During a marvelous lunch at Celestino in Pasadena, California, I got caught ogling and photographing the house-made pasta drying in their open kitchen. This friendly cook noticed and encouraged me by posing with it. He was really proud of their handiwork. I like that.
He also showed me the equipment. I was delighted.
And boy oh boy, the pasta was excellent! I had a short tube pasta (maybe ditalini?) with a garlicky, rich and deeply satisfying wild boar ragu. One of my companions gave me a bite of her pumpkin tortelloni, which was also delicious – how could it not be, bathed as it was in a sage butter sauce? The bread was yeasty-crusty-chewy and the oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping were very high-quality and silkily unctuous. I wanna go back!
Celestino feels homey and welcoming. It’s like you’re visiting your wealthy aunt and uncle and they’re plying you with great food in their casually elegant living room. The staff is glad you’re there and eager to please.
When I was researching Celestino for this story, I discovered that it is owned by the Drago brothers, who have a bit of an empire in Southern California with about a dozen different Italian restaurants. Originally from Sicily, chef Celestino Drago, who in 1979 was the first of the four brothers to come to the US, was knighted in 2014 by the Italian government:
for his exemplary contributions to the preservation and advancement of Italian culture and traditions”.from the LA Times article, Chef Celestino Drago becomes ‘Cavaliere Celestino’
Indeed! I could taste the Italian culture and traditions in every bite. I wanna go back!
Haiku: Happy at Celestino
Sicilian hospitality -
i wanna go back!
Note: because February is National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) and I’m a habitual haiku-er (is that a word?), all posts have a related haiku. For more Glover Gardens haiku, click here.
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