502 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1002440.786589 -73.976034
Mon. - Thu. 5am - 11pm;Fri. - Sat. 5am - 11:30pm;Sun. 5am - 10:30pm
Neighborhoods: Upper West Side, Midtown
I don't know if the owner is arrogant or not. And I don't care. It is a good restaurant. Of that I'm sure. Good service. Good food. Good wine. From the perspective of a visitor is a perfect neighborhood experience. It is not fancy. Or trendy. Seriously... it is worth it.. just go. And enjoy it!
Arrogant Owner Loses Long-time Customer – 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.
Worst experience ever had at an NYC restaurant – Horrendous Service, our waiter was not attentive and completely disgustingly rude- When we decided not to order desert, he stormed away from our table. When we realized we still had a glass of wine left, we asked for desert and got a lecture. he proceeded to tell us that we couldn't order dessert because we were at the restaurant for far too long (when we hadn't even been there an hour) and that we had to leave even though they had 7 empty tables in the restaurant. we spoke to the manage/owner, the chiseled chin balding grey haired italian man, who was extremely condescending and belittling to my friend and i. he told us that he did not tell the waiter that we had to leave. in the end he did not take responsibility for the service and simply said "ok thank you". i will never ever go to a restaurant that kicks customers out who want to spend more money.
Great UWS Italian – Great food (tried both the pizza and pasta) at a very reasonable price. Good ambience, helped by the friendly owner and efficient staff. A great little UWS spot that is a real gem.
Only odd thing that happened was that I accidently left my camera at the restaurant. I phoned the next day and the member of staff who answered was adamant that no camera had been found. He then asked someone else and again said no camera had been found. It had some really important photos on, so I said, "Oh, that's such a shame!" in a disappointed way. Then he said, "Wait a minute" and then said, "Yes, we did find your camera. It will cost you $100." He said this in a very serious way, so I said, "Sorry?" Again he reiterated that it would cost me $100 to get the camera back, in a serious way. I put it down to him joking, even though he didn't laugh at the end of it and was quite insistent. I went to collect the camera and the member of staff who brought it to me said, "He [pointing to the back of the restaurant] who found it says he needs $20." Again this member of staff said it in a serious way and didn't laugh or anything. I just found all this rather odd, that not only one member of staff said I needed to give them money, but it happened twice, with it going from $100 to $20. Also, the fact that they said they hadn't found the camera when I first called and it's only a small restaurant.
Apart from that, the meal at the restaurant was excellent - delicious food, efficient and friendly service and a buzzy atmosphere. When I go next time, I'll just be sure to hang onto my camera!
Best Find! – This is my first review and it had to take something extraordinary for me to go to the trouble. And this restaurant is just that - extraordinary! Our waiter was charming, funny and an amateur magician. Our food was spectacular! From the artichoke salade starter to the ricotta spinach raviolis and pizza! Perfect. And even with an excellent bottle of Chianti - still fit in a budget in line with these economic times. 5 stars all around!
Decent food for the price – After reading the reviews I am glad that our group of 6 came in for a not so busy brunch. But then we don't linger anyway. However, the service was shockingly bad. The waiters were outwardly rude and insulting. They didn't have wine, and were out 3 of of the 4 beers they had - this fact was basically spat at us through gritted teeth. When we asked if we could BYOB, he sat "no" and left our table.
Food was surprisingly tasty. We ordered the pizza with mozzarella and tomatoes and it was really good. However, avoid the anchovy pizza - too much salt and tasted old. The pastas were all good and we all enjoyed our meal. The waiter forgot to bring utensils for one of the entrees, and after we asked him, we ended up waiting 5 minutes until he threw it at our table. Simply appalling!
Excellent food – Went with four friends so we tried a bunch of things and everything was top notch. Mozzarella, artichoke salad, ravioli, pizzas. Wow. Great food at amazing prices. The only drawback was the tight space and the fact that it's cold when the door opens, yet hot when it doesn't from the stove. No biggie, it's NYC. I would be back.
Good food but a roll of dice if you like what comes along – Restaurant has good food and prices are very reaonable.
Owner clearly take great pride in the offering and enjoys interaction with customers (or at least some customers)
The space is tiny and the owner has a big personality aod overall the service is sort of like Barney Greengrass meets Italy as some the charm could be wisecracking waiters and owner who serve and kibbutz amidst the clatter.
I really can not say if 70% of the guests love the guy or 90% or 10% but he defintely rubs me the wrong way as do many on his team.
He tried very hard to be charming and certainly believes himself to be but I found him just annoying and arrogant and while it seems strange to speak as much about the owner of a place as I have this place is imbued with him.
So give it a try and maybe you will like it/him but just do not be taken aback if they rush you out of there when it gets crowded or chide you for not having listened better to their specials the first time around etc.
More like eating over at someones house who is a great cook but if not someone you like spending time with then probably not a good fit
Love it, or hate it ? – Being new to New York, we were looking for a small neighborhood restaurant that the locals love. The reviews seemed to be either outstanding or awful, with few ratings in between. We were prepared for either, but were pleased to receive outstanding service and great food.
Our server, Carlo, was attentive and friendly. Carmine, the owner/manager came over three times to check on us.
The meals were very tasty, rich but not overpowering.
We'll be back.
best italian place in the UWS – i LOVE celeste. it's such a unique place; the food is wonderful and i still can't believe the prices - the wine list is really quite good (splurging for the wines on the last page is always worth it - Carmine knows his stuff) and the place has so much personality! Service can be rushed for some - but if you are nice to the staff, they are nice to you - and by the way, Carmine (the owner) is such a great character, I trust his taste more than most. Order the cheese plate (which can come in sizes from a few cheeses to 40 cheeses, all of which he smuggled in his suitcase back from Italy) and let him explain to you how every cheese is made - he even makes the condimenti from scratch for each cheese. and go on Mondays to order the special Robiola/truffle pizza - it's amazing. if not on a monday, the homemade pastas like the ravioli are also incredible. if you don't like lots of people, as always, avoid going at rush hours on weekends. it's that easy.
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