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Stage Left and Catherine Lombardi Restaurant Blog
New Jersey
Food, wine, and the finer things in life
Recent Activity
Fusion & Fusion Steel Drums and Spiced Whiskey Sunday, August 20 Raj Gaur came to visit us a couple of years ago, when he released his excellent spiced whiskey. It is just delicious and extremely versatile. He calls it "Original Fusion #1 Blend." When he asked us about sponsoring an event this summer, we didn't hesitate. Fusion is also the name of Rick Dalgedi's Calypso Band that visits us every summer. The happy sounds of the steal drum will return to the streets of New Brunswick Sunday, August 20. Music is from 5 - 8. We will feature $9 Gaur... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Riesling Madness 85 Rieslings - 33% off Sunday, August 13 One of the most underrated, under-valued, age-worthy and delicious categories of wine is Riesling. Well, we collect Riesling. We certainly have the best and deepest Riesling list in NJ and one of the best in the country Eighty-five wines from Germany and Austria that date back to the 1990s and range in price from $36 to $400! This Sunday we are opening up the cellar and making all Riesling available at 1/3 off.These wines are some of the most food friendly on the planet, and while they don't go well... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
A Dew and Brew ...and A Brew ...with Your Bro Sunday, August 6 Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey is a classic and we made some great fancy cocktails with it. But Irish whiskey is also basic. Maybe 'fundamental' is a better word. A shot and a beer is nothing to look down one's nose at, especially if the shot is a great quality and so is the beer. The fine folks at Tullamore are pointing that out, with their Dew and A Brew campaign. We love the idea, and we're taking it a step further...because that's what we do. Dew and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Big Night: Dinner and a Movie Thursday, August 24 - 6:30 Our favorite food film of all time, Big Night, came out in 1996. A cult classic, it's a hysterical account of the sometimes heated relationship of two brothers who open a very authentic Italian restaurant in not-so-worldly New Jersey of the 1950's. Tony Shaloub, Stanley Tucci, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, Liev Schriber, Marc Anthony, Allison Janney The music, the dialogue, the cinematography, are just perfect. At the center of it all, is the food: A huge feast and all the love and care and drama that goes into it.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Davis Family Winery Essential Sonoma Wine Dinner Saturday, August 19 7PM By 19 years of age, Guy Davis was working as a sommelier in Seattle. Judy Davis also began her romance with wine in those heady college days. Their shared passion these last 30 years, first lead to a retail operation. In 1997, they realized a dream and acquired their own vineyards and winery. Guy will be here to host this dinner with his wines. The wines are simply spectacular. They're generous and juicy, but also sophisticated wines that show grace and restraint. They are very much Sonoma. The wines... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Tequila Pig Roast I still remember the first time I tasted El Tesoro de Don Felipe Tequila. It was the early 1990s and the brand was still owned by Carlos Camarena Curiel, grandson of the original Don Felipe Camarena. While it's no longer family owned, the current owners seem to be doing things the right way. It's still made by hand, crushed in a stone mill, baked in an old fashioned horno, fermented with natural yeast and distilled to proof with no addition of sugar or water. That's some serious Tequila right there, and it shows in every glass. Sunday,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Dinner at Dreyer Farms We're taking Stage Left Steak out for a walk. The Dreyers have been farming their land in Cranford for 113 years. Today it's run by John Dreyer and his oldest daughter Jess. We're going to serve dinner on the farm. Friday evening, July 28th, we are going to host a Midsummer Night's Dinner on The Farm. Talk about eating locally? Much of the food that night will have been grown yards from where you will eat it and picked only hours before. Click here for the Menu You know we never neglect the beverage aspect of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Casablanca: A Staged Radio Play by Raconteur Radio Sponsored by Rémy Cointreau "...all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, and she walks into mine." --Rick Blaine Perhaps the greatest movie of all time, Casablanca celebrates its 80th anniversary, while we celebrate our 25th. Raconteur Radio will stage an old-time Radio Play Production of Casablanca at Stage Left Steak on Sunday, July 16 at 7 PM. Dine before or after the show (in Stage Left Steak OR Catherine Lombardi) and the performance is just $20. This WWII classic takes place in Casablanca and tells the tale... