Catherine Lombardi

4.4
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1796 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

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Pre/post Theatre
Catherine Lombardi was the grandmother of owner Mark Pascal. Pascal, co-owner with Francis Schott of Stage Left Steak Restaurant, brings his signature obsession with quality local ingredients to the cuisine of his youth. Catherine Lombardi's family came to Brooklyn from Naples. Her cooking was Neapolitan-based and heavily Brooklyn-influenced. It brought her whole extended family together every Sunday. Come taste why.

Cited Best New Restaurant and Best Italian Restaurant by NJ Monthly Readers’ Choice Poll, the red sauce is largely made from tomatoes the restaurant staff picks locally. Made-to-order mozzarella, pressed eggplant rollatini, great pasta and a veal chop to die for are highlights.

Hand-made fresh juice cocktails are featured at the cocktail bar overlooking revitalized downtown New Brunswick. 21 windows overlook downtown, offering a dramatic bird's-eye-view of The New Brunswick Theater District. It is a crown jewel in New Brunswick's thriving redevelopment.
What 1796 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I love this restaurant and it’s our favorite go-to for a nice evening out. They have an outstanding bar and it’s fun to try their various mixed drinks, all of which are made with the best ingredients. This last time I also enjoyed their house made lemoncello—so yummy! The food is consistently delicious and there is always something new and interesting to try. Service is attentive and friendly without feeling like they are on top of you. I recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves good Italian food and a special dining experience.

OT
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was excellent. I had the lasagna with meat gravy and my wife had the osso bucco. Both dishes were excellent. We shared an arugula salad. We brought dessert home since we were very full but both wanted the tiramisu. The service has room for improvement. There were multiple people waiting on us so it seemed chaotic. We ordered regular bread but got garlic bread. It was good but not what we ordered. I ordered a drink and we had to remind three people before the drink was delivered. They said the bar was backed up but the table next to us got their wine quickly. I know it was a busy Saturday night but why not assign one wait person per few tables and let them do their job. I remember at least 5 different people coming to our table at different times.

Catherine Lombardi
Responded 3 days ago

Hello! Thank you for your kind review. It seems like we dropped the ball on service a bit. Please accept our apology. The bar got backed-up at a few points on Valentine's weekend. On busy nights, waiters can get their own wine, a bartender needs to make other drinks. That's no excuse of course; but you deserve an explanation. We operate in teams, which usually gives better service. Evidently, last Saturday, not so much. Please reach out via 'contact us' on our website for personal follow-up

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Unimpressive. Bread was hard. Mozzarella tasted like rubber. Pastas were tasty but prosciutto was very hard. Not worth the money.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Francis and Co continue to provide an amazing experience

Catherine Lombardi
Responded 3 days ago

Thank you very much for taking the time to review us.

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JE
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I took wife here for Valentines night dinner, while I had never been there I heard some great things, so I decided to check it out for myself and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m looking forward to going back soon.
Jeffrey

Catherine Lombardi
Responded 3 days ago

Thanks Jeffrey. We look forward to having you back?

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T
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great take on old-school Italian dining! The service is outstanding. The appetizers were wonderful, especially the meatballs and the anchovies. Our entrees were piping hot. Catherine Lombardi also has a great bar experience and an excellent wine list.

e
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first time to Catherine Lombardi and we will absolutely be back. Everything was fantastic including service, attention to detail, and food options and preparation. Authentic Italian at its finest.

Catherine Lombardi
Responded 3 days ago

Thanks for taking the time to write. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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SG
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience4

I am a 5-year non-drinker and ordered a non-alcohol Becks (as that is what the waiter told me they had). He poured it and I drank some, only then realizing it was a regular Becks. Luckily I am not the type of non-drinker who can be set into crisis by a single sip. The waiter did not seem to care about this potential consequence. The food and ambiance were great as always, but they should offer a popular non seafood soup nightly.

N
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Service was not as expected based on previous reviews. The food was underwhelming. The pasta was less than al dente and the sauce lacked sufficient seasoning.

R
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall3food5service5ambience3

Food was excellent; service was good. When I booked the table online, I indicated that this was a special occasion: an anniversary. And, truthfully, it would have been nice if someone, anyone, acknowledged that special occasion. It was disappointing, and the fact that no one took the trouble to even read the reservation details felt decidedly second-rate.

