditional references in town, with the important role to show the world a Tuscan cuisine with quality, that unfortunately loses itself in spaces of Al taglio pizzas, paninis and precooked pastas. Soldano maintains the motto with which the house was created “in food we trust”, and deep inside it’s us, the clients, that can trust the dishes that are put in front of us, the confection is traditional and correct, the ingredients have good quality and the taste stands out in every dish. It is not a cheap restaurant like any good restaurant is Tuscany, but the quality pays out. It is a space that deserves a visit, whether in a lunch or a romantic dinner, ending with a walk in the Duomo plaza or the Arno riverbanks.

La Giostra
Borgo Pinti 12/r – Florença
+39 055 24 13 41


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