Note: Our writer was invited to this event and received a complimentary meal.
Catherine Lombardi, one of the top Italian restaurants in the Garden State, recently held its annual celebration of Big Night. The 1996 movie, set in New Jersey, stars Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, and Marc Anthony, among others. The movie tells the story of an Italian restaurant run by two brothers who gamble on one special night in hopes of turning their business into a success.
Owning it: Pascal and Schott
The owners of both Catherine Lombardi and Stage Left Steak, Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, have declared the cinematic treasure to be one of their favorites. Pascal and Schott go back more than 25 years to when they were dorm-mates at Rutgers. They also identify with the restaurant-owner brothers in Big Night. The film, like Pascal and Schott’s restaurants, is a true celebration of fine cuisine. We applaud their idea of creatively pairing the movie with a meal.
Guests viewed the film while enjoying truffled popcorn and wine from the event’s wine partner, Farnese Vini, at The Heldrich Hotel. Afterward, the group moved across the street to Catherine Lombardi where they indulged in a meal that recreated the delicious feast featured in the movie. The outstanding meal included Italian wedding soup, timpano, garlic bread, a risotto trio, tender roasted suckling pig, roasted organic chicken, whole roasted bronzino, broccoli rabe and zucchini blossom flower pancakes, along with a special dessert of Flambe Pascal.
The ambiance of Catherine Lombardi is elegant but welcoming—a bit of Tuscany in New Brunswick. It is a place where hospitality is a priority. Regular dinner guests can indulge in Italian favorites and house specialty dishes that include antipasti, house-made pastas, meat, seafood and an array of accompaniments.
Catherine Lombardi and Stage Left Steak are located on at the corner of Livingston Avenue and George Street in the heart of New Brunswick’s arts district. Both restaurants are just steps away from State Theatre New Jersey. Their beverage programs include an award-winning wine list and outstanding cocktail menus that will delight theatergoers before or after shows.
Wine aficionados will be please to learn that there is a new online retail store, Stage Left Wine Shop, which has recently been launched as an extension of the restaurants’ wine lists. The shop presents a wonderfully curated list of unusual wines and exceptional values. They deliver free to local zip codes, at a flat rate close to New Brunswick, and will ship to the rest of New Jersey and out of state where allowed.
Whether you visit for a special event, an intimate meal, a group gathering, or just to stop by, Catherine Lombardi and Stage Left Steak are sure to please.
Stage Left Steak
5 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ
Photos courtesy of Catherine Lombardi and Stage Left Steak.