Gaga alert! Restaurant is 'health hazard'

New York City health officials find six 'critical' violations of basic hygiene standards

If Lady Gaga's parents thought that autograph-hunting rubberneckers and the odd unhappy diner were the biggest challenge they faced as budding New York-based restaurateurs, they must think again. Health inspectors from the city's restaurant team last week added to their woes when they branded Joanne Trattoria, the Upper West Side bistro owned by the singer's parents, a potential health hazard.

Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta, who last February opened their Italian-themed bistro – featuring recipes dreamed up by their pop-star daughter – were told they had flouted several basic hygiene rules and risked exposing the food they serve to a "potential source of contamination".

A Department of Health inspection found six "critical" sanitary violations during an inspection last week, which meant hygiene had deteriorated since the team's previous visit in August.

The bleak report comes on top of a series of dire reviews. The New York Daily News recently said eating at the establishment was "worse than getting herpes". The New Yorker described a homemade focaccia as being "good in the same way that the garlic bread at Domino's is good", while the squid in the grilled calamari salad had "almost no flavour at all".

Such negative reviews are in stark contrast to the views of the trattoria's biggest fan, Lady Gaga herself. The singer put her recent 25lbs weight gain down to how "freaking delicious" the menu is. "I'm telling you I gain 5lbs every time I go in there," she told the radio show host Elvis Duran.

The New York City health inspectors' verdict, posted online, found eight separate sanitary violations. These included the "personal cleanliness" of its staff, which was "inadequate". One "outer garment" worn was "soiled with possible contaminant", while one food worker failed to use the "proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate heat treatment".

Other complaints concerned surfaces used to prepare food, which were "not properly washed, rinsed and sanitised" after each use, and the use of cloths that were "soiled" or "not stored in sanitising solution".

Until their appeal, the Germanottas do not have to display the "C" grade – the lowest issued by city officials – but can instead tell diners the hygiene grade is "pending".

Joanne Trattoria initially had plenty of paying fans. But online reviews from sites such as Yelp have turned sharply negative recently. Criticisms have ranged from the quality of the dishes to the service received.

Celebrity closures

The Fat Duck, a Michelin-starred restaurant run by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, was forced to close temporarily in 2009 after a poisoning scare saw hundreds of people – including the sports presenter Jim Rosenthal – reported to have fallen sick after eating there. Infected oysters were blamed.

Angela Hartnett at the Connaught – one of the jewels in Gordon Ramsay's empire – closed unexpectedly in 2007. Ramsay was said to be unhappy about plans to deliver restaurant food to hotel guests demanding room service.

Britney Spears's New York restaurant, NYLA, got lousy reviews after opening in 2002. A minor breach of "health code violations" was the final straw. It closed five months later.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reception Manager

    £18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence