Last night my husband and I met my BFF Andrea for dinner and a date. Specifically dinner at John’s of 12th Street before going to People’s Kitchen & Lounge for Jasmin Singer’s birthday party — which happened to be a fundraiser for Our Hen House.
I was so happy to finally dine at the infamous John’s of 12th Street! Why infamous? This traditional Italian restaurant opened in 1909. The current owner, Mike, has owned it for 38 years. One year ago Mike introduced an entire vegan menu. You read that right!
Mike was gracious and welcoming.
He offers a comprehesnive vegan menu of soups, salads, garlic bread, appetizers, pizza, pasta and entrees (homemade setian!) as well as vegan desserts ranging from Lula’s ice cream to their own homemade cannolli.
Mike brought vegan garlic bread to the table and we dove in. Finally, Andrea and I made our vegan dining choices (Dave opted for a decidedly un-vegan appetizer and meal so the pictures that follow chronicle our vegan meal).
We started with stuffed mushrooms and bruschetta.
The stuffed mushrooms were good (well, fine); the bruschetta was wonderful! Loved the addition of avocado.
Andrea ordered the margherita pizza (with Daiya)
I enjoyed a piece (or two?) and Andrea still had some to take home. It was a good pizza.
I ordered the ravioli with the alfredo sauce
The alfredo sauce is very tasty (sweet, even) — made with cashews — but the ravioli was, well, fine.
We were too full for dessert so we passed (and, truth be told, we were holding out for a Sweet Cheeks vegan cupcake at Jasmin’s celebration). SIDE NOTE: The party was fun! I had a chance to give Jasmin a birthday hug (I have a total crush on her and my husband doesn’t mind one bit) and also ran into Joshua, Sharon and Marty. Guess what? I forgot to have a cupake! Doh!
As for John’s of 12th Street. I had a wonderful time at the restaurant and I adore Mike for taking the time and effort to develop a vegan menu. I wasn’t wowed by what I ate, but I’m definitely going back to try other dishes. One experience at a restaurant doesn’t define a restaurant or its food. I’ll be back to support the establishment for supporting vegans. I want to try one of his seitan dishes (Scalloppini? Parmigiana? I don’t know!) Oh, and a cannoli.
John’s of 12th Street
302 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003