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East Village/ LES >
John's of 12th Street
Posted by anonymous on 10/28/2014
This place was a huge disappointment. Maybe at one time they made fresh, authentic Italian food, but that time has passed. None of the food we ordered had any flavor, and none was made fresh. They serve frozen food heated up. The red sauce has absolutely no flavor, and the lasagna was worse than you'd buy frozen to cook in your microwave - but costs $20. An Italian restaurant that doesn't serve Italian bread?? The one thing we ordered that was halfway decent was the Avocado Bruchetta appetizer. They also don't accept credit cards (which they don't say anywhere on their website), and won't be able to give you an itemized receipt (necessary for a business expense). With all the great Italian restaurants in NYC, don't waste your money or time on this place that is past it's prime.
Posted by T on 09/21/2014
Unfortunately not good like the others. I thought the music could be changed, 'rock stuff' doesn't work. I thought the food was very good. Unfortunately the waitstaff disappeared after the food was served. I almost feel like our table was being punished or we somehow offended the waiters (??) b/c no one came around to give us the check. Then we again had to get someone to take the check. Very unprofessional.
Posted by HippieChick on 07/31/2014
I've been going to John's for decades, but lately it's gotten less pleasant. Food is still good and old-style, portions are still humongous. But the noise level has grown to be almost painful, and the wait staff could use retraining. For instance, if a couple is sharing an order of clams, TWO seafood forks are required, especially when the waiter is told they're sharing the appetizer. And furthermore, a clean fork is required with every course. A waiter is not supposed to take the used fork off the soiled plate where the diner has correctly placed it to be taken away and replace it ON THE TABLECLOTH. This is cafeteria behavior. Once a utensil is used, that's it. A new one should be put at the place. So not exactly the finest of dining experiences.
Posted by Joan on 02/28/2013
As the place filled up, the decibel level increased and by the end of our dinner, my friend and I had given up trying t hear each other. We finished our meal and left -- I'm sorry to say, forever. I eat out to experience good food but also to meet with friends and enjoy conversation. My dish was good as was the service but I won't return to a place so loud that one has to scream to be heard. To give it the benefit of the doubt, it was a Friday night -- perhaps it's not so crowded and noisy during the week.
Posted by david on 06/01/2012
I was trying to take my friend out for his birthday to Angelica except the wait was forty-five minutes and we didn't have the time for that. We decided on John's since they added a vegan menu and it is right next door. Though it was crowded we were able to get a table right away. The vegan menu looked alright and even though I wanted the ravioli I went with the seitan alla rosa and my friend with the seitan scallopini. Both seemed good enough. That the food arrived in under five minutes was sign enough that no effort was put in. Additionally, each dish was identical save for the sauce and there was nothing special about it. It's obvious the vegan menu was added to draw a crowd away from Angelica and make money because as a chef I would never ever serve anything like that. I cannot imagine the kitchen is proud of their work...
Posted by Pasta lover on 03/21/2012
Been many times & although the food isn't THE BEST, it's great 'red sauce' American Italian food. Atmosphere is great, especially the back room with the ever growing candelabra. Price is right as well.
Posted by artnyc on 03/05/2012
Been wanting to try this place for years based on it's good reputation. While the portions are generous, the food is fair at best. We had a pizza (decent) an eggplant parm and a chicken parm. Both were "eh". The real let down though, was the service and the atmosphere. For the first half of the meal we had bad 70s rock blaring at us. Although they turned it off when we asked, who ever thought this would match the old-school Italian ambiance? The pizza, our appetizer, took almost an hour to come out even though we were one of the first tables there. The waiter continued to serve everyone around us and was snippy at first when we pointed this out to him. Later, we mentioned this to the manager and instead of apologizing, we were told that, "pizza is an item that takes a long time to come out." After that, we waited quite a while for our main courses even though we asked several times. When we complained about this we were told that the reason we couldn't get our main courses was, "because no one cleared away your appetizers" so they weren't allowed to bring out our mains. We had finished the apps and had asked for it to be taken away. No one was willing for quite awhile. With "meh" food, eh atmosphere and crummy service, this place is a must miss.