Celebrate Summer Italian Style: Celestino Ristorante Introduces New Summer Menu

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From STAFF REPORTS | Photography by Acuna-Hansen

2:59 pm | July 26, 2017


Over twenty years ago, the Drago Brothers set out to show Los Angeles what true Italian Sicilian food consists of and have since made a name for themselves as Los Angeles powerhouses of fine Italian cuisine. For over two decades, Celestino Ristorante has been Pasadena’s mainstay for fans of authentic Italian cuisine, changing its menu with the seasons to reflect the nonpareil flavors made with house-made pastas, the best seafood, organic meats, and the freshest produce Southern California has to offer. Showcasing the verdant flavors of the season, Owner and Executive Chef Calogero Drago does not disappoint as he introduces his New Summer 2017 Menu!

“People look for veggies and lighter dishes when it gets hot outside,” says Chef Drago. “Summer in Italy means lots of greens – fava beans, Swiss chard, peas, and lots of arugula. That’s what inspired me. I created a very simple, clean menu, with a lot of olive oil and summer vegetables.”

There is no need to pull the suitcase out of storage when your Italian escapade is waiting in the proverbial backyard of Los Angeles, right in the heart of Pasadena, beginning with refreshing Antipasto selections like the Zuppa di Pomodoro Fredda con Gamberetti e Cetriolini, a gazpacho; chilled tomato soup. No proper Sicilian summer is without such seafood classics, as the Zuppetta di Moscardini con Cannellini e Crostini all’Aglio, a baby octopus stew with cannellini beans and garlic crostini, and the Tortino di Granchio con Arugola e Salsa di Peperoni, comprised of a fresh crab cake with arugula and bell pepper sauce. Savor garden sumptuousness with the Verdure Miste alla Griglia con Olio di Oliva e Aceto Balsamico, mixed grilled vegetables made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Eat, pray, love your way around the Pasta e Pesce e Carne region, where solstice delights are just waiting for you, like the Pappardelle Fatte in Casa alla Fantasia di Campo, featuring homemade flat wide noodles with fresh summer vegetables. For light but filling fare, look no further than the Ravioli di Barbabietole e Ricotta con Salsa di Asparagi, comprised of house-made raviolis stuffed with ricotta cheese and asparagus sauce. From land and sea, Celestino Ristorante is ready for every palate to decide their Italian itinerary, from the Tagliolini Neri alla Mediterranea con Bianchetti e Bottarga, Squid Ink Tagliolini with Silverfish and dried Tuna Caviar, to the Risotto con Fave Speck e Pecorino Pepato, Risotto with Fresh Fava Beans, Speck, Pecorino Cheese & black pepper, and the luscious Luganiga alla Griglia con Broccolini con salsa di Nero Dovola, starring Italian sausage with summer broccolini in a red wine sauce.

Californians know all about the joy of citrus fruits and will adore these two wildly different but equally citrus forward dishes: first up is the Filetto di Pesce alla Mugnaia, comprised of filet of orange roughy prepared with lemon, capers and lemon zest, and lastly (but certainly not least!) the Vitello alla Griglia con Erbette Aromatiche, featuring grilled veal paillard in a citrus fine herb sauce.

Indulging in a bit of Dolce guarantees a perfect sweetness to any summer day, especially with the Sorbetti Misti, featuring an array of homemade sorbet flavors to refresh and cleanse the palate.

Guests may enjoy Celestino Ristorante’s New Summer 2017 Menu by selecting one item per course to create a delectable three-course menu specially priced at $48.00 per person, or each guest can order each dish à la carte.

Put your passport away and forget flying economy, as you are always in first class at Celestino Ristorante where Executive Chef Calogero Drago’s New Summer 2017 Menu aims to please and is full of Italian summer favorites!

Located at 141 South Lake Avenue in Pasadena, Celestino Ristorante is open for lunch every Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and for dinner from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm every Monday through Thursday, 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Saturday, and 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm on Sunday. For more information or reservations, please visit www.CelestinoPasadena.com or call Celestino Ristorante at (626) 795-4006.