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Celestino - PK's Review

p
PoetKitty Apr 3, 2006 09:28 PM

Ohmygod ya'll - I've missed you!
Yes, I've still been on an eating frenzy, but I've been woefully absent from my beloved Chows.
I'm back - vengeance-style. Woot!

So me and hot-hot date hit the Pasadena Symphony on Saturday eve, and in usual fashion, classical throw-downs make me HUNGRY. We hit up the much gabbed about Celestino for post-muzak eatz.

Place: Celestino, Saturday, 4/2 - 10:15 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Delicious date-o-rama)


Ratings in brief:

Ambiance - B
Not overly crowded but still loud - yet a cozy space it twas.
Service - B
*Truly* Italian - ran through the specials at breakneck speed and left me feeling exhausted! Love it!
Food (Taste) - B+
Oh heck YES - authentic doesn't even begin to describe it.
Food (Presentation) - B-
Traditional if not boring.
Wine/Drinks - B+
Great wine list, but we opted for martinis - and they were quite impressive.
Value - A-
Seriously reasonable prices, although I wasn't privy to the final tally.
Overall Experience - B+
Great neighborhood haven with awesome, 100% Italian goodies.

I loathe how Pasadena falls apart in the evening hours - so little to enjoy past 10 PM. Yet as we descended on Celestino, it was still kickin' - with Italians. I knew this would be *good*.

BREAD

Crusty, warm, chewy - oh so freaking perfect. Served with butter and sea salt - what else does one need?

DRINKS

They pushed the bottled angle (a slight annoyance with me, but I succumbed all the same). We eyeballed the wine list (not shabby at all!) but felt heavier hitters were on the menu. Martinis abounded - and they were damn good.

APPETIZERS

I had a special app of Mozzerella, Tomatoes, and Asparagus; this was supposed to come with artichokes, but they ran out. Nice substitution - although I should have had the Burrata. It was good, but not really special.

He had a simple but really lovely salad with Endive, Arugula, and Raddicho - shaved parm, zingy dressing.

ENTREES

I had a special - Shrimp Risotto in Lobster Sauce. Decadent, smooth, with small tasty shrimp critters and a divine sauce. A very large portion, too, considering how rich it was, but that made it all the better to share. GREAT dish.

He had a Salmon Fillet with an INCREDIBLE buttery fish sauce and veggies - also a special, amazingly well cooked, and just really comforting.

DESSERT

Had to have the Tiramisu. It was top-notch, texture-wise, but average on flavor.

I can't speak to the final tab (I was yelled at when I tried to grab it - Be Gracious! - oopsie), but my guess is for Bottled Water, 3 martinis, 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, and 2 glasses of port, we hit the $200 mark just barely. The prices were truly not outrageous, and definitely worth it.

So, I've been to Tanino and Enoteca Drago - Celestino is equally authentic and homey. Still, my fav Italian eatery - it's Angelini. But I'll keep tryin' - still have to hit Drago, among others . . .

Celestino
147 S. Lake
Pasadena
Cross street = Green

Ciao, 'Hounds -
poetkitty

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    chica Apr 4, 2006 12:07 AM

    Glad you liked it! I love it. Actually, Celestino's owner, Drago, is the same owner as Drago in SM and Enoteca Drago in BH. I've seen him working the room and/or the kitchen for all three restaurants. The food at all three places are consistently Italian, but each restaurant has its unique twist on the Italian food it presents. Love the food, the ambience, and the wine at all three places! Thanks for reminding me of the place; it reminds me I need to make another visit soon!

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