Last night was the opening night for Joanne, the new Italian restaurant opened by the parents of Stefani “Lady Gaga” Germanotta and chef Art Smith, who was recently spotted making salami waffles with the pop star on her Thanksgiving special. Used to be that a restaurant would be able to get its sea legs before being subjected to the wrath of reviewers, but in an effort to
goose his section’s pageviews get the early scoop the New York Post‘s Steve Cuozzo snagged a table at the West 68th Street eatery last night and went to town on the eats. He was not very impressed!
Appetizers took 50 minutes to arrive. Grilled calamari with bitter greens and radicchio were the worst I’ve had in a lifetime of squid-mongering, the salad unseasoned and the calamari like leather.
One-note orecchiette with shellfish recalled the flaccid pasta commonly doled out along Long Island’s Jericho Turnpike — or at 35,000 feet.
Unspeakably fatty veal osso bucco was $38. In a review the other day, I criticized the same dish at new Caffe Storico, where it cost only $28. Come back, Caffe Storico! All’s forgiven.
Jericho Turnpike? Ouch. To be fair to Cuozzo, the menu does look a bit expensive and amateurishly worded (do people who have the funds to drop $28 on it really need to be reminded that orechiette is a type of pasta?). And the place was touted on the aforementioned Thanksgiving special, so his assertion that the restaurant has the “windiest hype machine east of the Pacific” isn’t entirely unfounded (although one wonders if he’s heard of Lana Del Rey yet). Our colleagues at Fork In The Road have yet to weigh in, and as someone who ate at Britney Spears’ doomed midtown eatery Nyla back in the day (decent portobello burger, okay fries), I am very curious to see what they think.