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New Brunswick NJ: Catherine Lombardi

Catherine Lombardi is in a cozy upstairs location in downtown New Brunswick, a few doors down from the State Theater. The interior is designed to remind you of an elegant home. The service is classic Italian, attentive and warm but not gushy or cloying.

I started with a small appetizer plate, with gorzonzola, parmigano reggiano, and olives. Everything was excellent. I have a hard time choosing which cheese I enjoyed more.

For my main course, I ordered eggplant parmigana. The mozzarrella was wonderful, the sauce excellent, but the real star was the eggplant itself. They dry the eggplant for a day to intensify its flavor. That step enhances not just the flavor but also the texture. It was wonderfully rich but much more subtle than a piece of meat would have been.

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