Catherine Lombardi

4.4
1658 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
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 1658 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
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Went for a graduation celebration. Service and atmosphere were fantastic. Food was very good.

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VF
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely dinner. This was our first time dining here and it won't be the last. Good portions, fabulous dishes, fun cocktails, great service. Thank you.

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KH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent and friendly service. We always have enjoyed our dinners at Catherine Lombardi.

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D
Hawaii
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Disappointed, as our Mother's Day lunch did not meet expectations.
Service was friendly but slow and the food was a letdown. Undercooked fish was sent back and our pastas were oversauced and bland. $200 for 4 with no alcohol was far too much for the experience.

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RM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service. Highly recommended. Perfect place for special occasions or pre-theatre dinner.

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JC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Beautiful, cozy restaurant. Delicious food and friendly staff.

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TN
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The space between tables was a little close. Every time a server passed behind me my chair was bumped. I was glad I had the seat and not my guest.

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G
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rarely have I been to a restaurant where our party ordered two different appetizers and three different entrees and every one was absolutely superb. It was impossible to pick a "favorite"! The service was attentive without being intrusive. The ambiance was stately yet warm. While this is definitely an upscale restaurant, the prices are more than reasonable for the quality (and quantity) of the offerings. It was perfect -- not only the food and the ambiance, but also the location -- less than a block to the State Theater. It will definitely be my pre-theater pick!

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Z
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never a disappointment! From location to service to food. Always spot on. Great place for lunch or dinner before or after a show at the State Theater

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LN
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Anniversary and pre-show dinner on Sunday. We had tickets for Rocktopia and we dined at 5pm and had plenty of time to have dessert and get to the show! We want to thank our waitress and host for our Anniversary cheesecake dessert, beautifully presented to us by the chef!! Enjoyed the whole experience and recommend if you are looking for a special dinner.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Catherine Lombardi never disappoints. Service is always great.

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P
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very nice restaurant. Beautiful old World decor Menu is varied enough for anyone. Prices are high so I would only go once in a while or for a special occasion. Staff is excellent. Well trained, friendly and helpful.

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RP
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Meal was delicious. Service spotty - waited too long for our bottle of wine. Seating not smart: large noisy party was seated right next to us in a half empty space. Parking a problem - not restaurant fault, but suggested valet at nearby hotel $$$$ and dismaying; practically threatened us with upcharges forcing us to leave before we were really ready. That being said food was great, and suggested special appetizers were as promised.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always great food and handy location in downtown New Brunswick. Specials maybe a touch expensive.

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PS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful experience in the “Secret Room”, if you have 6 or more people this is a great space!

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MG
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We choose Catherine Lombardi’s and had no past experience. We celebrated 2 Birthdays and were happy with service, ambience and low noise level was a definite plus.

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r
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I went there to celebrate a birthday which was not acknowledged but was mentioned in my open table reservation. They were a little pushy trying to sell us wine. My Veal tasted good but I wound up with a nasty stomach ache. Our pasta and meatball dish was way to salty, however the ravioli special and the linguini and shrimp dishes were very good. The shrimp were not consistently cooked, some were over cooked, some under cooked and some were cooked just right. The ceiling in the back ceiling seemed to be in need of repair.

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J
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Overall, it was a very good experience. The atmosphere was great and service was very strong. While the price points are a little on the high side, the food was outstanding and worth it. The only criticism on the service, is that we had to ask a couple of times for bread( I have a daughter that is a breadaholic ). Will definitely go back.

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JK
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I have been to this restaurant multiple times and it’s always amazing ! The eggplant parmigiana is unbelievably good.

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S
New York Area
51 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

We were overwhelmed with the noise! Happy diners is one thing, but the huge group celebrating some occasion were so loud that we couldn’t hear each other across the table. We just had a drink and appetizers then left. Frank Bruni’s column in the New York Times was spot on - I want a quiet restaurant where I can enjoy a meal and table conversation. That’s usually what we get here, but Saturday night was bad timing for us. There is a private room that could have been used for the group, not sure why it wasn’t. Experiences like this make one hesitant to return.

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D
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

The food was not as good as in the past- we were all disappointed. Two of us got the seafood special which was $44. It had almost no flavor and we had a bowl full of empty clam and muscle shells. Very little actual seafood in the dish. I hope it was just an off night for the Chef

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JC
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, drinks and wine were all top quality and delicious.

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D
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The wine list is quite extensive and impressive. When you have an elegant restaurant such as this and your greeted by the owner, to me that's the icing on the cake! The entree's would satisfy any delicate palette and foodie. Service is excellent and the wait staff are very knowledgeable

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JS
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I had previously eaten at Catherine Lombardi a few times and truly enjoyed my meal. This time I ordered the Scottish Salmon with Rosotto. It seemed to be well prepared and was tasty. I had a glass of Pinon Noirs and Tiramisu for dessert. We had tickets to the Theater so it was quite convenient. When i got home Ihad an upset stomach and was up for several hrs into the morning. I had nothing else to eat after leaving the restaurant so it must have been something i ate the there. Not sure what......

