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East Village/ LES >
John's of 12th Street
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.
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.