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“Nice restaurant but food failed to meet expectations”

Catherine Lombardi Restaurant
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Ranked #11 of 197 Restaurants in New Brunswick
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: George Street
Transit: The restaurant is located a few minute walk from the New Brunswick train station, on the New Jersey Transit - Northeast Corridor line.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Nice restaurant but food failed to meet expectations”
Reviewed March 9, 2014

The ambience, crowd and service here are very good but the food wasn't as good as we expected. We were a party of four, with entree orders of scallops, fra diablo and salmon. While it's hard to mess up salmon, which was tasty (though nothing to brag about), the diners who had the other two entrees weren't impressed. The scallops were overdone and the fra diablo was a mess of lukewarm stuff. The staff was friendly and accommodating, and the bar was friendly, lively and a nice place to hang out. Prices were about average for the region. If we go back, it will likely be for cocktails and snacks at the bar but not dinner.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HeatherM11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    74
    50
    32
    13
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Slow service, undercooked food”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Ate here for a work dinner. The restaurant was crowded, the service was slow, and I didn't finish my meal because I was concerned my scallops weren't done.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank MattMarek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great spot for couples”
Reviewed February 16, 2014

Took my significant other here for Valentine's Day, and CL did not disappoint. Certain parts of the meal were by far better than others, but the overall atmosphere was well worth every penny.

The garlic bread is what they advertise it to be - VERY garlicky. I personally prefer it that way, and there were no stray pieces of garlic, but be forewarned if you don't like that.
The ravioli were great - we had the wild boar and the goat cheese spinach ravioli. The fillings weren't the best but the pasta was certainly well made.
The desserts were to die for - chocolate hazelnut bread pudding and the creme brulee are both must haves.

And of course, the cocktail bar lives up to all of its expectations - try a favorite, try something new (I like Manhattans, so I decided to get their signature variation, the Brooklyn) - either way, certainly one of the best cocktails I've ever had.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Napoli-phile21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
160 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Go for the Eggplant Parm”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

My play group has come here prior to attending George Street Playhouse because it is convenient and the eggplant parm really is excellent. They strive for posh service but this often translates into too much "hovering" for the sake of hovering. We always need speedy serivce and we have on occasion needed to forego coffee or dessert, despite letting them know up front that we have tickets.

The prices are steep and not always worth it. If you'd like the eggplant but choke at the price, order the eggplant rollatini appetizer for a more sensibly sized plate with all the flavour. Never, EVER, ask the server to choose the wine. One of our number made that mistake and was given a $25 glass of red. Needless to say, as we always split the bill, this has become a long standing admonition when we go back!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Nellbluebell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Pretentious, Rude, average food and poor service”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

We made reservation, to celebrate our daughter's birthday, one week prior to the event. We specifically asked if a baby and a stroller will be allowed and were advised that it is not a problem. Imagine our shock when we arrived and were told that stroller and baby are difficult to accommodate; would we hold the baby in our lap for two hours? We were insistent that we were advised that a baby and stroller are not a problem. We were finally seated but it was abundantly clear that they were unhappy and their attitude was just plain rude and indifferent.
When we were seated we told them we would like a candle on the dessert to help celebrate the birthday.
The multiple people taking care of us were busy with other tables and we had to flag them down for every thing that we needed. If we could leave without ruining our daughter's birthday, we would have.
The food arrived reasonably on time but it did not live up to the great reviews. Seafood with Diavolo sauce was plain, stuffed calamari was tough to chew and the pasta with meatballs was good but not great.
When we ordered the dessert, we expected the melted chocolate cake to have the single candle but it did not. By this time we had just given up, ate the cake and left.
The menu says that 20% gratuity is added for parties of six or more, but they added it for our group of five (unless they counted the 10 month old baby as the sixth guest).
Overall they managed to greatly disappoint us with the attitude, service and food. Our daughter who lives in the area was aghast at this. The owners need to visit Chicago to learn how to take care of guests in the restaurant.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ravishashi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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