mark pascal

Catherine Lombardi in New Brunswick channels grandma’s Italian cooking

Written for on 1/2/18

There’s a good chance that Catherine Lombardi, an upscale restaurant staple of New Brunswick nestled next to Stage Left, brings back some homey and tasty memories for Italian-American New Jerseyans.

Outfitted with warm red walls, cozy fireplaces, real family photos, couch seating and even a gaudy lamp in an intimate space, the 11-year-old restaurant — which can seat 100 people can serves about 650 people a week — may look a lot like your grandmother’s living room.

That’s because the eatery, which boasts comfort dishes such as veal parmigiana, wild boar and ricotta ravioli and long fusilli with walnut basil pesto cream, is channeled straight from the Brooklyn home of co-owner Mark Pascal’s grandmother, Catherine Lombardi. The family matriarch was known for her Neapolitan-style home cooking and coveted Sunday dinners.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Lombardi