I usually research my restaurants to death. Zagat, yelp, Eater, etc. So on Tuesday night before a show at Lincoln Center I was upset because the place I wanted to go was closed for a private party. Columbus Avenue has lots of restaurants but none of them were just right. (I can be like Goldilocks.) We found ourselves on the corner of 68th Street and looked in the window at Joanne Trattoria and then crossed the street to look at another Italian restaurant. The prices were higher and the people in front of us nabbed the last window table. So we crossed the street back to Joanne’s. My partner-in-crime (P-I-C), who had blisters on her feet, said enough researching so we went in. We got the last available table and even though the calendar said spring there was a twinge of cold in the air and the restaurant had a lovely fire going. We looked at the wine list and saw three wines under what was billed as The Gaga Collection. “Interesting,” we thought.
A large table was being set up behind us with place cards. One of the other patrons in the restaurant went over to take a photo of one of the place cards. “Interesting,” we thought. We ordered non-Gaga glasses of wine and shared a delicious shaved brussel sprouts salad and very good calamari. Then my P-I-C noticed that two imposing bodyguards had walked into the restaurant. “Interesting,” we thought. A young woman dressed in a floral patterned top and pants walked over to the large table and hugged a woman who was already seated. “It’s such a thrill to meet you,” we heard her say to Ms. Floral. Was that …? Could it be …? There was Lady Gaga – sans wig and platform shoes (we later learned the outfit was Gucci) in what turned out to be her father’s restaurant. NOW the wine collection made sense. We behaved (the bodyguards were VERY imposing) and later found out that the dinner was a prize for a donation to Lady Gaga’s foundation. We finished our shared red snapper over chickpeas and greens (also delicious) and I learned there is something to be said for happenstance. AFW
70 West 68th Street, joannenyc.com