All Reader Reviews of...
502 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY, 10024
nr. 84th St.
Great Italian Village eating experience
By Dasuther on 10/3/2012
We ate at Celeste last night. It has a great village feel, crowded, noisy, full of energy and life...very Italian. After a 15 minute wait we were seated and served very fast. The service was fast, efficient and friendly. You've gotta like the Italian attitude to food and foreigners! We ate pizza, the restaurant's speciality. The wood fired oven gives it a special smokey flavour without the gas taste from other styles of ovens. The olive oil and sour dough was to die for! The best part of our experience was the quality of the pizza...Close to the best we've had anywhere in NYC. It's also excellent value for money. A medium-sized pizza and a beer for $20!
By anonUWS on 4/12/2012
Do not do a pick-up here! They not only forgot to mention there were shrimp in the specials but they also neglected to include dishes we ordered and paid for. To top it off they had rude comments about me being flushed when I came to pick up - possibly because I had to run to the ATM as this is cash only and they... surprise surprise... neglected to mention when we ordered over the phone. Just moved to the neighborhood and although the food, that was was correct in the pick up, was alright- never coming back because the service was HORRIBLE. They did not offer to reimburse, they would not bring the correct order and were overall unhelpful. Never again. UGH.
The Worst Dining Experience - dirty silverware and beyond
By Kristen12345 on 2/18/2012
This may have been the worst dining experience I have ever had in NY. The glasses and silverware were dirty, the service was rude and small substitutions such as shape of pasta would not be accommodated. The tables were so crammed in and the noise level was so loud you could not even carry on a concersation with the person across from you. There is a reason all they can charge is 10 dollars for there pasta which was tasteless and overcooked.
Forgettable, way too cramped
By cb85 on 9/21/2011
The food was ok, nothing amazing or bad, just average and un-remarkable. The problem that makes Celeste unbearable is the set-up. The tables are crammed together to the extent that they must be violating some fire code. The poor wait staff can't do their job properly while trying to squeeze between tables. My table was pushed up against the glass window and it was so cold I had to eat with my coat on. I would never go back.
By kris10 on 9/12/2011
This is a perfect example of a little niche quintessential to New York. Forget Little Italy (as near & dear as it may be). For wonderful Italian fare, come to Celeste. When it's cold out, a steaming hot plate of mussels with good bread to soak up the broth & fruity olive oil is the perfect antidote. The service was kind, informative, not intrusive. The environment is cozy & just what you'd expect of a little ristorante but not cheesy or stereotypical. You don't have to be on a date to appreciate the romantic quaintness, although I would certainly bring a date here. The prices were very good for Manhattan which is always a draw.
Modest Italian of the Highest Quality
By meeran219 on 9/1/2011
I have been to Celeste countless times. Each time I am reminded just how good simple Italian food can be. Dining at Celeste is like coming home after having tried the numerous "up-scale" Italian restaurants that boast "authenticity". Rather than wow you with numerous fancy forks and an overpriced wine-list, Celeste chooses another route: a small yet varied menu of reliable staples plus daily specials. You won't find another Italian place in the city with the same quality for the price. Their pastas are fresh, specials creative, and wine-by-the-glass menu expansive. All the servers speak Italian and you will usually find the owner shuffling about. The space is small and all members of your party must be present before being seated. As well, please note it is CASH ONLY. A popular place, Celeste is best in early evening, before you have to play "elbow your neighbor" and "scoot that chair in". Overall, Celeste promises a cozy, relaxed experience where you'll be planning your next visit before you've even walked out the door.
Arrogant Owner Loses Long-time Customer
By sgsg78 on 7/24/2011
I was a regular for five years, usually chatting-up Carmine, the owner, whenever he'd strut past my table. The fact that he never knew my name should have told me something. On one visit, the entire restaurant was disrupted when a man began shouting at Carmine, exclaiming that he'd never been treated so rudely in his life. He'd brought a friend for her birthday and after 20 minutes of waiting to order, they complained, only to have Carmine tell them they should just leave. It was shocking, but I assumed that there must have been two sides to the story. Ironically, five months later, I was there for my birthday with friends. At one point I crossed to go to the men's room. I asked a waiter to let me pass between two tables with a proper "excuse me." I got a smug, defiant look, followed by a pointed arm and a command to "go over there." I said, "Excuse me? Please step aside." He refused. I immediately went up to Carmine who was standing by the kitchen. I told him what had happened, made it clear I was offended, and that of all things, it was my birthday. Without responding to me, Carmine yelled across the restaurant to the waiter, causing many heads to turn. They exchanged words and then Carmine shrugged his shoulders, looked at me and said, "What can I do, he said he wasn't rude?" I returned to my table; Carmine never came over to apologize. Know this -- when you show up at Celeste, you are just a body with cash, and nothing more.
Authentically executed Italian fare with Charismatic servers
By julieLES on 6/16/2011
Everything about the experience was delightful! There was no line. The service was very prompt and staff were all very funny and helpful. The prices were incredible. The ambiance is charming, but most importantly this is THE BEST PASTA I have had aside from the hand-rolled egg noodles with ragu at Falai which is much more expensive (check it out if you are looking for a fancier venue). I split the fried buffalo ricotta with friends and then had the tagliatelle with shrimp, cabbage, and pecorino, which my waiter mentioned was his favorite pasta. It was PERFECT. My friends also enjoyed their pasta dishes. I live in the LES but I will be coming to 84th St. anytime I have a craving for good Italian!
Very good homemade pasta and great service
By tmdpny on 2/8/2011
Just came from dinner here and was very impressed. The mista salad was delicious and not over seasoned. The pasta was fresh and my meal was a great balance of flavors and textures. Good wine selection and more impressive is that it was very affordable. The service was great - a native Italian waiter who was very friendly and responsive. What more could you want?
Good pizza, okay pasta, horrible service.
By lavenderbrown on 1/13/2011
We order carry-out from here because the place is always packed, but we dined in last night because it wasn't very busy. The experience wasn't enjoyable, and we were hurried the whole meal. The waitress abruptly seated us by pointing to a table across the room and telling us to go "over there." Once seated, the she returned and told us and the table next to us to "listen up" to the specials as she recited them to us at the same time. The waitress returned later to take the order of the table next to us. The woman seated said she was waiting for a friend, at which point the waitress told her the restaurant had a policy of not seating tables until the party was complete. The woman pointed out that the waitress had been the one to seat her and said her friend was on his way in a taxi and would be there shortly. The waitress left to ask a manager and returned to tell the woman -- who had been seated for about 10 minutes, served water and bread -- that she either needed to order for her friend now or get up. There were NINE empty tables in the restaurant. The woman got up, only to be seated again at the same table when her friend arrived. I ordered the margherita pizza, which was good, and my partner ordered the pasta special, which had tagliatelle, shrimp, and vegetables -- a little bland with overcooked shrimp. They brought his food out significantly earlier than mine. Another woman in the restaurant sent her food back because it had been sitting out and was cold.
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