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
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
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: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower