562 Halsey Street
Just a hop skip and a jump down the street from Saraghina, lies this charming little restaurant. It is such a beautiful room. It is a miniaturized version of Saraghina's interior with more of a nautical feel.. Various shellfish traps, harpoons and nets hang from the ceiling, there is a lots of custom metal work going on, the place is beautiful. There is perhaps seating for 30 people or so. when we went, every table was full.
THe menu is definitely seafood oriented. In fact, besides the pasta and meatball option for children, i don't think there is any other menu item that is not a seafood. The menu reads really well, I don't think there is one dish on the menu that does not sound amazing. Our problem was, the description and ideas were much better than the execution.
We were semi disappointed with the meal. Not that anything stood out as particularly bad, there was nothing that was too exciting.
We ordered: blue crab stuffed in a roasted tomato, the seafood crepe, and the salt cod brandade in a broccoli puree.
Firstly, I understand one should not order tomatoes in winter.. Even this winter. However, it was a special on the menu. I was giving them the benefit of the doubt thinking they were going to come with these awesome tomatoes they grabbed somewhere.. I also said, well, that's a wonderful idea, you roast the tomatoes and it makes up for the freshness. All good thinking on my part ;-) but no, the tomato did not work.. Not to mention the stuffing, the crab stuffing was oily and just not executed well. Sitting on a salad of watercress.. Dressed with olive oil, there were huge pieces of watercress.. One pieced like wrapped around the entire plate. This was a miss on many levels.
Next up was the seafood crepe. It was a crepe for sure. For some reason i was thinking it was going to be more like my mother inlaws manicotti.. She makes these manicotti by using a crepe like circles and folds them over the ricotto and locatelli mixture.. At Celestino, the crepe was thicker than your average French Crepe. It was stuffed with a non descript, bland filling.. It was then topped with tomato sauce and cheese.. The tomato sauce was very nice. The filling again, it was tasteless.. If my eyes were closed, i would not know what i was eating.
Finally, we had the brandade over the broccoli puree. This was a fairly competent version. It was looser than a lot of brandade cakes i have had.. It was less mixed.. The salt cod was of really high quality.. But it was very clear you were eating unhealthy mashed potatoes mixed with cod, sitting on a very basic puree of broccoli.. It was ok for sure, but, it was a shame that it was the best dish of the night..
The staff was super friendly, the room again, is gorgeous, the prices were ok. I said to my wife 3 dollars for oysters in Bed-Stuy, who would have thunk!
All in all, we may go back, but, it's hard to drive past saraghina. Especially when we have had such success eating their cooked dishes and their pizza.
We also did noticed this spot on the ride home, we are going to have hit this place up for sure..
562 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11233