Yet another big restaurant will land on the scenic Dumbo waterfront this year — Celestine, a new project from the restaurateurs behind Brooklyn favorites like Grand Army and Mile End.
Similar to other hot debuts this year like Cecconi’s, Celestine will feature some major views of the Manhattan skyline and the bridges when it opens this fall. It’s on the ground floor of 1 John Street, a new residential building to the east of the Manhattan bridge. It will seat 65 inside and another 40 outside.
Mediterranean food with inspiration from Sicily, north Africa, and through the Middle East will be on deck, run by Perilla alum chef Garett McMahan. There will be a wood-fired grill, with a menu of whole grilled fish, flatbreads, mezze, and dips.
The team behind the opening includes a slew of solid neighborhood business operators. Julian Brizzi of Rucola is spearheading Celestine, along with his Grand Army co-owner (and the proprietor of Mile End and Black Seed) Noah Bernamoff. They’re also working with former L’Artusi restaurateur Joe Campanale and designers Matthew Maddy and Nico Arze, who worked on Grand Army and Lilia.
Brizzi says that he and Bernamoff had wanted to open another restaurant together, and Maddy and Arze caught wind of the location. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the “incredible space” made it the right pick, he says.
“It’s pretty stunning when you get there,” Brizzi says. Still, they don’t want it to fall into the trap of bad food for a stunning scenery. “We hope to open a restaurant that’s worthy of going of regardless of the view,” he says.
They want “a level of refinement and elegance” at Celestine, but the restaurateurs also hope to continue their track record of neighborhood dining here, Brizzi says. Price points will reflect that, though exact costs have yet to be finalized.
The Dumbo waterfront is having quite a year for big restaurant openings. Besides Cecconi’s, Sugarcane — a Miami restaurant with a major following — will be making its way to the neighborhood this year as well. Both of those restaurants are huge and in the Empire Stores complex, which is down the street from where Celestine will be.
Celestine is expected to open by mid-September. Stay tuned for more.