I visited John Harvard’s yesterday for the first time to meet some friends who invited me to dinner. I found the atmosphere to be a step up on the usual Friday’s, which it resembled on the outside. The inside was separated by dining areas on the left, the bar on the right, and brewery in the center, behind glass. As it was Friday afternoon, the bar was already crowded, but the dining area was sparse, so we landed there with a round of beers to share. I liked the Tripel, Pale Ale, and Porter very much though the IPA was shaky at best. Strangely, the beers came with no head, but I don’t know what to attribute that to.
As we ordered dinner, I had the Chicken Pot pie and tasted the hot/spicy chicken tenders. Both were found to be good. I hope to return there to try some of the other selections and I would suggest it to anyone.
For 9.3.06.....Struck out with the beers here- the Old Willy IPA was too stouty and not very good. The lager was even more uninspiring, a muddy tasting lager.. Brendan the waiter was good as was all the food we sampled. All the appetizers were fried - don’t eat that stuff ! The sous-chef supervised specialities [entrees] were all excellent. The interior was not pubby, more of an upscale Chilis without the bricabrac. Ate in the bar area which was extremely quiet and dark - the dining area was more lit and still fairly quiet.
Overall, above average food, below average micro brews
In response to a few previous raters. There are many better breweries in the NYC/Long Island area, Southampton, Six Points, Brooklyn, even Blue Point, but, the beers here were very good. I’ve only been once, but of the 8 beers I had only 2 were sub-par, some of the others, including the Triple and Koelsch were very good, especially by brewpub standards. The brewer at this location knows what he’s doing. The food was decent although my burger was a little overcooked. The service was very friendly and quite efficient. The manager on duty even came over to chat and offer me five bucks off the next time I come in (since this was my first time). When I was there it was very quiet, but still, I’ve got no complaints about the service. The growlers are quite overpriced, but otherwise the prices were about what you’d expect. I saw five new styles in the tanks as well, so there’s no lack of diversity. Hopefully the next batch will be as good as what I had here today.
I’ve read what the other reviewers have had to say about this place, and I have to wonder if they’re from the same planet as I am. I’ve been going to Harvard’s regularly for the past decade or so -- driving 60 miles round-trip twice a week in doing so -- and if any of you can suggest a place on Long Island OR in NYC that makes BETTER beer than this place does, I’d sure like you to do so. While the service is NOT where it should be, where CAN you get good service these days? Unfortunately, it’s just the way it is in today’s world. But, in my humble opinion, anyone who badmouths the beer at THIS John Harvard’s just doesn’t know what the heck good beer is. Hey, believe me, I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, believe me. It’s just that in MY opinion, your opinion’s SUCK! By the way, the food here is EXCELLENT, especially for this genre of restaurant. Plus, I take my wife to this place, we have a couple of pints of GREAT beer, a couple of GREAT meals, and the entire bill barely gets past thirty bucks. Really, this particular John Harvard’s is the BEST microbrewery on Long Island, and better than ANY I’ve been to in NYC, as well. And this is coming from someone who makes his own beer AND grew up in the restaurant business, so take it for what it’s worth.
beastiefan2k (259) HdG (past: NYC, KS, Rain City), Maryland | January 18, 2006| Updated October 5, 2006
I used to go to college near this place and I have visited it often. So, I believe my rating better represents the place than the raters before me. This is an ok looking resturant, dimly lit, cool stained glass, and a good amount of TVs in the bar area. The food is usually average to above average. The beers are constantly changing, so you may catch good stuff or bad stuff. Usually the good stuff comes out in the colder months. The make a great imperial stout, barely wine, a strong holiday red, belgina style dubbels and tripels. However, I cannot recommend anything good that is made in the warmer months. So, if you catch it at a good time enjoy, otherwise go for the food.
the beer was blah. The selection - small and the service was the worst I’ve ever seen. Their best is the punmkin beer - and it’s not that good.
notalush (407) Lakewood, Colorado | September 21, 2005| Updated February 16, 2007
[this place has improved a great deal in the last couple of years - especially the beer -vthey have changed brewers twice, but the quality continues to improve - and their happy hour (with half price pints and appetizers) now gets me in here at least once a week - this place is not quite a must stop yet, but it’s getting there] Just to give you folks an impression of how bad the beer in this place is - I live about a ten minute drive from it and only visit it a few times a year. Every beer I’ve ever had here has tasted like piss-poor homebrew. The food is actually quite good, so, as a restaurant, it’s worth visiting if you’re in the area........just don’t drink the beer.
Well this is the second John Harvard location I’ve visited (Union Sq in Providence was the first) and it may well be the last. Boring, pedestrian beers which like the Rock Bottom chain are named differently (and confusingly) at every location; the names are often the best things about them. Awful location along a 4-lane divided highway in the middle of Long Island sprawl, but it was just a few blocks from our motel so wtf. Dark, dark interior, "classy" painted signs around, careless if efficient service, food was surprisingly good. The only beer at this location I’d think about having again was the cream stout, and even that is nothing to write home about. Even WITHOUT mentioning Southampton there are better brewpubs, and places to drink on Long Island