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Our Local Commons

Cafe Milano received an uncharacteristically high number of Yelp reviews today. As of one 1 p.m. there were close to 300 fresh slams, all of them one-star reviews. That’s because Chef José Andrés says he was barred from entering the Alfalfa Club dinner after-party at the storied Georgetown restaurant Saturday night. 

Though high-ranking Democrats have had many a meal at Cafe Milano, the Italian spot run by Franco Nuschese has become a clubhouse of sorts for the Trump administration.

The Yelp reviews have the same amount of outrage as if someone spat on Santa Claus

Dr. Michael G. writes: Do you like racism with your Italian food? Chef Franco Nuschese delivers a sublime menu that combines Italian classics like pizze and rizotti with Republican classics like xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment and racism.

David E. writes: The food had roaches in it and I told the manager that I didn’t like roaches and the manager told me that Ivanka Trump really likes roaches so there was nothing they could do. Sad!

Amilcar A. writes: Rubbish. Steak with ketchup, caters to white supremacists, grifters and they discriminate. Never go to this shithole.

The chef and humanitarian, who fed Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit and is now paving the way for how aid will be delivered in the future, thinks he was prevented from joining the festivities by Ivanka Trump. He took one hell of a selfie in a tweet that’s making its way around the web.

The reviews may not have a long shelf life on Yelp because the online site makes a habit of cleaning up pages when something political takes place. That’s why some reviewers are choosing to attack the food and ambiance instead of writing about Andrés. 

Just before 2 p.m. Cafe Milano issued the following statement via Twitter:

@chefjoseandres, you are always welcome at @CafeMilanoDC when we are open and in fact, I will host you and toast to all your successes. I am sorry for the misunderstanding. Last night the restaurant was closed for a private Alfalfa Dinner after party…Of note, the dinner and after party are different guest lists. Also, Ivanka Trump had no role on determining event attendees. Franco. 

After Nuschese’s apology Andrés tweeted both that he had heard from Ivanka Trump and that the situation may have been a misunderstanding.

According to the Post’s Reliable Source column, Andrés simply may not have been invited in the first place. How long will it take Cafe Milano to bring its overall Yelp rating back above two stars? The damage has already been done.

Andrés did not respond to a request for comment. This post has been updated.

New Washington City Paper owner Mark Ein named Andrés a “friend of City Paper” when he purchased the paper in early January. City Paper maintains full separation between business and editorial content.