I was dining with another couple n we advised our server to split the check three ways. When I looked at my check it was for the entire dinner and theirs was for each of them.....more care should have been taken to get our checks right the first time. They did make an adjustment once advised.

I would dine here again and would also recommend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Honesty was disappointed. We were excited walking up the stairs to the restaurant. Then we get up and the host doesn’t greet us. It’s like some young looking girl (seems to be a high schooler or a very immature college kid). We tell her we have a reservation. She goes on her computer and it takes like 5 mins to figure out where to seat us (yet the place is half empty). She then tells us to follow her and she seats us in the tightest section of the restaurant. NOTE: I got the reservation through the app and mentioned it’s my wedding anniversary. So you’d think they would seat us in a nice area. No. She put us in the middle seats of a 6 seat booth/chair combo section. Why in the world would you do that.

So I asked if we can move over to the end seats especially since no one is sitting there. She’s like “oh I can’t. Because those tables aren’t set (the tables were freshly cleaned. We could easily move our 4 utensils and wine and water glasses). We pleaded And then she said “I’m sorry it’s a busy night so I just can’t”. Bruh. The place was half empty (and was half empty the whole night!!!!!!). So she left. We then asked our waiter to move us over and he had no problem. But then the host noticed we moved and she told her management. And the management, host and bar-man was just staring at us the whole night (as if they were trying to make us uncomfortable...it’s gonna take a lot more than that to intimidate us). Then the traveling Bar-man is walking towards me. Makes eye contact and still manages to bump into me carelessly. He noticed I was extremely confused how he could hit me like that when we made eye contact and he started stuttering nervously.

And much like the other negative reviews the staff looked confused bumping into each other and trying to cram into the corridor at the same time instead of just simply taking turns. Food was good but service was disgusting.

Catherine Lombardi
Responded on April 6, 2019

We're very sorry for the confusion with our new host. We should have taken care of you better at the door and your request to move should have been handled much better. She should have been better trained and that's our fault. Just for the record, she is a smaller person but a college graduate and an adult and pretty mature. Please be assured no one was staring or trying to intimidate you or bumping into you on purpose. That's not our style.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A wonderful experience. Food great and they don’t rush through the meal.

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RH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent service and dinner. All of the people in party enjoyed dinner and will return.

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m
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Service was nonexistent till a member of our party sought out a waiter food was presented well but was not very exciting considering the price and lastly ordered a expensive bottle of wine that was corked and then ordered another label and year which was just bad. Granted the wine was removed from the bill but it was not a good experience

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JK
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent and service was timely and very pleasant. Not over done.

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EB
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our host, Emilio, was very solicitous, knowledgeable and accommodating.

The food was amazing and the martini's excellent.

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RK
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place before show at the State Theater. Everything was excellent from service to ambience to meal. Highly recommend.

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F
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is excellent!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

The food was awful!!! The bad red sauce, over cooked pasta, meats where greasy with no flavor. I would never go back. Their were four of us dining and our friend could not discern he was eating lasagna.

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L
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebration of a birthday! Dining experience was very good.

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DG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 5

Something was very off the night we were there. The wait staff was running around bumping into each other, looking extremely frazzled. Customers were asking why they were waiting so long up to 30 minutes for their drinks, receiving the wrong drinks including us. There was only 1 bartender and at one point no one was behind the bar for quite a while. The owners or managers were running around and trying to undo the damage, one was very rude when we asked if something was wrong. The woman next to us received the wrong meal. The food was not very good. Disappointing evening to say the least. Beautiful restaurant but very unorganized.

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AG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Italian, upscale home style, lovely ambiance around corner from center of New Brunswick, adjacent to State Theatre

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l
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful place. Anyone who names his restaurant after his grandmother is sure live up to her memory and have great food.

And so it was, and our waiter was excellent too. I had the osso bucco and it was wonderful and the meat fell off the bone.
Hurry up and make a reservation, cause soon this place will be packed every night!

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RG
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is definitely an "Old School" dining experience. You are greeted at check in and seamlessly guided to the bar to await your guests. At the bar, the staff make great cocktails or pour a variety of wines as your guest arrive. When everyone has assembled, you head back to the check-in area, where you are guided to your table. The dining room is well appointed and comfortable. Once at your table, the Maître D and wine steward take care of getting you started on a great meal.
I would definitely recommend Catherin's . The food is good, the service is good. It is the old adage, you get what you pay for.

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BF
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Service great food not so much, at least not for the prices, chef has a heavy salt hand

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CG
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always our dinner stop before going to the State Theater.

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