A Smorgasbord of Stars!
One of the benefits of being a big, bright, shining star? You can dine out on the town whenever it strikes your fancy. That said, it boggles our mind that a celebrity would want to bear the burden of actually owning a restaurant. But being a celebrity is all about building your brand, right? Never mind if your name becomes synonymous with a shoddily prepared entree — you’ll be rubbing buttered elbows with Paula Deen, Jean-Georges, and all the rest of them fancy-pants culinary folk!
But we digress. Lady Gaga's parents Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta debuted their first gastronomic endeavor, a restaurant called Joanne, on Wednesday, February 1 — and it was skewered by NY Post's critic Steve Cuozzo. He writes: "Forget the Edge of Glory... Joanne was close to the edge of collapse." He continues on in a scathing manner: "Much of the staff, including the crew toiling in the open kitchen, seemed plucked from the ’burbs. Clueless busboys wandered the floor, performing no other function than to pour tap water into sparkling." Geez. Poor Lady Gag-gag... (We kid.)
Another celebrity to hop on this gravy train? Mark Wahlberg, who is trying his hand at flipping burgers — and he’s making it a family affair. The star and his fam unveiled a new burger joint in Hingham, Massachusetts, on October 25, aptly called “Wahlburgers.” Mark, along with brothers Paul and Donnie, promise that dining in the restaurant will feel like you’re enjoying a meal at the Wahlbergs’ home. If that’s the case, tie a napkin ‘round our necks — ‘cuz we won’t be late for dinner!
Which other celebrities are hungry for a piece of the restaurant biz? Pop an Alka-Seltzer and read on to find out!
Ryan Gosling: We never thought there was any way we could ever possibly be more attracted to Ryan Gosling, until we discovered that he co-owns a Moroccan restaurant. Tagine, located in the heart of Beverly Hills, is an upscale gem featuring a menu that “infuses centuries old recipes with modern sensibilities to reflect a fresh perspective.” What we wouldn’t give to nestle against Ryan in one of the restaurant’s plush banquettes while he feeds us whatever’s on the overpriced menu.
Ian Somerhalder: Mr. Smolderhotter, of The Vampire Diaries fame, co-owns McClain’s, a pizzeria near Sun Valley, Idaho, with his brother and sister. We’re guessing Ian, who’s a known foodie, would rather die than have his pizza place serve a bad pie.
Flava Flav: The hip hop icon and reality TV star just opened a fried chicken and soul food joint in Vegas aptly named, The Flava Flav House of Flavor.
Ashton Kutcher and Wilder Valderrama: Pals and former That ‘70s Show co-stars Ashton and Wilmer own Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante in Atlanta. According to About.com, this shi shi Italian restaurant is a place to see and be seen. If that’s the case, just make sure you’re keeping good company. Right, Ash?
Sean Combs: Is there anything Dirty Diddy Money doesn’t do? On top of owning a clothing empire, singing, and acting, Mr. Combs owns Justin’s, a restaurant serving comfort food in Atlanta. His money may be dirty, let’s just hope the kitchen’s clean.
Justin Timberlake: He’s bringing baby back. Ribs, that is. JT owns a BBQ joint called Southern Hospitality in New York. Gael Greene offers an amusing, if not slightly scathing, review of it here.
Lisa Vanderpump: This Real Housewife is a real whiz in the restaurant industry. The witty Brit owns two dining establishments: SUR (which looks sooper glitzy) in West Hollywood and Villa Blanca (which looks a tad stuffier) in Beverly Hills.
Lemon Basket: Talk about too many cooks in the kitchen! Let’s not even get started on this derailed dining car. Heidi Montag, Jake Pavelka, and Danielle Staub are just a handful of the
fame-hungry reality stars involved in this roach-infested restaurant that served shredded baby. We’d dare you to try it out... if it hadn’t already shut its doors.
But can you believe there are more?
Jennifer Lopez: Madres [Closed] in Pasadena, California
Britney Spears: NYLA in New York City, New York
Sandra Bullock: Bess Bistro in Austin, Texas
Stephen Baldwin: Luahn in New York City, New York
Robert DeNiro: Nobu and Tribeca Grill, both in New York City, New York
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