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Celestine - any recent reviews?

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Has anybody been since the new chef/owner took over? Don't hear much about it these days.

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  1. when did the takeover happen? i was there late summer and i won't go back. posted about it elsewhere. pricey and not amazing and i was still hungry after brunch.

    5 Replies
    1. re: atomeyes

      I think it's been about 3-4 months now.

      1. re: millygirl

        Okay so you guys are a lot smarter than me. Just got back and OMG, it was bad, in so many ways. What a drag to close out my year with a meal like this one.

        I think Celestine wins as my worst meal ever for 2009. I had a feeling it would be bad, but didn't think this bad. And let me just say this, it wasn't our choice.

        I will close with only 3 words of advise for all - keep staying away.

        1. re: millygirl

          Wow! This is one BIG surprise!! Thanks for the tips! BTW, any idea who the chef is?!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            It was sold to one of the staff - Ivan Tarazona. We casually asked about Pascal, and were told he's in France writing a book, and working on a tv show. Our waiter simply said that Ivan has worked in lots of restaurants before settling here. It appears Chef Database has not been updated.

            Here are a few of my comments re last night.

            My appetizer of escargot was dreadful - snails had grit in them. Not to mention they arrived on a stone cold plate!

            After our appetizer, we were served an amuse buche, which is supposed to excite your taste buds of things to come. Well, they bring us one ricotta filled ravioli on again, a cold plate. No garnish, no sauce, nothing. Just one white ravioli on a white plate. Honestly it was so bland, so uninspired - I knew we were in trouble at this point.

            Then on to the mains - simply put - horrific.

            First our waiter walked us through the menu, compelled to point out all of HIS favourite dishes. When he overhears me ask my husband if he's going to try the frog legs, he chimes in that we should avoid them as the chef isn't happy with the supplier's product.

            One in our party of four ordered the veal tenderloin which is served with sweetbreads. Just before it's arrival, the waiter comes by to announce the chef isn't happy with the sweetbreads and he is going to substitute with something else. I KID YOU NOT. He brings the dish, and it's topped with a very mediocore piece of seared foie gras. At this point, we're all thinking, hey fella you need to switch suppliers. Something's not right!!

            Anyways those are the low lights, and the rest was just bad. All this for $186 per couple. So disappointing when you dish money for a really bad meal.

            Oh yah, my 8 oz striploin - never seen anything like it - it was butterflied right down the middle and then served on the plate as one piece. Tasteless and sinewy too! Uggh, I shudder to think about it. I left more than 1/2 of it behind. Wouldn't even take home for the dog!

            My new years resolution is to be extremely selective about where I spend my dining $$'s.

            1. re: millygirl

              is it mean that i laughed at your awful experience?

              ours wasn't as bad or as costly as yours, but its laughable that the chef seems to decide suddenly that he refuses to serve a bunch of menu items.

              we had a few crappy dining experiences yesterday as well. maybe its the blue moon tomorrow that's causing this?

    2. I tried to brunch there a few weeks ago. After reserving a table for a specific time, we were kept waiting for over an hour without apology while numerous tables languished with paid bills. I ended up at Simple, which was perfectly fine.

      1. We just got back from Célestin...first and LAST time there. So disappointed in the food. It tasted okay, mind you, nothing was bad, it just did not impress at all. I had the tomato and ice cream salad which did not work at all. My husband's duck starter had a decent jus. My boar was tender, but bland bland bland. The accompaniments were not right, nor was there enough compote, which also was rather flavorless. My hub had the fish (dauraude) which was okay (sorry for lack of descriptive adjectives), but again - none of that take-a-bite-and-savour-the-moment appeal. Dessert - a lovely flavoured passion fruit creme brulée that was too runny and a nondescript 'white and green' thing that did have a nice aniseed taste. The dessert wines we wanted were both not available and a port or fortified wine were suggested (ugh!). Definitely NOT going back. EVER. I'd much rather have a poutine and salad at Coquine!

        -----
        Celestin
        623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

        Coquine
        2075 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A4, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: choux

          Thank god for chowhounds!

          I made a reservation at Celestin based on location (not downtown) and the memory of a really good meal a few years ago. Because it's holiday time, I've been busy cooking etc. and did not do my usual meticulous research.

          I was just double-checking the address and noticed a different chef's name listed. First thing to do? Check Chowhound. These reviews have saved me a disappointing meal. I've canceled my reservations and we are now going to Lai Toh Heen tonight.

          Thanks hounds!

          -----
          Celestin
          623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

          Lai Toh Heen
          692 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

        2. What a disappointment. We went for Winterlicious 2011 it was literally a joke. Our drinks arrived in Barbie doll glasses and the meal just kept getting worse. The first course was Lobster Bisque which was AWFUL thank heavens there was only about 3 tablespoons! The gnocci was very good but minimal. The CHEF at Celestine needs a reality check. The customers they host during Winterlicious are potentially NEW customers in the future - this is your time to shine and show what you've got! NOT what you don't have! The lamb was the worst I've EVER had. Lamb Confit? And it was presented with three poached SHRIMP? WHAT? It was disgusting. The vegetable was ONE green onion. They should of paid me to eat there! Finally the bread pudding - the size of it was an embarrassment. Not to mention we only received one pat of butter for the table....we had to laugh it was a complete and utter joke. Ridiculous to say the least! Even the $67.00 bottle of wine was terrible. Our meal for 3 persons and at Winterlicious no less came to $300. We left hungry. We should of gone to another Winterlicious - had we not spent a ridiculous amount of money on literally nothing. NEVER NEVER again!