Lincoln Center is not necessarily known to be the epicenter of great food. However, there is a quaint little blink-and-you'll-miss-it restaurant on 68th street that, should you be in the area, is not to be overlooked.
Joanne's Trattoria opened it's doors in February 2012, as an Italian joint with family recipes... from the Gaga family that is- yes, super-celeb Lady Gaga's father is the man behind this local restaurant. After getting negative initial reviews, the place has overhauled itself with a new chef and has made some improvements.
The salumi and cheese board is huge. Get the half portion, which is still monstrous (Lady Gaga pun intended). It includes chunks of bleu cheese, Parmesan, mortadella, prosiuctto, and salami. The charcuterie itself leaves something to be desired, but the prosciutto is fantastic.
Craving a large piece of Italy?
Order the arancini filled with peas and risotto, stuffed with kalamata olives, and topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese. The generously sized balls are beautifully crisp on the outside, and creamy inside. Yet, they fall apart a bit to easily.
Their personal pizzas are again, larger than life size. You can choose any topping you'd like, and once they arrive the thin crust is expertly cooked, the cheese is perfectly cheesy, and the sauce is how you remember your Italian grandma's sweet tomato sauce- if you're lucky enough to have one. Meatballs and Eggplant Parm will also leave you pleasantly surprised and wanting more.