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Posted by Annie on 07/03/2011
We stumbled upon this place last Friday on our way to a different restaurant in the neighborhood! I've had my fair share of Italian food in NYC and several cities throughout Italy and the pasta at Celeste ranks amongst the best I've had - ever! I wasn't crazy about the 'zuchini flower' appetizer but everything else was excellent! Very nice atmosphere, too, great prices. We - along with another group of people we overheard outside the restaurant "will definitely be back"!
Posted by Jen on 03/21/2011
The food here is ok, but not great. Although it is fairly cheap. The service is terrible -- a waiter put my leftovers underneath another tables dirty plate. When this was pointed out the waitress just smiled. no apology was given, no reference to the situation at all.
Posted by Foodie on 03/18/2011
I think people confuse inexpensive prices and a bare decor with being authentic and delicious. The food is good, nothing great and nothing authentic. It is average, honest food. If you enjoy being rushed, waiting outside for a table and then being jammed in this is the place for you. The prices are inexpensive for Manhattan but there are far better choices in NY especially in the East Village.
Posted by RickUWS on 02/21/2011
This trattoria is the real deal! I lived in Bologna for a year during college and I've always wished I could find a place just like the little trattorie and osterie I used to enjoy. I hadn't found anything that quite fit the bill until my partner and I moved in just down the block from this gem - and now we're there nearly three times a week. It is literally like eating with family. Sure, the staff and owner can be a bit quirky, but so can we! It's part of why we love it here. If you don't want to sit right on top of your neighbor, go elsewhere - but to us this just adds to the intimacy of the setting and the authenticity of eating Italian-style - where you could be sitting next to your new best friends or just a couple with whom you'll end up sharing a fun dining experience for the evening. So, as for ambiance, some will love it, like we do; some won't. But the food! Oh, how it sings! The "pennette mo' mo'" is simply penne with fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. Incredibly basic, but prepared here somehow impossibly sweet and perfectly al dente. The pizzas are fantastic (particularly a semi-weekly special featuring spicy salami and a mild white cheese whose name escapes me), with thin crust that is just the right combination of soft and crispy - exactly like the pizza around the corner from my apartment in Bologna (maybe better!). There is a delcious and super-garlicky pasta with clams, which is great on its own but really amazing with a sprinkle of spicy olive oil. Then there are fantastic pasta specials, like the tagliatelle with mushroom and tomato ragu, which has a hearty, earthy flavor perfect for winter nights. We've had veal medallions covered in prosciutto and cheese - tender and velvety. Balsamic-glazed chicken that nearly melts in your mouth. I could go on and on, but writing this review is making me hungry. Finally, don't skip dessert if you go. There's always a special gelato - my particular favorites are the spicy dark chocolate and the cinnamon, but others swear by the ricotta salata flavor. In any event, don't believe the naysayers and try it for yourself. Unless you have an aversion to crowded spaces, your tastebuds don't work, or you're simply contrarian, you will be glad you went.
Posted by Quan Lee on 02/20/2011
It's not leisurely dining. It's a tiny place where they pack 'em in, where you go to get fed - quickly and efficiently. It's a small menu with fabulous food, prepared from the freshest and finest ingredients with immediacy and delicacy. YUM!! Prices are extremely reasonable.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/14/2011
The pasta tastes like it's out of a box and the sauce like it's from a jar. You are crammed on top of neighboring tables and then rushed into ordering and out the door.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/26/2010
The food here is extremely fresh and well-prepared. The mozzarella is delivered daily from Italy via DHL. The homemade pastas are our favorite items, the pizzas are also good. Really, everything is good. We've been here many times and never had a bad meal. It's a bit harried and they won't seat you unless your entire party is present, but we never felt they were pressing us to leaving or rude in any other way, contrary to what others wrote. At these prices, it's no surprise they want to maximize the number of diners.