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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Celestino

Have you been to Celestino Ristorante at 141 S. Lake Avenue?

It looks romantic. They've got this front patio and another one in the rear courtyard. They've sheltered the one out back with a little forest of potted plants, but the courtyard is surrounded by offices. I prefer the less corporate street atmosphere for a romantic dinner. (I'll meet you out back for a business lunch.)

There's a dining room indoors, and the website has a virtual tour, but I couldn't get it to play. I couldn't manage to download the menu, either.

Update:
Not having been to Celestino I resorted to Yelp reviews until Mr. Earl corrected me in the comments. I won't be recommending Yelp anymore. My commenters, however, recommend Celestino.

But I'd rather hear yours.

27 comments:

Latino Heritage said...

Yes. James and I have enjoyed meals there. The food was really fine, the service rather Old World, and the ambiance was really fine for a date night. I love their version of carpaccio.
We were once there for dinner while it was raining. We were outside and it was lovely.

Gunn said...

No, I have not been there, but it looks nice and that IS important for me, before I take a closer look:)

Shanna said...

It looks very inviting. Jim and I are always on the look out for a place with great ambiance, and we like sitting oudoors in this weather.

Shell Sherree said...

Romance, outdoor dining and Italian food sound a lovely combination to me, Petrea. Candles, fairy lights or both?

Mister Earl said...

Went there for my birthday last summer. It's a good restaurant. A New York feel, with lots of male waiters bustling around speaking Italian. The owner-manager actively participates in the activity, maybe even taking your order or explaining some of the dishes. Good place. Thanks for reminding me.

Mister Earl said...

YELP! Be careful of Yelp. They are being sued in several states for shaking down restaurants. According to reports, when they see a restaurant is doing well, they contact them and ask them to buy advertising. If the restaurant doesn't comply, bad reviews seem to rise to the top of the pile of what you see online, and they are accused of even writing some bad reviews themselves. So now, the restaurant might be more motivated to buy advertising so their ratings won't be trashed. Classic racketeering.

Cafe Observer said...

I was gonna say to ask Mr Earl for his opinion but I see he read my mind.

Me? Never been & may never be.

Petrea said...

Thank you for the reviews, LH and Mr. Earl. Better than Yelp! Earl, I revised the post based on your information. If you plug in "yelp extortion" at Google News you'll note three lawsuits so far.

Gunn and Shanna, you both seem to be like me--attracted by the look of a place. I know of a spot or two that aren't so pretty and the food's good, but I prefer to be surrounded by a beautiful atmosphere. It's a life philosophy, isn't it? If we can have beauty, we should try to have it everywhere.

Speaking of which, Shell, both.

Sarah said...

Those lamps on the wall are so nice. Surely, I've never been there!

Petrea said...

Cafe Observer, why not observe this cafe?

Hi Sarah! If you ever visit Pasadena we'll go there for Italian food!

Virginia said...

Oh very cool place. Next visit, we might have to dine there!

Earl, is a fountain of information. I need me a B'ham Earl to keep me on the up and up!
V

mark said...

I wonder if they deliver? How is the wine list? I love good Italian food.

TheChieftess said...

I've driven past many times and wondered about the food! Good to hear it's a keeper!!!

Thanks for the info re: yelp Mr. E...good to keep that in mind!

Cafe Observer said...

Not everyplace allows dogs to dine at their joints, PDP. That's why I have my human servants, such as Mr E, bringing back reports.

If you ever visit this place to eat, bring back your report as well.

Eleonora said...

Call to make a reservation saying you're calling on behalf of the LA Times.

That'll get you both a table and the best possible service!

Looking forward to reading your review of Celestino.

Desiree said...

Been. I dunno, I still haven't found an Italian restaurant on this coast that lives up to my hopes and dreams. Believe it or not, New Haven spoiled me---

Petrea said...

Yes, thank you, Mr. Earl. I won't be linking to Yelp again, at least not until they're proven innocent of the charges.

I'm pretty sure they don't deliver, Mark. Too fancy.

Cafe, let us know if you ever try any of their scraps.

Eleonora, I wonder how many people have tried that. Restaurants probably ask for credentials or they'd be duped all the time.

Really, Desiree? Tell us about New Haven. Maybe a blog post?

Susan C said...

I often whine that Pasadena doesn't have any decent Italian restaurants, and then I remember Celestino. The executive chef is Chef Drago.

Shanna said...

A real test of an Italian restaurant is whether they are comfortable making me something without garlic. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to it.
Some chefs just leave it out (very fresh food) and some just make up something, which is always wonderful.

jana said...

love it! the pumpkin tortellini and the tomato bread soup are to die for.

pasadenapio said...

I've been there for "dinner for two" as well as with a herd of wicked women. It's a wonderful place with impeccable service. What a nice photo!

Mister Earl said...

Wow, my very own label! By coincidence, there's a restaurant on my blog right now.

Eleonora: They'd be onto you in a minute. Good restaurant reviewers don't want a restaurant to know they're coming, or even that they're there. Many restaurant reviewers don't want to be recognized. They know that the restaurant can give them better service and pay more attention to the preparation of foods for a known reviewer. They want to write about the experience of the average customer, not the celebrity diner.

Petrea said...

I think we've got another rave from Susan C.

Shanna, it's terrible that you don't get to have garlic! But there are many other things to enjoy and a talented chef can always entertain.

Hi jana! Another rave. It's looking good for Celestino!

Merci, PIO. That clinches it. If a herd of wicked women gets impeccable service there, it's my kind of place.

Mr. Earl it's hard to label you, but I do my best. I think Eleonora was kidding. Click on her links for a look at her blogs from Italy. Your information on restaurant reviewers may open some eyes, though. And any reviewer who knowingly gets special treatment should disclose that in the review.

Lori Lynn said...

I would love to go!
We first met Celestino in the 80's when he was the chef at the old Chianti Ristorante on Melrose, it was one of our favorites back then!
LL

P.S. I'm glad you are getting a kick out of FLAT STANLEY!

Petrea said...

Come to town, Lori Lynn, we'll see if it passes LL scrutiny. And I love your Flat Stanley posts! The whole idea is too charming.

Leslie said...

One of my favorite restaurants in Pasadena. I second the pumpkin tortellini w/ sage. Food is always superb!

Oh, and it's where I discovered what to do with boxed panetone- make bread pudding!

Petrea said...

Hi Leslie, thank you. Now I'm even more in a hurry to eat there!