Enjoyed an early summerlicious dinner tonight at Celestin. I have been to some sad, tired, ho hum summer and winterlicious events, but the dinner tonight at Celestin is a great example of what can be done with local produce for $35.Four apps ranged from the usual mixed greens through to a spicy bisque. SO had the bisque, I had the house cured salmon with buckwheat pancake and red caviar ( the other app I believe was a ravioli - can't remember those details). A nice touch for my hungry SO was the inclusion of 2 appetizers that are popular, from the regular menu for an extra cost - The braised rabbit ravioli and the Quebec farmed foie gras tourchon. This (the rabbit ravioli) worked for us as a joint appetiser with the other first courses. We both had a broiled half lobster with Dungeness crab gratin. It was wonderful. Was tempted to try the lamb ribs- the house made pea essence sounded great. I think the vegetarian option was a risotto with mushrooms and wild leeks - can't remember the mushroom type though. Dessert was a choice of dark chocolate parfait or strawberry raspberry concoction with (I think) kirsch gratin. We both had the chocolate but the strawberry dessert passing by us looked worth trying.
There was a good choice of wines available by the glass - although the cheapest was $9.95. However the servings were very generous.
What can I say? Its always problematic to try to cater for large crowds, but I have to admire the spirit that Celestin has in making the effort to deliver good food within a budget. It is not an easy task.
We had a good experience tonight. I know that they are expecting a good turn out, though they do have some spaces left - especially early evening. We plan to return.....I have to try those lamb ribs.
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