I appreciate the enthusiasm others on Tripadvisor have shown for East By Northeast, but think some caveats and qualifications are in order. This small spot in east Cambridge is obviously a labor of love, and their limited menu focusing on noodles and dumplings indicates that they want to do a few things and do them as best as possible. This is evident in the cocktail list as well - they offer a handful of specialized drinks (along with beer and wine), so you shouldn't expect to be ordering that prohibition-era craft cocktail that you had across town last week.
The food is certainly very good, but ultimately you can find comparable dishes at the better Asian restaurants in Chinatown, Cambridge or Allston. The main difference is that here you don't have to wade through dozens of listings (the conventional "sweet and sour this" and "Hunan that") or order off-menu to find some worthwhile dishes. For instance, pork and celery root shaomai have a delicate skin and a savory filling, but are too salty. There are dumplings just as tasty, if not more so, and for a couple dollars less at other places around town. The scallion pancake, small, chewy, not greasy, is also good, but it will not re-define your idea of a scallion pancake. A small bowl of thick wheat noodles with beef shank and celery root is probably the best, featuring a broth rich with beefy, mellow celery flavor.
So, all-in-all, the food is certainly flavorful and prepared with care (and a bit more expensive for the tapas-size portions), but "sublime"? That may stretch it. The service in the tiny room is, however, excellent, and very attentive throughout the meal.
Go expecting a good meal with some interesting twists on Asian staples. But if you arrive hoping to have your gustatory world rocked, you may be disappointed.
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