Let's go down memory lane... well, we'll just walk around Central Park 'till we stumble upon a New York Italian restaurant. I think Joanne Trattoria will be a great place to tell this tale.

It’s April 2015, April vacation of my senior year of high school. Traveling by bus to visit family and friends, a 3-4 hour drive approximately. My ideal vacation/“spending time away from school and not doing homework” was to take a trip to New York, Brooklyn in particular, to hangout with family and friends that I don’t get to see often as I wish. One of those days, it was one of the best days of my life. This particular restaurant was also on my bucket list.

After the release of Lady Gaga’s album "Born This Way" and even prior to that, I became a huge fan of her music. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I’ve been interested about learning about who this woman is, her music, her social media interactions, and seeing what it was like to attend a Lady Gaga live performance (and let me tell you, that was another one of the best days of my life which included me crying during all of the set).

I read somewhere online that her parents opened up an Italian restaurant in Manhattan, subsequently I ran to my mother and told her, “I know that it’s kinda late to celebrate my birthday, but we can post-celebrate with one of our family friends…” Lucky enough for me, we decided to embark on our journey (3-4 hour bus ride to New York from Massachusetts) to the great New York Italian restaurant known as Joanne Trattoria.

Once I stepped into this great eating establishment, I realized that I was in food heaven. To describe this place, it has a rustic atmosphere, very family-oriented, great food, efficient service, and the list goes on and on. It's the environment for family occasions, a date-night, out with friends, etc.

I already had a list of dishes that I wanted to try, and trust me, I planned this out a few months before this day. This short list included: As an appetizer: Joanne’s meatballs, as an entree: Chicken Milanese, and as a dessert: Chocolate Mousse Cake or Red Velvet Cake. I made some pretty difficult decisions but I think chose a few great dishes that would be great for any type of meal or occasion.

Appetizer: Joanne’s Meatballs: the Germanotta Family Recipe ($12)

From what I can remember, Joanne’s Meatballs was a dish that many fans ordered. I believe in an interview, Lady Gaga also mentioned this plate. Based on that information, that meant that I had to try them. They were some of the largest meatballs that I’ve ever had. They taste so good! This was really a homemade Italian dish that everyone needs to try, even if you aren’t a fan of meatballs!

Entree: Chicken Milanese ($24)

On the description on Joanne Trattoria’s website, this meal is described as “breaded chicken filet, topped with arugula, chopped tomato & red onion.” The flavors in this dish were amazing. The chicken was made to perfection. It reminded me of a home-cooked meal. It was very fresh too.

lettuce, chicken, parmesan
Josi Miller

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse Cake ($12) or Red Velvet Cake ($8)

For anyone that has a really strong sweet tooth, this must be a hard decision to make, and trust me it was. After some time contemplating about which one I wanted to try, I ordered the Chocolate Mousse Cake.

This probably had enough sugar in it for someone to go off the walls (just kidding!). But truth be told, I couldn’t eat the whole thing by myself. I needed some help from my friends, or in this case, my family and family friends. I love mousse and anything that has chocolate in it so of course as you can imagine, I ate my portion pretty quickly. Once the Chocolate Mousse Cake was devoured, it was time to get the check and head back into the city. 

chocolate, sweet, cream, cake, pastry, dairy product, mousse, candy
Rael Hanus

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