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Celeste - 52 Reviews - 502 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024-3943, New York, NY - Notable Beer List Reviews - Phone (212) 874-4559


502 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024-3943
New York, NY 10024
(212) 874-4559
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


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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 a...


I would not recommend this place to anyone. All they care about is moving people in and out so they can make another dollar. Not to mention, they also served us the wrong bottle...

Editorial review from Citysearch 7/20/2013

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! more

Arrogant Owner Loses Long-time Customer 7/27/2011

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. more

Worst experience ever had at an NYC restaurant 6/25/2011

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. more

Great UWS Italian 10/30/2010

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! more

Best Find! 8/16/2010

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! more

Decent food for the price 6/2/2010

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. Pros: pizza, pasta Cons: rude and insulting service more

Excellent food 3/6/2010

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. Pros: Authentic food, friendly service Cons: Tight space more

Good food but a roll of dice if you like what comes along 6/13/2009

Restaurant has good food and prices are very reaonable. Pros: Good food. Fresh and tasty and authentic Cons: BIG Personality and presence of owner and team more

Love it, or hate it ? 5/14/2009

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. Pros: Great food at great prices more

best italian place in the UWS 7/31/2008

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. Pros: food, value, cheese, wine Cons: can be very busy and rushed more

Great food at a great price. 7/19/2008

I dined here about a week ago with a party of four. It's a small neighborhood place that requires your whole party to be present before being seated AND accepts cash only. My pasta was fresh and tasty, the wine was very nice, and the homemade ricotta gelato was amazing! Don't expect too much in terms of service, it's a bit slow in the beginning and hurried at the end. It also might help to dine with a regular. Pros: Great homemade food Cons: Service, Cash only, No reservations more

Chef Boyardee on the UWS! Celeste Goes Downhill Fast 2/1/2008

This used to be a charming stand-out. I have lived on the UWS for years and it was worth waiting for. No longer the case. Tonight 1) we sat at our table for at least 15 minutes totally ignored, without menus or any contact with our waiter..finally asked for the menus and he ran off again.....2) waited forever for COLD underdone pasta and red sauce that tasted like the can..3) not even offered parmesan cheese, etc. Just plain bad food. Overheard the owner ONCE AGAIN telling story ""jI ust got back from Italy with the cheese in my suitcase"" italian cheese that hard to find in NYC? Do we want cheese that was in a suitcase? Stop lying about cheese and get your #### back into the kitchen. NOT WORTH IT - Bad food - Lazy Service... Cons: long wait, cold poorly prepared food, inattentive service more

Don't bother; the food is not worth being insulted 12/7/2007

Easily the worst service of my life. Food is passable but if I wanted fast food I would have gone to Sbarros. Pros: sadomasochists will love the abuse Cons: Rudest service from the owner on downwards more

Kicking your customers to the curb 12/7/2007

This resturant came highly recommended as a great place for delicious Italian food. While quarters are tight we were able to be seated immediately as there was an opening for 2. The meal and wine were really good. But not good enough to be asked by not only the server but also the owner to leave before we had finished our dessert and wine. WOW!!! They were in such a rush to get us out (only having been there a little over an hour) it left a bad taste in our mouth. Pros: Great food Cons: Rushed service, tight seating, cash only more

Only went to Celeste because we needed... 10/17/2007

Only went to Celeste because we needed something in the area. Terrible from the start. The host was very... more

Only went to Celeste because we needed... 10/17/2007

tennisboy Provided by Partner
Only went to Celeste because we needed something in the area. Terrible from the start. The host was very rude, as was the waiter. Service was aw... more

Great and Cheap Italian 9/4/2007

This restaurant has great food for cheap prices. It is true that the service is rushed and the place is crowded (it is very small) so I wouldn't recommend the restaurant for a romantic date or a first date. Yet, I don't understand people who get annoyed with the rushed service. The place is small with a constant waiting line, so it's expected that once you are finished your meal, then you move along (it is also curteous to other diners who are also waiting to be seated). I was rushed out of the restaurant while dining there last night, but it was expected. But I can overlook that flaw. For great food at a dirt-cheap price, it's a wonderful deal. more

Great local (UWS) place. 5/3/2007

the food is good & fresh, the place has a homemade feel and a good wine list. service is good and the owner is usually there to tell stories of how he hand carries cheeses in from italy. seating is tight, as is the rest of manhattan. drink lots of good red wine and be merry... at least thats how i've always left the place. Pros: food, wine Cons: tight seating more

I'll never go there again. 4/17/2007

Celeste has been my favorite restaurant for years. I've been there many more times than I could possibly remember. However, after what happened to me there several weeks ago, I'll never set foot inside again. I brought a date to the restaurant -- I had raved to him ahead of time about what a fantastic place it was. Dinner was fine. But things went wrong towards the end of the meal. First, the server dropped off the check at the same time as he served dessert. I sensed that they were going to try to rush us out, so I purposely held off on paying the bill for a few minutes. As we were finishing dessert and our bottle of wine, our server started hovering over the table, grabbing whatever utensils or dishes he could the moment we finished. Finally, I guess he got sick of waiting. He blurted out: ""Please! There are people waiting outside!"" I was mortified. We had each just had a three-course meal AND shared a bottle of wine, and yet that wasn't enough for them to let us sit and chat for five minutes after dessert?? My date and I hurried out, and I decided that I'm going to take my business elsewhere from now on. Gennaro, just up the street, is my new destination of choice for great Italian on the Upper West Side. Pros: Low prices, good food Cons: Incredibly rude service more

Mangia! I love Celeste 3/2/2007

i love to eat out and can appreciate fine food. celeste is one of those gems that offer affordable food that really tastes wonderful. i read all of the previous reviews and was prepared for a long wait, pushy waiters, and ordering my dessert early, but to my surprise these people were dead wrong! LOL Pros: melt in your mouth food, efficient staff, friendly owner/manager Cons: a bit cramped more
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Menu for Celeste

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  • The Scene
    This lively trattoria takes a cue from its charismatic owner--a Roman named Carmine so dedicated to his newest venture (he also owns Tiadora on the east side) that he's been...

  • 4/9/2004 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon. - Thu. 5am - 11pm;Fri. - Sat. 5am - 11:30pm;Sun. 5am - 10:30pm
  • Payments:

  • Neighborhoods:

    Midtown, Upper West Side