Lady Gaga's parents finally opened their much-hyped New York City restaurant this week, and the early review is monstrous.
We are using the singular here because only one reviewer dared to critique Joanne after a meal on the trattoria's opening night -- which was closed to the press.
You don't expect a brand-new eatery to be running on all cylinders, the New York Post's Steve Cuozzo wrote. But Joanne, owned by the pop superstar's parents, last night was running mainly on acrid-smelling burnt vinegar wafting intermittently through the raucous dining room.
The premature review -- titled You'll Gag on the Food at Gaga's -- skewered the food, the service, and the décor; also getting in (inexplicable) shots at the outer boroughs and the suburbs. Chef Art Smith was largely spared from the roast: Cuozzo said the former Top Chef Masters contestant is a genuinely major talent and expressed concern that Smith's decision to lend his name to the restaurant could damage his career.
Not a single thing to pass Cuozzo's lips passed muster. 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, he wrote.
One-note orecchiette with shellfish recalled the flaccid pasta commonly doled out along Long Island's Jericho Turnpike - or at 35,000 feet.
Cuozzo is justifiably getting backlash for his opening-night review -- which is considered a faux pas in the world of restaurant criticism. Commenters to an Eater.com blog post about the pan seemed to feel that Cuozzo's unprofessionalism was a bigger problem than the allegedly inedible Italian fare.
A review of opening night? Cuozzo should lose his job, wrote one.
Cuozzo should give up writing and stick to squid-mongering, suggested another.
The critic acknowledged his timing was a bit hasty, but defended his early review on the grounds that the Germanottas, Smith and Gaga herself, with the windiest hype machine east of the Pacific, have been trumpeting the joint for months.
For Day One, couldn't they at least get some people who act like they've seen the inside of a restaurant before?
On Wednesday, Lady Gaga tweeted an announcement of Joanne's debut. I'm so proud of my parents! Tonight their restaurant opens in NY. Joanne Trattoria. My dad built with his two hands, mommy decorated.
We will be keeping an eye on her Twitter feed to see if she comments on the God awful -- and unfair -- review.