Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 27, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 9

Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 27, 2013 9Food & drINK Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 27, 2013 9Food & drINK 
CeleStINo’S, aNd tHe NeW ItalIaN KId oN tHe bloCK 

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 family restaurants in the Pasadena area. 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, and I thought I was in a 

day spa. I wasn’t sure who the servers or the busboys were, 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 covered front patio, a main dining room, and 
two areas that can be used for private parties and 
overflow, plus a 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 Celestino’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 martinis, 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 your table, and throughout the restaurant the walls are covered in paintings all 
representing the Italian Coast, and of course, white linen tables cloth and flowers. 

table for two by Peter Dills 
Chef and partner Calogero Drago has set up the menu for that Italian countryside feeling. Keep in 
mind this was lunch, but Chef Drago did sneak in a few dinner specials. After we started with some 
very warm and crusty sourdough bread with olive oil, we had Insalata Frutti Di Mare -- for you 
English-only readers that is a mixed seafood salad with plenty of mussels, clams, calamari rings and 
fish. Next was Calamari Fritti (which, if you have been following my column, you know I have to 
order every time). Celestino’s serves them with both the rings and the tentacles - yummy! Now, on to 
our great entrees: whenever I see gnocchi on the menu I order it, and if the first twenty minutes of our 
visit were any indication on how the meal was going to be, I knew the gnocchi was going to be great. 
Layered with a lobster sauce and peppers this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship… and the 
start of a lot more. I had asked the Chef for half portions, and I was beginning to think he didn’t believe 
me, as next up was the Pappardelle con Mezzenzane e Scamorza Affumicate. Translation: Fettuccini 
with 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 out Mushroom 
Soufflé with Fontana cheese and black truffles from the dinner menu, and then the Rack of Lamb 
on fresh mint. Then, my head spun around as my server forced us to try the Cannoli for dessert 
-- 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 
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. 

The New Kid 

My first impression of the 
new Sierra Briganti in Sierra 
Madre was favorable. Catherine Adde the internet sensation and host of Travel Talk took me here 
for a perfect lunch. The food is Italian themed, so we shared a Caprese ($11) which was quite tasty! 
For my entrée, I had the Spaghetti Bolognese ($12.50) and Catherine enjoyed a lovely Angel Hair 
pasta dish with a tasty, slightly creamy tomato garlic sauce with sautéed julienned asparagus and 
medium shrimps. Fresh Parmesan and pepper completed this. Bread was just baked as well - service 
was very good.. They aren’t re inventing the wheel here but I give it two thumbs up, and I will return! 
(See ad on right!) 

Sierra Briganti 120 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre (626) 355-3709, 

Save the Date !! Taste of Arcadia tickets are at a reduced price but you must act now. 
Location: LA County Arboretum, Arcadia, CA
Start Time: 5:30 pm
Tickets: General admission $50; Door: $60 
Contact number: (626) 447-2159 

Some of America’s most creative junior chefs put their talents to the test and whipped up over 1,300 
delicious lunchtime recipes as part of the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The competition 
was steep, but a panel of judges selected one winning recipe from each U.S. state and three 

U.S. territories. On July 9th, these fifty-four budding chefs will travel with their parents to the White 
House for the second annual Kids’ “State Dinner." 
The winning recipes were chosen based on guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate to ensure that 
meals were affordable, original, healthy, and yummy. 
To view the actual recipes go to: 

