Lady Gaga is not affiliated with the restaurant, other than being the daughter to its owners, Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta.
She told New York radio host Elvis Duran: “I’m dieting right now, because I gained, like, 25 pounds. ... My father opened a restaurant. It's so amazing ... it’s so freaking delicious, but I’m telling you I gain five pounds every time I go in there.”
Some patrons of the Upper West Side establishment agree with Gaga, as attested by rave reviews on Yelp and Zagat, but critics haven’t been as smitten.
Leo Carey of the New Yorker was unimpressed after waiting five months to eat there. He described the homemade focaccia as “good in the same way that the garlic bread at Domino’s is good” and went on to say:
“The squid in the grilled-calamari salad, though bearing the browned marks of grilling, has none of the charcoal richness you might expect - indeed, it has almost no flavor at all.”
“Osso buco is more or less just osso, and such bone marrow as there seems to be is oddly chewy,” he noted in his July write-up.
Michael Kaminer, one of the dining critics from the New York Daily News, branded Joanne's, which has been frequented by Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise, “an incomprehensible imitation of a restaurant.”
“I came with an open mind, despite the fact that most of my colleagues have portrayed Joanne as the worst thing since herpes,” he admits.
He was most offended by the high prices and lack of a fine dining experience.
“The meat itself came closer to those supermarket birds in foil bags. And people: That $28 doesn’t include sides. The only adornment is a shriveled lemon segment perched atop the meat. Sauteed spinach or rosemary fingerling potatoes will set you back $9.”
But not everything was terrible. He said the servers were “sweet, solicitous and patient” and that “they genuinely seem to enjoy sharing the stories behind Joanne’s recipes, like the Sunday gravy Joe cooks for family.”
But he quickly went back to the negative critiques:
“[The] ‘Expresso’ - yes, with an “x” - for $5 on Joanne’s menu... is more like concentrated Sanka, but you’ll need it to avoid choking on a tiramisu cake ($14) whose desiccated base holds gelatinous cream tasting vaguely of plastic.”
The dreadful reviews come just days after Lady Gaga announced that she has battled bulimia and anorexia, and decided to take a stand against body image disorders with a new place on her “Little Monsters” site called “Body Revolution.”
In 2011 she told New York magazine the “pop stars should not eat.”
She continued in February of this year:
"I used to throw up all the time in high school. So I'm not that confident," said Gaga. "I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night."
She also admitted: "Weight is still a struggle," she said. "Every video I'm in, every magazine cover, they stretch you — they make you perfect. It's not real life ... I'm gonna say this about girls: The dieting wars have got to stop. Everyone just knock it off. Because at the end of the day, it's affecting kids your age. And it's making girls sick."
After sharing half-naked pictures of her new voluptuous body, she wrote on her site: “Today I join the BODY REVOLUTION. To Inspire Bravery. And BREED some m$therf**king COMPASSION.”
She continued: “My mother and I created the BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION for one reason: ‘to inspire bravery.’”
“This profile is an extension of that dream. Be brave and celebrate with us your ‘perceived flaws,’ as society tells us. May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous.”
She continued on her blog: “My boyfriend prefers me curvier.”
“When I eat and am healthy and not so worried about my looks. I'm happy. Happier then I've ever been. I am not going to go on a psycho-spree because of scrutiny. This is who I am. And I am proud at any size.”
She attributes her happiness about her new, fuller figure to her fans:
She wrote: “My weight/loss/gain since I was a child has tormented me. No amount of help has ever healed my pain about it. But you have.”