On a rainy Saturday just before noon, I was able to get a table with no wait and no reservation, though the lobby filled with guests waiting for tables by the time I left, around 12:30. In general, getting seats at Universal's table-service restaurants is much easier than at Disney's, but it never hurts to call Universal in advance at +1-407-224-3613 to secure a reservation.
Lombard's is old-school cool, with dark wood and nautical-themed decorations throughout, highlighted by a large aquarium in the middle of the room. Service is attentive, but reserved — you'll feel more like you're visiting your rich grandparents' country club than some trendy gastropub, where the waiters take the initiative to chat you up. Lombard's team is more than happy to, and capable of, talking about anything on the menu, but they'll adapt to what you want from them, rather than trying to create a pre-programmed "atmosphere" for you. Like I said, old-school cool.
The meal starts with a bread service, served with butter stamped into a Universal Orlando logo. It's not quite as impressive as Disney's butter Mickey — but what would be Universal's alternative? A butter dinosaur or dragon? Or maybe a butter Minion? (My vote? Butter Minions need to happen!)
For my entree, I skipped the variety of fried seafood, sandwiches, and salads on the main menu to order one of the three featured seafood specials. I chose the Costa Rica Mahi Mahi, grilled, with roasted fingerling potatoes and sautéed vegetables ($19.99).
The other options were North Atlantic salmon (also $19.99) or fried Ipswich Belly Clams, for a dollar less.
Lombard's nailed the Mahi Mahi, showing this fish the respect it deserves by taking it off the grill when it was ready — not waiting until every last drop of moisture had been cooked out of it, as too many restaurants serving seafood do. Served stacked atop the potatoes and vegetables and topped with a tomato relish, the Mahi Mahi offered rich flavor that hit the sweet spot between the more assertive salmon and a blander white fish.
The vegetables held their own with this fish, too, cooked perfectly to that point between crisp and tender.
No, Lombard's isn't as fun or energetic as CityWalk's trio of new table-service restaurants: Antojitos, Vivo, and Cowfish. Nor does its menu range as widely as Mythos' over at Islands of Adventure. But if you're looking for a reliable, top-quality meal from a kitchen that knows how to hit its mark, served in an atmosphere of, well, old-school cool, Lombard's continues to come through at Universal Orlando.Tweet
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