2013 Kids' State Dinner Winners: 

Kindall Sewell-Murphy, age 10, Alabama: “Kale Broccoli Chicken and Apple Salad" 
Rowan Bean, age 9, Alaska: “Alaskan Ceviche with Mango" 
Alexandra Nickle, age 10, Arizona: “Banana's Black Bean Burritos" 
Emma-Kate Schaefer, age 8, Arkansas: “Confetti Spring Rolls with Orange-Cilantro Sauce" 
Rose Scott, age 12, California: “Pork and Tofu Lettuce Cups" 
Nicholas Hornbostel, age 8, Colorado: “Sushi Salad" 
John Breitfelder, age 9, Connecticut: “Quinoa "Risotto" with Shrimp and Kale” 
Braeden Mannering, age 9, Delaware: “Tortilla Bowl Deluxe” 
Ingrid Lamberg, age 9, District of Columbia: “Inga Binga's Salmon Salad” 
Nicole Medina, age 10, Florida: “Summer Salmon” 
Regan Matthews, age 12, Georgia: “Sweet Potato Turkey Sliders" 
Eleanor Cowell, age 8, Hawaii: “Curried Chicken Salad & TasteTropics Fruit Bowl” 
Adam Wirth, age 8, Idaho: "Veggie Barley Salad w/Orange Honey Vinaigrette” 
Taddy Pettit, age 10, Illinois: “Black Bean Wrap with Jicama - Grilled Corn Salsa” 
Lydia Finkbeiner, age 9, Indiana: “Sneaky Chili Surprise” 
Corrine VanderGaast, age 9, Iowa: “Stone Curry with Brown Rice” 
Olivia Neely, age 10, Kansas: “Fun Mini Pizzas w/Veggies & Cauliflower Crust” 
Regan Strehl, age 11, Kentucky: “Raisin Bran Muffins” 
Brynna Robert, age 12, Louisiana: “Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry” 
Noah Koch, age 9, Maine: “Vegan Powerhouse Pesto Pasta” 
Emma Scielzo, age 10, Maryland: “Chicken Masala Wrap” 
Shefali Singh, age 12, Massachusetts: "Shefali's Scrumptious Spring Rolls” 
Jacob Hirsch, age 8, Michigan: “Picky Eater Pita Pizza Pockets” 
Kaitlyn Kirchner, age 9, Minnesota: “Garden Stir-Fry” 
Reed Lindsey, age 10, Mississippi: “Pan Seared Mississippi Catfish on River Rice” 
Henry Oates, age 8, Missouri: “Confetti Peanut Ginger Party Pasta” 
Joshua Garrigues, age 8, Montana: “Healthy Vegetable Fried Quinoa” 
Bence Brown, age 9, Nebraska: “Terrific Tuna Casserole” 
Isabella Gross, age 11, Nevada: “Chex Chicken and Bellaberry Smoothie” 
Olivia Beauchesne, age 12, New Hampshire: “Liv's Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich” 
Goldie Siegel, age 8, New Jersey: “Hawaiian Turkey Sliders-Mango-Pineapple Salsa” 
Louis Teich, age 10, New Mexico: “Spinach Frittata” 
Peter Murphy, age 8, New York: “Super Rescue Soup” 
Vijay Dey, age 12, North Carolina: “Spring Rolls” 
Charli McQuillan, age 8, North Dakota: “Asian Fajitas” 
Genzo Gonzales, age 11, Northern Mariana Islands: “Kangkung Pomegranate Salad” 
Anisha Patel, age 11, Ohio: “Kickin, Colorful, Bell Peppers with Quinoa” 
Ogden Johnson, age 10, Oklahoma: “Taco De Camaron” 
Audrey Russell, age 10, Oregon: “Salmon Fried Rice” 
Ganesh Selvakumar, age 9, Pennsylvania: “Lentil Spinach Soup and Mint Chutney” 
Aliana Arzola-Piñero, age 9, Puerto Rico: “Yummy Eggplant Lasagna Rolls” 
Samantha Mastrati, age 12, Rhode Island: “Italian Garden Salsa w/ Crunchy Chicken Tenders” 
Corbin Jackson, age 9, South Carolina: “Bring it On Brussels Sprout Wrap!” 
Owen Kerkvliet, age 9, South Dakota: “Hidden Veggie Lasagna” 
Makenna Hurd, age 9, Tennessee: “Makenna's Bodacious Banana Muffins” 
Devanshi Udeshi, age 12, Texas: “Slam Dunk Veggie Burger” 
Cecily Asplund, age 10, Utah: “Lucky Lettuce Cups” 
Colin Hurliman, age 9, Vermont: “Champ's Maple BBQ Turkey Burgers” 
Sakari Clendinen, age 8, Virgin Islands: “Zucchini Pancakes-Passion Fruit Banana Smoothie” 
Campbell Kielb, age 8, Virginia: “Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps” 
Amber Kelley, age 10, Washington: “Nummy No-Noodle Lasagna” 
Jessica Wolfe, age 9, West Virginia: “Spicy Tofu Lettuce Cups” 
Liam Kivirist, age 11, Wisconsin: “Wisconsin Solar Oven-Simmered Chili” 
Breeze Petty, age 11, Wyoming: “Scrumptious Chili with Zucchini Cornbread”