The New York Daily News reviewer Michael Kaminer said that he went to the eatery with an open mind despite his colleagues portraying Joanne Trattoria as “the worst thing since herpes.”
“When a restaurant charges 18 dollars for fried calamari, should the dish arrive so sloppily plated that it looks like the kitchen threw it back in the bowl after dropping it?” the Daily Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
“Should the appetiser glow with grease or boast more breadcrumbs than squid? And should the accompanying marinara sauce taste like a powdered mix?
“Any goodwill you muster will go out the window when you notice ‘Expresso’ — yes, with an ‘x’ — for 5 dollars on Joanne’s menu. It’s more like concentrated Sanka, but you’ll need it to avoid choking on a tiramisu cake (14 dollars) whose desiccated base holds gelatinous cream tasting vaguely of plastic,” he added.
The reviewer said that the place is 'charmless and generic' and wondered how the restaurant’s namesake, Joe’s sister Josephine, felt about having her name attached to the eatery.
He said that the absence of head chef Art Smith (who was once Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef) was 'palpable.'