Catherine Lombardi
Responded 3 days ago

Hi Robert, We definitely dropped the ball here. We take those notes for a reason and it was definitely a failing that we didn't use system properly. We were unexpectedly busy and just didn't hit the mark. Sorry it took a moment to get back to you. Please reach out to us directly so that we may address it with you personally. Email us through the contact page on our website.

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CA
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Having been here before ( & deservedly so), I have to say that what I experienced this evening was not ‘typical’. However, I hope it’s not the NEW ‘typical’ since it’s been a year that I’ve been back.

My gf & I came back for our anniversary & lucked out to get the exact seat we had dined at one year previously, but that’s where the luck ended.

Our waiter gave no indication that he was the least bit interested in making our dining experience enjoyable, and we figured that the 3 large tables he was catering to were probably more important to him for obvious reasons (tip$$). Given the fact that he - not once - checked in on us, took forever to bring water, take our order, bring our food (our chicken and scallops dishes were cold), clean the table of our finished dishes (to which he just picked them up while barely mumbling a word), and took over 10mins to bring the check after trying to get us to order dessert. We just wanted our of there.

Oddly enough, when he came back, he had a cheesecake on a plate that said ‘happy anniversary’, which would’ve been very thoughtful however he let us know that it was dropped at the wrong table a short time before.

For the first time in MANY MANY years, I actually thought about not leaving a tip, but I did (I’m a notoriously EXCELLENT tipper bc I really appreciate good service). Not even close to 15% but he did nothing, and therefore earned nothing, so what he got - is what he got. I’m sure he made enough off of his large groups that he gave all that attention and good service to anyway and it’s of no consequence to him.

We let the manager know and, although she was extremely nice, told us to drop her name (didn’t give us a card) on our “next anniversary” while being apologetic. Not sure how she’ll remember us a year from now but we certainly remember this terrible experience and won’t be dining there again.

JG
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The service was impeccable. The ambiance was refined. The menu was Italian basics swimming in red sauce. The appetizers were disappointing. The hand sliced Prosciutto di Parma was dry and tasted as if it had been sliced the night before. The calamari with lemon was tasteless. The entrees of linguini and clam sauce was flavorful and a solid choice. The salmon with fennel and tomato Confit came up a little short. The fennel taste did not come across and the tomatoes should have been peeled. The meal was good (not great) but the convenient locations to the theaters make this a good selection for a pre-theatre meal.

OT
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This place was amazing. All four of it at the table loved this place. Food was outstanding and service was on point.

Catherine Lombardi
Responded 3 days ago

Thank you.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

I love this place, however, on this particular night I was unhappy with my dish (pasta with white clam sauce). They really need to rethink that one. I’ve eaten here before and have always enjoyed my meal. The service is excellent and they have a nice wine selection. Perhaps this was just a bleep on the radar.

CP
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The atmosphere was great, the wait staff was excellent. The food was not bad but not outstanding and lacked that wow factor that I was expecting. I was rather expensive for the experience.

LO
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Osso Buco was too soupy-polenta was hard to find on plate as it disappeared in too much sauce/gravy. Meat was not consistently tender. Most bites of meat were chewy. Fresh spinach was very good. Also thought wine by the glass was too expensive. While we are not big drinkers, we do like a glass of red with Italian food.
Service, for the most part, was attentive. Our waitress was difficult to fine when we needed her. Other staff was willing to pitch in and offer assistance. We liked the lighting, lamps instead of all overhead lighting. The fireplaces that could be seen no matter where you were seated was very nice.
The food just wasn't extraordinary so couldn't recommend to friends and family.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

I had a party of 5 set at a table for 8. We had to rearrange ourselves because we couldn’t hear each other we were so far away. It seemed like the lead waiter was annoyed that we didn’t order alcohol and the food lacked any flavor. The apps were decent and most of the staff was pleasant and professional. I had high expectations but was very disappointed with my evening

j
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

You have got to be kidding with $11.00 for a pile of greens and s light dressing for the salad. No tomato, no cheese. Beautifully presented, but way over priced
Meal ok. I had scallops, husband had pappardelle with wild boar sauce. He said it tasted like beef
We wanted the check split and told the waiter when we ordered. He put everything on one check, then, when we tried to have him split it, he again put it all on one crew card.
The restaurant is beautiful
But was it worth the money ? I don’t think so.
We know it is popular. Maybe with more competition coming to New Brunswick, there will be other options

