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East Village/ LES >
John's of 12th Street
Posted by Debi on 07/25/2006
I came to John's with high expectations after reading a review in my hometown newspaper. Unfortunately, my family's experience there left a lot to be desired. We started with an order of baked clams that were perfectly awful - strong and rubbery minced clams that were so bad that we had to send them back. The owner came over to our table and apologized and agreed with us that the clams were poorly prepared. Without our asking, he prepared and brought over a second plate of clams. He said that he'd prepared these himself, and that we would not be charged for either order. Sadly, these clams were just as bad as the first batch, but we politely ate them. The clams were followed by a very mediocre Veal Parmesan and a Lemon Chicken dish that tasted steamed. The side of pasta was undercoked, undersalted, and served in a puddle of watery tomato sauce. The worst insult came when we were presented with the bill, with the clam charge intact. We did not want to argue, so quickly paid our bill. However, this was a dismal dining experience.
Posted by PhishyEel on 06/23/2006
I finally went here after hearing years of raves from friends and acquaintances. The atmosphere was great: really low key and comfy, great low lighting. Our first server was not that friendly (although not unfriendly), but our second (shift change?) was great. The delicious garlic bread was dangerously addictive. Judging from what I've heard about John's, I was expecting the food to be the best Italian ever, but it was just okay. Everyone at the table was satisfied (we got the chicken parm, shrimp parm, and veal scaloppina), but no one seemed that impressed. Definitely had better Italian. Might go back.
Posted by Terry on 02/23/2006
I have tasted Italian food in all five boroughs but nothing compares to John's. Whenever someone wants to eat real Italian food I send them to John's. Great Atmospheer great Service. Just try it once and you're hooked!
Posted by Jeff G. on 02/17/2006
My friend and I stumbled across this place on a Thursday night and it looked nice from the outside so we gave it a shot. We were seated in a two-person booth, which I thought was a bit tacky (why not pull out the booths and put in quaint two-person tables with chairs?). Service and food were above average. I had John's Chicken Aregenata, which was sizable, tasty, and unique. The chicken was extremely tender and I was able to cut it with my fork. Unfortunately our experience was overshadowed by the atmosphere. We noted the following: (1) the music selection was rock (why not some Italian classical?); (2) although the waiters were in button down whites and ties, the host was improperly dressed, wearing jeans and a fleece; (3) the host, although nice, was blowing bubbles with his gum while waiting for new customers; and (4) the paint on the walls was peeling a bit. So, in short, if you want good food and good value, but don't mind drinking Merlot to the sound of U2, this is your place!
Posted by Anonymous on 06/23/2005
I've been twice to John's- the first time I liked it (not anything special however). On first trip we both had the Chicken Parm. I thought it was very good, and a good value- great portions. Both times we had the portobello mushrooms (a special) and I did absolutely love them- huge portion as well. Second visit was disappointing (with exception of the mushrooms). My friends ravioli was way too tough and completely bland. I had the veal saltimbocca which was not very good. Not nearly enough proscuitto- you couldn't taste a hint of it, and not seasoned at all (or so it seemed). That being said, I would still go back for the chicken parm and portobello's- I'd be afraid to try anything else. Service was fine, lighting was way too bright, and those "fancy" napkin folds they do are tacky and outdated- just fold them plain and neatly!
Posted by RASTA on 02/24/2005
I go to JOHN'S whenever I am in NYC. Great service, great food and not a bad mixed drink. I always order veal oreganata and the hot antipasto. Great bread too. You must eat here at least once in your life. You owe it to yourself.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/15/2005
This is a wonderful place to go that's nice and out of the way, with good service, good food, and a nice atmosphere. Everyone is attentive and you don't have to wait a year and a day for your food. The best part about going there is the garlic bread - out of sight! Just remember to bring cash as it's cash only!