Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 20, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 20, 2012 


Just this past week I visited an old friend, Celestino’s on South Lake. It’s right there for the entire 
world to see, but for some reason I continue to pass by on a 
daily basis. Thankfully my assignment for the week was to 
find the best of the best of the Italian restaurant family in the 
Pasadena area. Well, I found it in Celestino’s. Truly a gem in 
Pasadena. Where do I start, food or service. 

Let’s start with the service. I was just a bit early for my lunch 
companion, I thought I was in a day spa, not sure who the 
servers were or the busboys but the attention was superb, 
water? Ice tea? Glass of wine? I wasn’t like I was the only 
one in the restaurant. The restaurant has a front patio that is 
covered, a main dining room and two areas that can be used 
for private parties and any overflow, plus the covered patio 
area in the back. For lunch, this place was busy; I think my 
trend of fancy lunches instead of dinner is catching on. Right 
off the bat I will tell you that Calestino’s looks , and you know I 
was looking around to be a business type of lunch spot, not to say I didn’t notice two local Real Estate 
Agents having a Martini, I imagine either celebrating or drowning their sorrows. The restaurant itself 
is pure Italian , there is a service bar, big enough to have a drink at while you are waiting for the table 
and through out the restaurant the walls are covered in paintings all representing the Italian Coast, 
yes of course white linen tables cloth and flowers.

Chef and partner Calogero Drago(pictured) has set 
up the menu for that Italian Countryside feeling. 
Yes, we got some very warm and crusty sourdough 
bread with Oil. Keep in mind this lunch, but Chef Drago did sneak in a few dinners specials. For 
starters Insalata Frutti Di Mare, for you Only English speaking readers that is a mixed seafood salad 
with plenty of mussels, clams, calamari rings and other ocean delights .Next up, a dish that if you have 
been following my column I have to order everytime, Calamari Fritti, Celestino’s has the rings and 
the tentacles, yummy !!Okay now that we have committed ourselves to lunch let me share with you 
the great food that I had. When I see Gnocchi on the menu I order it, and if the first twenty minutes 
were any indication on how the meal was going to be, I knew the Gnocchi was going to be great, it 
was, layered with a lobster sauce and peppers this ws the beginning of a beautiful relationship, but 
wait there is more food on its way. I asked the Chef for half portions, and I was beginning to think he 
didn’t believe me next up was the Pappardelle con Mezzenzane e Scamorza Affumicate, translation. 
Fettuccini w/eggplant and smoked Mozzarella. For those of you who are calling Celestino’s right now 
for a reservation, I don’t blame you, but there is more, our server Mario, brought us a out from the 
Dinner menu a Mushroom Soufflé with Fontana cheese and black truffles, I have just returned from 
heaven in time to try the Rack of Lamb on fresh mint. My head spun around as my server forced us 
to try the dessert, Canola that was terrific. Don’t let the menu translation scare you, Celestino’s with 
the service and the food is arguably the best that I have had in some time. 

Lunch and dinner prices I feel are reasonable, if you have a little extra dough to spend, there are over 
200 wines by the bottle, many of them familiar names. For business or catching up with a friend I 
recommend lunch, for a night on the town or a romantic dinner I recommend dinner.

Celestino 141 S. Lake Ave. Pasadena (626) 795-4006

Please watch Dining with Dills on Saturday and Sunday Nights at 7 PM on Charter Cable Channel 
101 and listen live 6 PM KABC Talk Radio on Saturdays.

Breeder’s Cup Special Next Week !!



 6 cups all-purpose flour (sifted, then measured), plus more for


 1 teaspoon baking soda

 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

 4 teaspoons ground ginger

 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

 2 large eggs

 1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses

 Royal Icing



1. Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together into a large 
bowl; set aside.

 2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on 
medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Beat in eggs and molasses. 
Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture.

 3. Divide dough into three equal pieces, and flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 
1 hour.

 4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Print out the bat and cobweb templates found here, and cut them 
out. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 
30 minutes. Using templates and a paring knife, cut dough into shapes. Transfer shapes to baking 
sheets and refrigerate 15 minutes.

 5. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Decorate 
with royal icing.

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills


New Hours

The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 8:00pm every 
Wednesday in fall and winter. Vendors include Dry Dock which has fresh and wild caught 
fish, Rustic Loaf with artisan breads, Cutie Pie with fresh pies and much more!

For those interested in being a vendor contact Melissa Farwell with Raw Inspirations at 818-
591-8161 ext. 806.