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East Village/ LES >
John's of 12th Street
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.
Posted by AR on 03/01/2012
This used to be one of my favorite restaurants- good food, nice atmosphere, easygoing. One of the treasures of the east village. It's a nightmare now, with a whole new crowd.They've changed the tables to be able to seat more people and that, too, has ruined the atmosphere. The obsequious and oblivious host and hostess are unbearable. What used to be a gem has been turned into a tacky rhinestone. John's- you used to be better than this.
Posted by Emilia on 02/13/2012
Trekked to the Restaurant which is way off of Union Square. We did not think we needed a rsvp. Ordered food but never ate since we were sat at the front near the door. My husband had to get up to let someone in with a walker in tow and they were standing in his seat so he could not sit down for almost 5 minutes. We were so cramped the owner apologized seats were open he said he could not give us another place to sit, so we ended up leaving. The most frustrating restaurant experience I have ever had in NY. The place is old and the atmosphere is old. I did not think the wait staff was that great. Given the fact that we told the owner we came from the theatre Times Square just to eat at his restaurant he should have tried to accommodate us. I will never go back again, I don't care what they rate the place on Diner's Drive In's and Dives it is not worth the trip or aggravation of the poor service we received.