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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The Fourth of July! Independence Day Jazz Cookout Tuesday, July 4 Cookout 2-9:30 PM Music 4-7 PM Did you know that New Brunswick was the home of the first ever celebration of Independence Day? Yup, by order of George Washington in 1778. At Stage Left, we will celebrate on the sidewalk with our annual Cookout: Our Famous Burger, Lobster Rolls, Wild King Salmon, Grilled Giant Prawns, Wild-Boar-Chili-Cheese Dogs, St. Louis Ribs, our entire Steak Menu! It won't be exclusively a meat-fest, as our compressed watermelon and summer vegetables and wood-grilled pineapple will round out the menu nicely. We'll have live... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Blue Crab and Spaghetti Jersey Italian Sunday, July 2 Crabs in Marinara with Spaghetti, Clams, Garlic Mussels, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and wine! Sunday, July 2nd, we party Catherine Lombardi style. It is a joyous summer tradition in the Lombardi family. Blue crabs tossed in bright, fresh marinara and served over spaghetti. Is it messy? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Catherine Lombardi will take over the sidewalk cafe (weather permitting) for a seafood feast, Italian style. We'll have great Italian wines to choose from, as well as beers from the new and exciting movement of craft brewing in Italy and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Father's Day June 18th. We're the perfect place to bring dad. Don't make him grill! Let us grill the steaks! To mark the occasion, we're going to be offering 1/2 off all whiskey in the house on Father's Day to anyone from our e-mail list. You just have to tell us and we'll cut all whiskey prices in half. Did you know that we have the largest whiskey collection in New Brunswick and one of the largest in the state. We have hundreds of carefully selected Bourbons, Scotches, Irish, Rye etc. Don't you think Dad could use a drink? We... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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An Old Fashioned Beefsteak Dinner! $99 per person plus tax and service. Friday, May 26 - 6:30 PM - 9 PM Though the centerpiece of beefsteak culture was indisputably the frenzied consumption of beef and beer, with diners eating with their fingers and drinking with abandon, serving styles varied. 1930s-era beefsteaks could be grouped into two styles, referred to by Joseph Mitchell in a 1939 The New Yorker article as "East Side" and "West Side." "East Side" beefsteaks were largely patronized by the working-class and immigrants, with courses consisting of items like sliced beef short loin, beef kidneys, and ground... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Memorial Day Lobster & Crab Crustacean Celebration Sunday, May 28 Live Music by Cancion Booze by Hudson Whiskey Crustaceans We're ringing in the summer season Stage Left with Lobster and Soft Shell Crabs. Weather permitting, we'll be seating in the sidewalk cafe; but whatever the weather, crustaceans will abound. Lobsters (1.25 lb) will be $25. Two for $40. We'll also have Soft Shell Crabs, Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches, Crabcakes and Lobster Rolls. Music We're happy to invite back our former maitre d', Cancion Franklin, whose making quite a mark in the New York City music scene. I took in a... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Tuscan Wine and Burgers with Anastasia Mancini of Buccia Nera $59 Some Tuscan wines are profound and meant for long-aging and serious meals. Some are like a Tuscan summer day, simple, bright, delicious and quaff-able. We love the wines of Buccia Nera and have been buying them for years. They are friendly and delicious and surprisingly complex. They are also inexpensive and great values. These should be your Italian house wines this summer. Our Maitre d' and wine steward, Beverly, was in Tuscany just recently and made a special trip to the estate for a visit with Ms. Mancini. We... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Stage Left 25th Anniversary Weekend Gamblers, Whiskey & Flying Horses Cocktails, Stories and The Preakness with Dale DeGroff Saturday, May 20 Dale DeGroff, father of the modern cocktail renaissance, helped us put together our first cocktail program in 1993! That made Stage Left one of the first bars in the country to join the contemporary cocktail movement, and the first in Jersey by about 15 years! It's only fitting that Dale help us celebrate our 25th anniversary with a cocktail party and a talk on his twin passions of whiskey and horses. After Dale's Stories, we'll stick around and watch... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Cathy Corison Wine Dinner Friday May 19, 2017 Anniversary Weekend! Left: Our partner Lou, his wife Daina and me in Cathy's Kronos Vineyard 2000. In the old days, when everyone was making turbo-charged juice-bombs that showed well at tasting, Cathy was making thoughtful and restrained wines that were often overlooked by critics and a public that favored power over elegance and quality. We're very proud that we saw that quality and we bet on those wines (and drank them) year after year. We used to run vertical selections going back a decade and we would preach the gospel of restraint... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Dinner in Catherine Lombardi We're seating for dinner from Noon - 8 PM. Brunch in Stage Left from 10:30 - 1 PM. Brunch is $39.95 per person and includes our wonderful dessert bar. Kids under 11 pay their age. Dinner in Stage Left from 3 - 8 PM. Stage Left Brunch Menu First Course Selections Lobster Bisque Market Fruit & Berries Hamachi Crudo Shaved Carrot and Frisee Salad BBQ Shrimp Warm Duck Confit Salad Cured Salmon Everything Bagel Croutons Main Course Selections Sunny-side Eggs over Lobster Potato Hash Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Omelet Raisin Hazelnut French Toast Seared Salmon Seared... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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George Hendry Wine Dinner June 9, 2017 George Hendry is one of the smartest men making wine anywhere. Not just because he is a nuclear physicist, not just because he's farmed the Hendry Ranch since before the Korean War, not just because he has managed his vineyards and wines as both an artist and a scientist, but because for 20 years, the wines have been extraordinary. This year, we were unable to get George in March like we usually do. We're touched that he's making a special trip out East just to meet you! Be here onJune 9! It's an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Easter Dinner at Catherine Lombardi: 1-6 PM In Catherine Lombardi, we celebrate Easter as Catherine Lombardi always did, with a full dinner. In addition to our regular a la carte menu, we will have specials like Spring Vegetable Minestrone, Asparagus and Ricotta Ravioli, Lamb Shank, and of course Easter Pie (aka Pizza Rustica, aka Pizza Gain). Easter Brunch at Stage Left: 11-2:30 PM / $39.95 / Kids 12 and under pay their age In Stage Left, we celebrate with Easter Brunch. It's not buffet (except for the awesome dessert table). It's a lovely, civilized a la carte, 3-course brunch with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Wine Dinner with Byron Kosuge April 27 at 7 PM $119 We first encountered Byron Kosuge's pinot noir a few years back. We were entranced then, and we've been entranced by every vintage since! Byron grew up in Davis, California. The first fifteen years of his wine making career were spent making his mark, as winemaker at Saintsbury in Carneros. He left Saintsbury in 2001 and has spent the last 16 years making extraordinary Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both under his own label and as a consultant for others. "I could never be a “rock star” winemaker. I’m most comfortable... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Well it is a thing, a pretty remarkable thing, and not too many people in the country are doing it. In recent years, it's been getting some press in America but we've been laying down beer for aging for many years. I don't think it is a stretch to say that at this point, we may well have the best beer cellar in the country. You see, while most beer is meant to be drunk young, there are many beers that age remarkably well. If you go visit a family in Belgium, you might be offered a fresh beer or... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
Making the experience of super-luxury spirits crazily affordable and accessible! Read more about the Spirits project. Suggested retail price: $299 Thursday, March 9 (for as long as it lasts), we're pouring one ounce for $9 Invergordon is a relatively new player in the game of Scottish whisky. Invergordon Distillers was founded in 1960 to purchase the Invergordon grain distillery, the construction of which had only started the previous year. Its purpose was, and remains, to make fine grain whiskey in exceptional Coffey stills (a special kind of still). The ownership has changed hands more than a few times and I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Byron Kosuge (4/27) Cathy Corison (5/19) George Hendry (6/9) Reservations@StageLeft.com or 732-828-4444 Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Ferret is one of the most magical domaines in all of Burgundy and a very important wine. The appellation of Pouilly-Fuissé was once one of the most respected regions in Burgundy. It is the noblest of the Macon sub region. Before WWII, it was a tiny appellation surrounding just the villages of Fuissé and Pouilly. After the war, cash starved France needed money and Pouilly-Fuissé had great name recognition. The borders of the region were re-drawn to include vastly more acreage and not all of it great. Thus began the slide into mediocrity. The newly included winemakers, on less-than-stellar land... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys
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Making the experience of super-luxury spirits crazily affordable and accessible! Read more about the Spirits project. Suggested retail price: $449 Thursday, March 2 (for as long as it lasts), we're pouring one ounce for $13 Inchgower 20 Year Scotch (1995) Blackadder Raw Cask 20th Anniversary In 1870, the landlord of The Tochineal Distillery doubled the rent. Much to his surprise, distiller Alexander Wilson decided to move rather than pay the new rates. He removed the stills and all the equipment from Tochineal and in 1871, founded "The Great Distillery of Inchgower" nearby. The Tochineal buildings still exist, but they have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at The Restaurant Guys