I had first eaten at Celeste years ago, and then promptly forgot its name (I knew the name of the restaurant was a woman’s name, and I kept thinking “Was it Gina? Adrienne’s? Stella?” – all names of *other* restaurants).  So for years, Celeste was in my memory as “That Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side with good Italian food and a woman’s name that only takes cash.”  I fortunately found my way back to Celeste recently, and it was as good as I remembered.

In the age of online presence and social media (hello blog post), Celeste is refreshingly low key. Their website is decidedly circa early 2000s and their Instagram account has 11 posts – with the last post 5 months ago.  But I’m not visiting a restaurant for its social media profile – I’m visiting for its delicious spaghetti alle vongole, and in that Celeste 100% delivers. The pasta is served al dente, with a light sauce that is generous on the clams and parsley.


My eating buddy ordered the fish special (I forget the exact type of fish, oops) with sauteed veggies and fried potatoes:


You better believe I was reaching over to pilfer those potatoes throughout the meal. 🙂

Celeste has a relaxed neighborhood vibe, and the restaurant exterior is very unassuming (it’s easy to walk by without noticing it) – but the food is delicious. If you’re on the UWS and craving some Italian cuisine, give this little hole-in-the-wall a try!