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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

On a rainy night, we headed over to East by Northeast. I had a groupon burning a hole in my pocket (which was about to expire at the end of the month) so we decided to trek over to Cambridge to get some food. This place has been on my “to go to” list for months now. I had read tons of great reviews and nice things about the chef, Phillip Tang. When we arrived there, it felt like deja vou….because this is where Benatti, a restaurant I loved-since closed (obviously)-used to be.

The space is tiny. Don’t assume that you can just walk in, especially on a weekend night, with a large party. Even with 3 people, I made a reservation. A man walked in trying to get a table of 4 and the hostess told him it would be an hour.

They have some great homemade sodas-above is the iced mint oolong tea, sort of an earthy taste to it…although I was struggling to find the mint part. I also LOVED the ginger soda-excellent flavor-bright and sharp.

While we look over the menu, the chef sends over a warm celery root soup with orange marmalade. Excellent. The soup is warm and creamy and the marmalade, which sounded weird at first, added a bright spot in the soup. I love the contrasting sweetness. The restaurant serves dishes tapas style, they recommend that you have 3-4 dishes per person. We order some specials and some things off the menu.

The sweet potato fritters ($5) were on the specials menu. It was served in a honey aioli which was wonderful-smooth and light with only the slightest hint of sweetness. The fritters were excellent, nice consistency and only tasted like sweet potato towards the end of your mouthful.

Another special was the butternut squash and pork potstickers ($8) served with a chili garlic sauce and kale and honey crisp apple salad. Another great dish-loved the flavors and the texture in the dish. The chili sauce was hot in the slow burn sense…it didn’t hit you until it started to warm the back of your throat.

On the regular menu was the edamame spread, with housemade sesame poppy crackers ($4). The edamame was tasty, spruced up with a hint of lime. The crackers were tasty.

We had two orders of scallion pancakes, that came with roasted garlic chili sauce and pickled onions ($7). The pancakes were on the thicker side and filled you up quickly. I loved these-probably one of my favorite dishes of the night-so simple and yet so good.

The chicken and smoked pollock shaomai, pickled cabbage, garlic chive puree ($8) were tasty. Although pollock is a white fish, it is pretty strong, and you couldn’t really taste the chicken.

Of course we had the handmade thick cut noodles with the pork ragout, napa, marinated sunchokes, chili vinegar ($10). We had it with a farm egg on top which was excellent. The noodles were definitely hard for me to eat (I’m a chopsticks novice) but the dish was excellent. Loved the flavors and the noodles were SO good.

The hand-rolled short rice noodles with chicken confit, squash, sweet and sour sauce, garlic mustard greens ($10) were really tasty as well. I have to admit when I read rice noodles, this isn’t what I thought I would be getting. The rice noodles are the cylindrical shaped things in the dish-pretty tasty. The chicken was excellent-very tender and moist.

Overall a really good meal.The service was pretty good. It could have been better. Based on the fact that there really aren’t that many tables inside, one would think that the service would have been excellent. That aside, we will definitely be back for another meal-my mouth is already watering just thinking about it.

East by Northeast

1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
phone 617-876-0286
http://exnecambridge.com/

Tuesday-Saturday: 5pm-10pm and Sundays: 5pm-9:30pm

East by Northeast on Urbanspoon

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