Last month, we told you about the Mediterranean sensation that was the Celestine x Black Seed Bagels collab. This month, we had the chance to dine at the gorgeous nook beneath the Manhattan Bridge for their newly launched brunch.
It was only fitting I took my friend Anthea to this Mediterranean spot given her Cypriot roots. She’s my secret behind deciphering the foreign ingredients. We’d both been chatting about going to Celestine since it opened. How could we not be intrigued?! I mean, look at this view from our table.
The frigid snowstorm outside called for warm drinks to warm us up inside. I opted for a black drip coffee and my friend went for the almond milk latte. While we were both delighted with our drinks, I was envious of how gorgeous Anthea’s latte sat in its quaint glass.
Mezze is an integral part of any Greek meal. Having a bit of a familiarity due to my liking for Mediterranean cuisine, I whispered over to Anthea, “I want that pink fish spread.” My unsophisticated request was for taramasalata, a fish roe and garlicky spread with a texture similar to a hummus or baba ganoush. What was interesting is that Celestine’s version didn’t have the traditional pink hue. The restaurant’s white fish version with kalamata olives made a unique, tasty topping to its homemade flatbread.
Also garnishing the warm za’atar-seasoned pita was the kabocha squash skordalia. It was incredibly flavorful given the fingerling potato and hazelnut base and served with an array of veggies like cauliflower.
Every item on the menu sounded so good, we decided to divvy up each dish to split between the two of us. Although the lamb kibbeh sat beneath the salad heading on the menu, we wouldn’t have categorized it as such at all. Warm, lamb-filled croquettes sat within a pool of tart housemade yogurt. The salad portion of the dish was a red cabbage and pomegranate mixture, but the moist, fried rolls were really the star of the plate.
Celestine’s take on a classic eggs benny was both sweet and savory. Fluffy, toasted challah slices played the role of the English muffin. In order to secure a textural element, the chef sat diced turnips and sautéed arugula atop the poached eggs. The showstopper on this plate was definitely the innovative concept to drizzle the entire dish in carob molasses. This dish is definitely not for those who prefer salty to sweet, but Anthea and I both voted this our favorite dish of the day.
I’m not normally a fan of the griddle section of the brunch menu, but I had quite the sweet tooth this afternoon. For dessert, the French toast casserole came recommended by our server. Although not particularly photogenic, the apple compote served as a scrumptious complement to the cardamom-and-vanilla flavored loaf.
Don’t forget to take a walk around the corner after wrapping up brunch to snap a photograph at the infamous DUMBO spot made famous by Gossip Girl.
The Bitches say: A. Celestine’s Mediterranean fare certainly lives up to its stunning views beneath the Manhattan bridge. The brunch selections make for a perfect shared meal with a small health-conscious group.
Celestine serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm.