For Valentine’s Day, former ADA Jared Mogil and I took an evening trip Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (yes, that’s what DUMBO in Brooklyn stands for) for dinner at the effervescent Celestine Brooklyn. This Mediterranean restaurant on the East River waterfront has been high on my list of places to go since it opened in 2017.
Although the menu for Valentine’s Day was a set Prix Fixe, each course had two options…perfect for sharing two ways! Any Mediterranian restaurant worth its salt will start with warm pita bread and dips. The first course (left) was the seafood: diver sea scallop crudo and a date glazed octopus. While the crudo was fantastic, this was some of the best octopus I have had in a very long time, incredibly tender.
This course was followed by a crispy caulilini salad and beet kibbeh. Both were very tasty (although I would have been happy with another round of octopus). For our main course, we divvied up the grilled dorade and slow-cooked prime beef short end brisket. If I had to pick a favorite, I would go back for the short rib. To finish the meal were two decadent desserts, an Arabic Coffee mousse and a bird’s nest of candied fennel, kataifi, and vanilla. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but the bird’s nest dessert was really great.
Overall, a beautiful, delicious place to spend Valentine’s Day. Often on holidays, set menus can feel overpriced, service rushed, I can see why people would want to opt out of going out on Valentine’s Day. However, Celestine was magical. Each course was tasty, the views were elegant, and the service was impeccable. I can’t wait to go back to try their typical menu.