Gaga’s Papa Premieres Pasta Place with Oprah’s Former Chef: ‘Little Monsters’ Little Meatballs’ on Menul

Don’t expect to get a reservation to tonight’s grand opening of Joanne Trattoria, the collaborative dining efforts of chef Art Smith and Lady Gaga‘s father, Joe Germanotta. We called ahead to see if we could maybe snag a seat, but seeing as the West Side eatery had been promoting its phone number on the red awning of 70th West 68th St. since early January, we were out of luck. (And so is everyone else: the restaurant is booked solid till Feburary 15th, and Fridays and Saturdays are a no-go until the end of the month.)

Still, Mr. Smith was kind enough to take our call and tell us about the Gaga-inspired dish of the evening.
“It’s called Little Monsters’ Little Meatball and Penne,” Oprah’s former personal chef of 10 years told us. (Since he began in 1997, he was responsible for both Fat and Thin Oprah.) “We’re expecting a lot of Little Monsters tonight, and wanted to make something special in their honor.”

(We would have gone for Pasta-razzi, or perhaps “Cod in a Crab Trenette.”)

And though Lady Gaga won’t be attending tonight (or so Chef Smith said), an appearance at the restaurant wouldn’t be totally unexpected. She’s not only the daughter of the owner, after all, but has a history of restaurant investments.

We’re actually more excited for what Mr. Smith promised for the Spring: Southern Fried Sundays, where the Italian menu will integrate a more down-home theme for brunch. (Currently the restaurant only does dinner.)

“The two cultures actually share a lot similarities,” Mr. Smith said about the Italian/Southern food meshing. Here’s a quick peek at what you’re missing.