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2516 J St. Send to Phone

Lunch Tues.-Sat., Dinner Tues.-Sun.

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THIS RESTAURANT HAS CHANGED LOCATIONS Celestin's Caribbean Restaurant Restaurant Review

: While Celestin’s may not be a real destination restaurant, the simple and sunny Caribbean cafĂ© is a perfect It’s Wednesday night and I don’t want to cook kind of place. First, there’s the ambience. Although it’s decked out in garish tropical tones of turquoise and pink, Celestin’s has a bare-bones aura to it---relaxed bordering perilously close to tired. It’s the kind of restaurant that invites you to come however you happen to be at the moment: business suit with a loosened tie, or shorts, sandals and a T-shirt. Second, there’s the service. Forget about any laid-back Caribbean stereotype; the service at Celestin’s is quick, efficient and unfailingly cheery---just the thing on a dreary work night when the minutes between conceptualizing a Red Strip and drinking one can be a matter of life or death. Finally---and most important---there’s the food. On a hot night or a cold night, a big steaming bowl of Celestin’s gumbo is just the thing. Celestin’s offers a couple of dozen varieties of gumbo, each starting with rice and roux and then wandering off into a mix-and-matcher’s heaven of rock shrimp, chicken, kielbasa, hot links, andouille sausage, sea scallops, snapper, and salmon. Try the nightly special gumbo, or, if you’re so inclined, the vegetarian gumbo made with red potatoes, carrots and zucchini. And if gumbo isn’t your thing, go for the strangely refreshing grio---succulent chunks of pork marinated in lime, chile and spices, served with a fiery-fresh ti-malice dipping sauce. With a glass of the homemade sangria, it just might get you through the night and ready to face another day.


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