GAGA FRENZY: CAN CELEBRITY-BACKED RESTAURANT JOANNE ALSO BE “QUAINT”?

Joanne Trattoria, the restaurant on 68th Street just East of Columbus Avenue run by Lady Gaga’s father Joe Germanotta opens today. And before a single plate of osso buco is served, before the menu has even been posted on the restaurant’s virtually blank website, it’s booked solid into March, Chef Art Smith told me.

Germanotta has been adamant that he wants the space to serve family-style Italian meals and be a kind of homey Upper West Side spot. But clearly, anything attached to his daughter’s name brings out the monsters — the nickname for her rabid fans. He seems kind of peeved by all the attention: on twitter he recently wrote “Please ask everyone to stop calling. It has become a nuisance.” (437 people retweeted that statement.) As of about a week ago, Germanotta was still unsure whether to hang a picture of his famous daughter in the restaurant, the New York Times recently reported.

Of course, being too popular is always a good problem to have. Hardcore Lady Gaga fans have mouths, stomachs and intestines just like the rest of us, and if they enjoy the food that’s what matters.

Chef Art has his own celebrity cache, having cooked for Oprah, the Obamas and Jeb Bush (he’s politically flexible.) His Southern cooking style will be featured on the menu, and there may even be a “Southern Sunday” menu each week. The restaurant is offering a price fixe menu as well as a la carte offerings, which are detailed at the bottom of this post on Eater. And this Sunday, they’re planning to show the Super Bowl and serve chili.

Chef Art is a big fan of the Upper West Side. He now lives on the same street as the restaurant, and in our very brief video clip below (sadly cut short by a phone memory failure) he proclaimed his love for the neighborhood.

Image of Gaga by ama_lia via flickr. Joanne photo by Avi.

For more coverage of Joanne, click here.

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