Lady Gaga's music makes it clear that she doesn't mind paparazzi. But our guess is that if she decides to write a song called "Restaurant Critic" any time in the near future, it won't be quite as rosy.
That's because her parents, Joe and Cynthia Germanotta, joined Art Smith, Oprah's former personal chef, this week to open an Italian restaurant, Joanne, in Manhattan. And even the tacit backing of two of the world's most powerful women wasn't enough to prevent a critical drubbing.
In his Joanne review ("You'll gag on the food at Gaga's"), he said that the calamari salad was the worst he'd eaten in his entire career at a critic. And it only gets worse from there:
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.
Cuozzo admits that it's not entirely fair to judge a restaurant based on opening night; it's possible things will improve. And Cuozzo isn't necessarily the definitive critic of record on New York restaurants. But it's hard to imagine things will turn around completely. That can't be fun for Gaga -- whose middle name is the source of the restaurant's title.
On the bright side, though, Joanne could give Pete Wells, the new restaurant critic at the New York Times, his first chance to compete with his predecessors Sam Sifton and Frank Bruni in the hilariously negative review arena. Past evidence suggests he'll more than hold his own.