Food Porn: Cecelia’s Ristorante

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If anyone has read this blog on a regular basis, they pretty much can gather that I love the Elmwood/Allentown restaurant scene.  Right now, you simply can’t do any better in terms of great locations, crowds, diversity, and overall quality of food.  Up until now I have only been to Cecelia’s just for drinks with friends.  In all honesty, they are probably most famous for their massive selection (and great quality) of martini’s.

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For starters, our server brought over some garlic bread squares to get our meal started.  Really, nothing exciting here but they were really good and I probably could have eaten an entire meal of them plus but I thought this picture came out really well and I needed a reason to post it.

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We gambled and assumed their pizza’s were on the smaller/appetizer size, and we won.  Their Margarita pizza was a perfect size for a starter.  Alli and I have had really good experience with Ricotta’s version; Cecelia’s version was fantastic as well.  The fresh mozzarella was melted to perfection and wasn’t chunky or cold.  The crust was soft and fluffy but had a good crunch around the edges.  It was the sauce that made this pizza stand apart from Ricotta’s; this sauce literally tasted like candy.  It was so incredibly sweet that I could have eaten this pizza as a dessert, and that’s a good thing.

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One of the specials they had that evening was their Mahi Mahi, covered with a crab cream sauce, on top of squash noodles that was smothered in a sweet sugary glaze.  For those of you who aren’t fish connoisseurs, Mahi Mahi is a very tame fish that tastes similar to Haddock or Tilapia (basically a good fish to order if you are picky with that “fish-y taste”).  Cecelia’s prepared the dish wonderfully and the squash noodles were a nice surprise with a texture that was almost like sauerkraut but a taste of sweet sugar.  The Mahi Mahi and its buttery/salty cream with the sugar glaze on the plate was a perfect contrast.  If this is a special on the menu when you are there, I suggest you do not pass it up.

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Alli ordered the Three Cheese Ravioli in a pink Vodka Sauce (with Sweet Peas).  I tried the Ravioli myself and while I am not the biggest fan of Ravioli (in particular the ricotta part), Cecelia’s version was very good.  Again, what stuck out to me was their sauce and how well prepared it was. (Alli edit: It was FANTASTIC! I usually can only eat like half of my pasta dishes but I ate this entire bowl and wanted more).

Cecelia’s is an wonderful place to grab a meal and some delicious martini’s.  Plus they have maybe the greatest patio on Elmwood.  The location is more of an upscale crowd, so if dive bar’s aren’t your scene, Cecelia’s might be the place for you to dress up a little bit and hang out.  I never thought that I would have enjoyed their food as much as I did, but I was pleasantly surprised and would recommend it to anyone.  Their menu prices range from $15-$30 and adding some martini’s ($8-15) could really raise the cost of a meal, but grab yourself a gift certificate on restuarant.com (only good on week nights) and save some cash.

(Alli edit: Unfortunately, one of my favorite menu item, the fried raviolis, are no longer available.  However, they apparently will be served at the Taste of Buffalo this year, so I am hoping maybe Cecelia’s is “testing the market” again so to speak and will be adding this amazing appetizer back to their menu soon.  Also, if you like clams, they recently opened a clam bar outside on their patio and from what I hear it’s pretty awesome.)

Cecelia's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

5 thoughts on “Food Porn: Cecelia’s Ristorante

  1. Eric

    So, Sara and I went there early last night…and had nearly that exact meal. GET OUT OF MY HEAD Don Burtless!…..

    …just kidding, you’re always welcome in my head.

  2. you two sure had a big appetite

    “the greatest patio on Elmwood” what about cozumel?

    i was there for drinks for a happy hour a year or two ago and i got the impression “college kids” don’t belong there via upscale, but small dining, above average prices, and dressy attire.

  3. Don Burtless

    well im no longer a college kid am i? and yes i think Cecelia’s has a better patio then cozumel.

  4. Dougy Fresh

    Bizzle, Cecelia’s also has the best stuffed peppers ive ever had! First time i ever tried them was at the Taste of Buffalo. Im sure we have discussed this in our prior place of work though

  5. dino

    one of my favorite restaurants in the city.. Dougy is right, hello? did i fail to mention best peppers in the city when we chatted? get back there and try them! Cozumels patio sucks. Nice if you like hanging out on blacktop and cheap, broken bar stools. not to mention the amateur “place to be seen” crowd. Its cool on off nights tho.

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