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East Village/ LES >
John's of 12th Street
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.
Posted by Ro on 01/20/2012
This review is long overdue since I went the John's a while back, but I'm still thinking about it often and I will definitely be back. First off, the place itself is great. It has an old-school family restaurant vibe which is not so common anymore. Our waiter was very attentive, friendly and helpful. The food was incredible. I ate vegan but I went with my family who didn't eat vegan and we all loved it, and loved that we could all eat what we wanted. The bruschetta was so good, the avocado was a really nice touch. The cannoli was out of this world good! I'm still dreaming of cannoli. I thought when I started eating vegan that I would have to say good-bye to a lot of my italian favorites but this place is a dream come true. The owner of the restaurant is a really nice guy, who came and chatted with us for a bit. I still need to try the home-made seitan. I love this place and would recommend it to anyone, vegan or otherwise.
Posted by Anonymous on 07/19/2011
I was hit and miss with this restaurant. The atmosphere itself was noisy and I felt like I had to yell in order for my friends to hear me. The waiters had such a weird attitude about them I wasn't quite sure how to react. I don't understand why I had at least three different people serving me and my table. Also they need to get their prices and proportions right. My one friend ordered something for around $14 and her plate was huge on the other hand my boyfriend ordered something for around $20 and its was so small. He was not a happy individual to say the least. I ordered the Vegan ravioli and it was "okay" It was not the most disappointing place I have ever dined at but it certainly was not the best. The hype is overrated.
Posted by Angela of NJ on 05/22/2011
I have to agree with "What's the fuss". Our service was adequate but not overly impressive. The waiter who was not assigned to us was better than the one assigned to our table who seemed disinterested since the gratuity was already included for our large party of 18. Some of the food was great the fried calamari and the chicken la Rosa for instance and some just marginal the chicken Alfredo where the chicken was cold. and the lasagna which everyone said was bland. Considering how long the drive was and how bad the parking is it was not worth the long drive and the traffic. Its only saving grace is that they do have a full vegan menu including desserts and the Panna Cotta
Posted by anonymous on 03/09/2011
It seems the only thing good about this restaurant is the old-world decor. I seriously don't understand all the positive reviews. It may be an old NY instituion with a little old-school charm, but the service left much to be desired. Most of the time, the wait staff was laughing and joking around and not paying much attention to the customers. But most importantly, the food was dull and flavorless. Sure it may be cheaper than other Italian restaurants, but there is no value if considerable just how tasteless the food is.
Posted by LES Girl on 12/02/2010
I've been going to John's for unapologetic carb splurges for years. It's a wonderful place to celebrate and I was prepared to take the hit to my new vegan diet for one of their amazing eggplant parms when I went there tonight. I was completely floored when I saw they had a vegan menu. Eggplant parm dairy free?! I had an entire vegan meal and it was divine! Same wonderful Italian food (as always) but better- vegan. Everything was delish and our waiter was sweet, patient, and beyond helpful! All in all, a great night (and guilt free...bonus!!) p.s. The cannoli is yummy. The texture of the cream is not quite as creamy as dairy cannolis, but it is really tasty!
Posted by Calla on 10/17/2010
I went yesterday to John's of 12th to try their brand new vegan menu. Finally, TRADITIONAL Italian food. I was with 5 friends, so we got to try a lot of their food. Everything was delicious from the bruschetta, to the pizza, ravioli, and especially the seitan parmigiana. John's is smart, avoiding all things soy. They use daiya cheese (tapioca based), seitan for scalopini, coconut and nut cream for the fillings of their vegan cannolis (yes, VEGAN CANNOLIS), and coconut creamer for coffee. They also have gluten free pasta one could substitute in pasta dishes. The owner was super friendly and excited to have customers trying out his vegan menu. He sat down and chatted with us for about half our meal--telling us all the ingredients to the vegan dishes, sharing personal stories, explaining that he thinks its only a matter of time before the world is vegan. He was absolutely delightful. For someone who is used to eating cheap, John's was a little pricey. But it's a nice, traditional Italian restaurant, so I suppose that's to be expected.