SL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I reserved on open table and noted that it was my daughter’s (Rutgers student) birthday. When we arrived the host wished my daughter a “happy birthday”-nice touch-these people are paying attention. The waiter also wished my daughter a happy birthday. Again, 100 percent focused on great customer service. The food and service were pretty much perfect. The filet was cooked just right and my seafood dish was just as delicious. The restaurant runs like a well oiled machine. It was busy but it didn’t feel like it. The waiter was attentive but never pushy. The rest of the staff is paying attention and focused on providing a fabulous dining experience. I rarely write reviews, but felt compelled to do so here. Thank you for a wonderful, lovely celebration for my daughter’s birthday! I highly, highly recommend this restaurant.
Thank you from a happy Rutgers Alumni.

SP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Ambiance and location is great. The food was delicious. Some pieces of our garlic bread were slightly burned and the calamari wasn’t that good. Our entrees were delcious. Service was good at both the host stand and the table.

Catherine Lombardi
Responded on January 22, 2020

Stephanie, Thanks for your very nice review. Sorry about the calamari. We had to get in some calamari in a pinch that was not our usual. We are back to our normal now. Please send me your email so I can make it up to you! Mark

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B
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is my favorite Pre-Theatre, catch up with a friend for dinner place!

I love everything about it!

J
New York Area
151 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food is delicious and the ambiance is great, however it is a pricey restaurant!

AB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The home made pasta was great and done perfectly. The wild boar bolognese was excellent. Our party all seemed to enjoy their dinner. The staff did not hover over nor rush us, which was great. Maybe could have been a bit more attentive to notice when we did need them.
The coffee was not fresh nor hot. I should have asked for a new pot!

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

It was nice. I liked our table in the corner. Service was good. Food was good, not great. Honestly the food had a bit of a Spanish taste and not the old school Italian I expected.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience . The food was delicious and fresh. The serving staff and manager were warm and welcoming, and the overall atmosphere was cozy yet sophisticated.

KB
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite dining spots. We will be back again and again

SD
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for NYE dinner, food and drinks were delicious.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved it always love it this place is the TRUTH

L
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great company, great service. Wonderful way to ring in the new year

DK
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Scallops were done perfectly.

CD
Atlantic City
15 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pleasant staff and owner . Food was delicious. Very pretty Christmas decorations for the Miracle Pop up.

PS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Four of my friends and I went to Catherine’s.The quotes from my friends were as follows:”The food gets better with every bite”.”The drinks are amazing ,especially the Cosmo”.”I’m full but can’t stop tasting”
The service was impeccable.One of the members of our party was so impressed they tipped extra.
We can’t wait to go back!

MR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We had a great experience from the beginning when we sat down until the dessert, The service, the drinks, the food, the dessert all outstanding.

DC
Atlantic City
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, the cocktails, apps, dinner and service were outstanding; great way to end 2019 with the family!!

RO
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Miracle at Catherine Lombardi's was spectacular! The food was delicious and the service was great!

JE
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience4

We returned here to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday before taking in a show. As we had such a wonderful experience here for his 50th, we were excited about the evening. The night started with 3 different hostesses asking my name for a confirmed reservation. We were seated immediately, but after 15 minutes had to ask for a waiter. He took our drink order and then disappeared for another 15 minutes. When the drinks finally arrived we decided best to put our order in. The appetizer arrived quickly, but was not what we ordered. A woman came over to apologize and fixed the order immediately. Our main course took over 1/2 hr to arrive (while we watched others that came in after us being served). When we asked our waiter to check on our meal, he disappeared again.

Meal was good, but there was definitely a breakdown with staff. I would think the Friday before Christmas would be time to be fully staffed, but there were definitely service issues during our visit. Not sure we would return

OT
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was wonderful!!

OT
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience1

The service was horrendous. The noise level was deafening. The icing on the cake was an erroneous $58 charge on our tab for a bottle of wine we did not order. My husband usually signs off and adds a gratuity. Fortunately I was overseeing the bill and questioned the charge which was ultimately removed. But it was still shocking.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Great atmosphere

CP
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Loved the Miracle bar Christmas pop up. Nice ambience, great food, would return. I had pasta with truffle cream with prosciutto and asparagus. It was a little salty but tasty. My date had the lasagna which was delicious. The meat sauce was shredded meat, not ground which is different but we liked it. I loved my Yippie ki yay drink in Santa’s pants.