Pasadena >Food & Dining > Celestino Restaurant
141 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA | Directions 91101-475934.143273 -118.133077
Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: South Pasadena
Pasadena's BEST Italian Restaurant – This is the best Italian restaurant in Pasadena-NO DOUBT about it. If you are craving for some gooood italian food, look no further: THIS IS THE PLACE.
Since the owner is actually the CHEF, you will NOT be disappointed. And if you are planning a party, this is the perect place for that: they have 2 beatiful private dinning rooms and an outdoor terrace.
NOTE: the restauarnt offers Free parking- Not so many restaurant in downtown Pasadena can offer that.
Worst Italian food in SoCal – My husband ordered the veal chop, which was overcooked to the point of being inedible. My ossobucco was charred. This is the worst Italian restaurant I have eaten at, and I love Italian food.
Not only was the food awful, but the service was equally appalling. The surly waiter threw the check across the table as he passed by.
$27 for a veal chop that a knife cannot cut thorough? I think not.
Celestino caters to mostly older patrons. No one with working taste buds should eat here.
Overpriced, inedible food with terrible service.
The worst Italian restaurant I have eaten at!
Yummy Rabbit Polenta – I saw the mixed reviews on this restaurant and had to throw my two cents in. My wife and I really enjoyed our visit. The rabbit polenta was awesome. I also just really enjoyed the atmosphere - the owner and his family were there speaking in Italian or English with thick accents. The service was great. I actually prefer to sit inside away from the street noise - it enables the suspension of disbelief that you are no longer in Pasadena.
Yummy tagliolini – I ordered black and white tagliolini with scallops at this restaurant. It was very tasty and light. Everyone in our group was happy with what s/he got. We waitied for a while for bread and wine because the waitor was very busy. That was the only bad thing.
Became violently ill! – My wife wanted to try this restaurant for her birthday so we visited it last Friday night. We had reservations and were seated immediately upon arrival. The service was good, and the ambience was nice (we sat in the outdoor patio because the front patio seemed too noisy). My wife had the angel hair pasta with tomatoes which she liked, and I had the spaghetti with seafood which tasted good. But four hours after the meal, I was violently vomitting for several hours. Since Celestino was the only restaurant I'd eaten at all evening, I have to assume it was the seafood spaghetti that caused my demise. My wife called the restaurant the next day to inform them of what had happened so that they could check their seafood supply and nobody else would fall ill. Nobody returned her call. We will NEVER return.
Nice Restaurant – We expected high prices and very good food, and Celestino met our expectations. The wait staff was very fast, and the menu was bigger than I expected - I had a hard time choosing, and that was before the specials were read. I went for the gorgonzola risotto, and a bowl of mushroom soup. It was filling and very flavorful, although the risotto was a little runnier than I would have preferred. We also had the calamari friti appetizer, which was light and very good. Overall, I was impressed, but the price is a little prohibitive to come here too often ($35/person after tax and tip.) Definitely a place I would take my wife for a special occasion.
This enclave of elegant dining serves simple dishes with lots of Italian charm. – The Scene
This Pasadena outpost of Celestino Drago's empire is a perfect hideaway for elegant dining. The room is modern, with a few wooden accents added for warmth. A small bar easily fills with casual yet refined diners sipping wine as they wait for tables. Service comes thick with accents and charm.
Simple, elegant Italian dishes dominate the menu, along with a smattering of steaks and game to please everyone. Portions tend to be small, so splurge on a multi-course meal. The timballo de funghi, a rich mound of wild mushrooms and black truffles, swims in a pool of creamy fondue sauce. Citrus vinaigrette simply dresses the grilled shrimp, lentil and arugula salad. Rich risotto with pheasant and morels is hearty, although lacking in chunks of game. The pumpkin-filled tortelloni practically melt in your mouth. Don't pass on dessert, especially the profiteroles oozing light-as-air mascarpone cheese, covered in two delectable chocolate sauces.
If you like rice as risotto:( – I read lots of nice reviews about Celestino, and I had gone there once before with a friend. The first time was pleasant. However, the second visit was a disappointment since I looked forward to having risotto with squid ink, but got long grain rice instead. It tasted more like fried rice with squid ink than what the menu indicated: risotto with squid ink. We were hoping for a quiet, romantic dinner, so you should try going on a weekday since on a Friday night, it got a little noisy. The wine selection was also a disappointment. The Sardinian Grenache could have been better used for cooking with its high acidic content than for sipping with dinner.
FROM A NEW YORKER WHO KNOWS FOOD! – This placed is jam packed for a reason. This is a terrific restaurant. The selection, preparation, and don't forget taste, are wonderful. Yes, it's a little pricey and conjested but the service was charmingly "old school". Overall this has been my favorite dining experience in LA and I'm sure to return. Perhaps others have had an off night or perhaps they let one small aspect ruin their entire evening. BUT this is a place worth travelling out of your way for. I've dined at NY's best establishments and this place is on par! I went during prime time-dinner Saturday evening. But please stay away...this place is busy enough and I'd love to have less people there when I'm out with my date.
Lost its edge... – Went here for a special occasion, as we usually do with this restaurant, but were underwhelmed. Seating was prompt and the restaurant had a nice bustle for 6.30 on Tuesday. We ordered a couple of glasses of champagne, which were flat, and though promptly changed on request, a restaurant of this quality should have noticed. The wine we ordered wasnt available and we were brought an alternative for the same price which we were assured was more expensive, though it was not on the list so we couldnt compare the prices. Appetizers were moderate, scallops a little bitter perhaps, and the souffle too rich. My wifes main course of red beet risotto was colorful but bland; the langoustine tagliatelli was very good and I would recommend. Desserts were of the quality we had expected for the entire meal. Overall not bad, but for the price and reputation I expected more.
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