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“Delicious dinner, Unusual flavors and very accomodating” 5 of 5 stars
Review of East By Northeast

East By Northeast
1128 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139-1408
617-876-0286
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Ranked #80 of 538 restaurants in Cambridge
Price range: $29 - $31
Cuisines: Asian fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Norfolk Street
Transit: On the train - Central Square "T" stop is the closest...then it is a short walk down Prospect Street to Cambridge Street where you make a right onto Cambridge Street and we are three blocks down on the right. One the bus - The 69 bus stops right in front of East By Northeast
Description: East by Northeast reflects the Chinese-style food we serve with a focus on New England’s palette of local ingredients. Offering something both familiar and exciting, we look to the past with recipes rooted in tradition and to the future by giving those recipes a fresh perspective. Despite harsh northeast winters, we will strive to support local farms, above all committing to sourcing the best-quality ingredients. Respect for the products, culinary traditions, and the customer are our highest priorities.
Boston,MA
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Delicious dinner, Unusual flavors and very accomodating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

Earlier in the day I tried to get a reservation through Open Table, which said only very early or late reservations were available. So I called the restaurant. I was first impressed by the customer service of the person on the phone. He accommodated our needs and found a time slot for us. We were then late, due to having difficulty parking. I called and they held our table. In the end we were about 20 minutes late. The restaurant is very small, probably about 15 - 20, 2-person tables. We saw that a corner table was available, and asked to sit there. Again, our request was accommodated! We both ordered the 5 course meal, which is a flat rate of $30 each. Each serving was small plate, and we both ordered different things so really had a huge variety of things to try. The flavors were delicious, unusual combinations and very intense! Some of the highlights were: kale salad, jicama, apple, sweet garlic vinaigrette, Homemade thick-cut noodles with braised beef shank, celery root, bok choy, spicy beef broth, sauté of brussels sprouts, roasted garlic, 5-spiced cured pork belly, rutabaga relish, also a special dish with tenderloin of rabbit and sesame cakes (see photo). We also had dumplings, very light and sure what was in them but delicious. The only disappointment was the Scallion pancake which seemed a bit heavy and greasy. The service was great, very polite and attentive but not overbearing.
This was a great meal. We'd love to come back. Many delicious and unusual flavors to try. The 5 course meal was more than enough food and gives you an opportunity to try lots of new things. Parking is difficult on a Saturday night. Its hard to find on-street parking. The closest city lot is 5 blocks away and is often full. Make your reservation a few days in advance and leave plenty of time for parking.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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30 reviews from our community

89% Recommend
    13
    14
    2
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
148 reviews 148 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“The Wow-Factor is Overstated”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

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.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Boston
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Flavors are so unique and delicious. Almost every small dish was a knockout. Try new things, take risks, your taste buds will thank you. One of my favorite restaurants.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delray Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Sublime! Nothing less than sublime!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

A MUST! A sublime experience in every sense.

The favors, the creativity, the presentation together with the variety of ingredients used and the sequence in which you get to experience them... SIMPLY SUBLIME! Yes, all capital letters, all well deserved!

On top of it all an impeccable (and hilariously kind) service. Reservation mandatory: it's a tiny tiny not the quietest place.

We did not know what to get so we got the Chef's Tasting menu. Most of the dishes were difficult to predict and that is because they are improbable and unique and they... consistently exceed expectations. I loved even what I thought I could not remotely like: this chef is an artist! He knows how to build flavors so every tapas is a journey, every bite takes you places ... most of them you did not even know the existence of (says the one who visited 67 countries around the world!).

A masterpiece. A must. Can't wait to go back!

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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boston
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Creative, original, delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

One of the most unique, and satisfying, dining experiences in the Boston area. You won't be disappointed.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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