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Posted by DrMary on 03/14/2008
I couldn't agree more with the reviewer who mentioned the possibilty that this place may bother 'uptight New Yorkers'. I live in New York City and, believe me, I'm as uptight as they come. But I appreciate a good meal as an experience and this place is FAB-U-LOUS. The food is great! The prices are ridiculously reasonable for NYC! The staff is Italian, sexy, and super friendly! The manager circulates throughout the night and makes sure everybody is happy! My party of 4 was seated immediately - with appologies - because we got a ROOMY corner table in the back. If it wouldn't make me as big as a house I'd eat here 7 nights a week! So all you uptight New Yorkers looking for a place to wield your yuppie power - Relax! Eat! Drink! Enjoy! Or just go away.
Posted by Janice on 03/13/2008
I've been to Celeste many times and have always enjoyed the food and atmosphere - cute and quaint by UWS standards. But the service needs help. On an early Sat evening (5:30) I entered the mostly empty place with 2 friends, asked if we could be seated by the window, and after 10 minutes of the waitress not knowing what to do the manager came over, pointed us toward the back of the place and when we again asked for a window seat were told in these words "absolutely not, I hold those table for when we get busy" - followed by a rushed server and the manager commenting that we were taking too long to order - I would only go back to Celeste if I was in a fast food mentality. Go for the food - leave your NY attitude at home - they have too much of it for all of us.
Posted by eaubelle on 02/25/2008
this place DOES have great food. i give them that. i've been here twice- once with a gaggle of girlfriends on a night that was not too crowded. we had a great time, food that was reasonably priced and authentic, delicious. a charming waiter and nice ambience- candlelit, cozy. the SECOND time was a mess. since the food was so good the first time, we were willing to wait to be seated, only to be crammed into a rickety two-top between 2 couples shouting to be heard over the general din of the place. we waited an additional 20 minutes to be given menus, even though we asked for them twice. noise and crowd were headache inducing- there were at least 10 more tables than the space should accomodate. the waiter had attitude up-to-there and acted like it was an insane request to want to eat. at the restaurant. horrible experience. walked out without ordering and went for a martini elsewhere to recover. warning- either go during off hours (e.g. very early and NOT on a weekend), or risk being treated like cattle- crammed in for the money, and rushed back out.
Posted by Roberto on 02/02/2008
Having lived and worked in the Lazio region of Italy for 5 years and working with some of the finest restaurants I can tell you that the dinning experience can only match that of an invitation to the home of a grandmother whose son was inspired by her cooking to become a top chef. Having said that, I think that you need to take the opinion of the dinner who went there on a bad night, with a grain of Celtec sea salt (we all have night like that once in awhile). There are sommelier & fromage that could learn a thing or two from owner par excellence Carmine. If your fortunate enough, for him to send you one of the many bottles of wine that he uncovers on his routine trips to Italy then you should consider it an honor. This place is a jewel of NYC. Your chances of it being one of the most memorable Italian dinning experience is in the 80 to 90 percent regions. Do me a favor and don't go. I want to still be able to get in.
Posted by Alex on 01/23/2008
This place is amazing. I do not understand anyone who gave this place a bad review, Celeste is like being in italy. first of all the food is killer and its ridiculously cheap especially for a place in manhattan. The pasta dishes are all under ten dollars and some include shrimp and clams, etc. ive tried alot of them and they are all great especially the linguine with clams. The cheese plate is great, with a variety of italian cheeses hand[select]ed by the owner. only ten bucks and all the entrees are under 20. and trust me they are delicious the place is always crowded and seating is tight. most of the waiters are italian and some dont speak the best english, but they are very friendly. these minor inconveniences could be a down side to some very uptight people, but than you get the check and realize you could eat here every night. i go all the time and have never once felt condesended by the wait staff, i have never been given anything by accident and if i was im sure they would gladly take it off the bill. the review title "typical UWS overrated" is totally off. they must have happened to go on a very unlucky night, or they are just crazy. the gnocci is delicious. CELESTE IS THE BESTE
Posted by Laura on 11/07/2007
The wait staff did seem a little rushed when we went as there were about a 100 people waiting to be seated. The place doesn't look like much BUT the food is authentic and good. It was the same as experiencing a nice Italian trattoria. My pasta was fresh and hand made. The mushroom sauce was simple yet divine. It's a very family friendly place. I recommend it.
Posted by Elliot on 10/05/2007
I used to go to Celeste alot, but now I've had it with the servers condescending attitude. Yes, the owner/host can be friendly if he feels like it. The owner/host can also order a bottle of wine for you without you even agreeing. This happened, then when the waiter brought the wine, he looked as if I was crazy because I should just take what he brought. The staff was so focused on getting people in and out that the whole experience of eating there was not pleasant. Additionally, the homemade ravioli was mediocre, and the salads had a salad bar feel to them. I had a good date, but this speaks to my company - not to the atmosphere. I guess this just shows that you get what you pay for. It certainly is cheap, but I will still never go back.