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*.
Crusty, warm, chewy - oh so freaking perfect. Served with butter and sea salt - what else does one need?
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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
147 S. Lake
Cross street = Green
Ciao, 'Hounds -