openings

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

Whole fish for two and meze to share.

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