Celestine Will Serve Up East River Views and Pan-Mediterranean Fare

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Whole fish for two and meze to share. Photo: Melissa Hom

Despite its location, New York isn’t famous for waterfront dining. But activity on the eastern fringe of Brooklyn Bridge Park signals a change, with Dumbo becoming a new hotbed of food with a view. While the adaptive reuse of Empire Stores has clustered several places to eat inside the Civil War–era structure, the nearby Celestine, slated to open Thursday, inhabits the ground floor of a brand-new luxury condo. It’s a collaboration from most of the team behind Boerum Hill’s Grand Army bar, plus wine maven Joe Campanale and chef Garett McMahan, a veteran of Perilla. McMahan looks to the Mediterranean rim for inspiration: There’s haloumi in his green salad, kataif in his grilled squash, and grains of paradise in his baba ghannouj. He bakes his hummus to winterize it and carves braised-rabbit kugel, a take on the Jewish noodle pudding, into long rectangular slices that he pan-sears before serving. “I’m from the rural Midwest,” he says. “I’m super-familiar with pasta casserole.” Here’s a look at some of the food and the space.

Baba ghannouj with poppy seeds and grains of paradise. Photo: Melissa Hom
Yogurt with smoked almonds, dates, and tamarind gastrique. Photo: Melissa Hom
Grilled delicata squash, Concord-grape-braised cabbage, orange, ricotta, and kataif. Photo: Melissa Hom
Short-rib manti with turnip, fenugreek, garlic yogurt, and mustard greens. Photo: Melissa Hom
Deviled-egg sabich with crispy pita, eggplant, potato, and Aleppo pepper. Photo: Melissa Hom
Sesame crème brûlée with date rice pudding, grapefruit, and arak sorbet. Photo: Melissa Hom
Petits fours will include coffee-cardamom-chocolate cookies. Photo: Melissa Hom
This tequila cocktail has scotch-bonnet tincture and Merlot salt. Photo: Melissa Hom
And this mezcal one has cold-brew coffee and a torched cinnamon stick. Photo: Melissa Hom
Room with a view. Photo: Melissa Hom

1 John St., nr. Adams St., Dumbo; 718-522-5356

Celestine Opens in Dumbo