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  • East By Northeast

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East By Northeast
East By Northeast

East By Northeast Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.exnecambridge.com
  • Email: exnerestaurant@gmail.com
  • Phone: (617) 876-0286
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sundays: 5:00pm-9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Executive Chef: Phillip Tang Chef/Owner
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Norfolk Street
  • Public 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
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There are metered spots along Cambridge Street (meters turn off at 6:00pm). Additionally there is free two hour parking along Webster Street, a public parking lot behind Muqueca Restaurant at 1008 Cambridge Street, those meters are until 8:00pm.
A word from East By Northeast
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.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "What more could you ask for? Modern twists on traditional Chinese preparations with fresh and seasonal items and friendly service. Always delightful."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "I have been a restaurant publicist in this town for over 15 years..I have NEVER until Saturday night been asked to leave bc a reservation for my table (there were other open tables I might add) had arrived...um...WHAT? And this after less then 2 hours..as if that would even make it ok...I will NEVER go back..plus I thought there weren't enough courses of "substance" on the tasting..course 1 salad...course 2 a piece of bread with some chopped turnip? The bread/cake should have accompanied the salad..in any event..in a street in a town with a TON of restaurants within walking distance, this is a BAD policy to have..."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The menu was limited, but just about everything on it sounded good. The place is neat and only has 12 or so tables. We had a reservation for 4 people, and still had to wait about 30 minutes. There is no area for waiting and we were stuck outside in the rain. We had to double our order on many things because the portions were so small. I love tapas and eat tapas portions regularly, but these were much smaller. Anything that came on a bun or biscuit was served as 2 pieces. It would have been nice if the waitress would have asked (as many tapas places do) if we wanted to order double since we clearly were a party of 4. But instead we had to wait another 15 minutes for a second order so that everyone could try things."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Great experience, listed as Chinese and there is certainly an Asian current through the menu but much more imaginative and creative than I had expected. Dishes are tapas size, I went for four and was very, very full at the end. The today special of cured duck and duck liver pate in Chinese pancake was fantastic, shrimp dumpling steaming with rich almost lobster bisque taste and the spicy beef shank with broth and noodles heart warming comfort. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Chef Tang is one of the most innovative owner-chefs in greater Boston. Instead of the usual "western technique, eastern ingredients," Tang has developed a unique "eastern technique, local northeastern ingredients" cuisine. From hand-made noodles with local radishes, to local celery root in a well-rounded chinese-style salad, to cilantro-infused soda, Tang's sensibilities tend to be oriented to Taiwan-style dishes. Recently he seems to have added more "tours of Chinese regions", unfortunately we haven't had a chance to attend these yet. Service is also very good, with staffers excited about the food that they serve."
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "A server in another restaurant, named this place when asked for his current favorite eatery. We chose the 8-item chef-chosen tasting menu, which was fabulous. It was so good we look forward to returning with friends and family. I'd give them even more than 5 stars for the service, which was spot-on! Our server was informative, knowledgeable and attentive in a lovely understated way. All servers pitch in, and as one would slide by our table, she would pick up unused plates and glasses making sure our small table never felt crowded. This restaurant is small but the tables are artfully arranged and the décor is lovely. It never felt crowded, but there were no loud or boisterous patrons on our visit - thankfully. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I love going to East x Northeast. I am never disappointed or bored with this warm, cozy dinner place in Inman Sq where the chef, Philip Tang, continuously creates new dishes with fresh and seasonal local produce, meats and spices that never fail to satisfy. The dishes have their roots in traditional Chinese but like jazz, there's a lot of improvisation to keep it lively. I like the fact that the dishes are smaller than most more traditional Chinese restaurants, so one can try more things on the menu at a given meal---mostly because everything on the menu seems like it will be so interesting that I don't want to pass up the opportunity to try it all. The regular menu and the tasting menus are all consistently great, as are the cocktails."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "We really wanted Asian, and that is not always easy to find around town due to the the glut of French and Italian places. East by Northeast says they do "Asian Tapas" which is a cool concept. The super-friendly waitress talked us into doing tasting menus but that was great because you can try all sorts of different items! For the most part the food was really good-there was a butternut squash fried-ball thingy that was really good. Not all of the noodle dishes were dynamite due to having somewhat too dominant flavors, but we appreciated being able to try different items. The seating is very tight (not uncommon for smaller restaurants in Cambridge/Boston), but they were very accommodating and if you come earlier there are more options."
    Dined on 10/29/2013
  • "Was at NxNE for my anniversary - had been once before and enjoyed the food. This trip out my partner and I decided we'd go for the 8 course tasting menu. Pros - the food was tasty (though overly salty at times), the portions were very large for tasting portions, and at $45 each, it was definitely a good value. Cons - the huge con was the service. While we were there, there were at least 3 - 4 tables open at any given time (out of maybe 12 tables, tops), on a Tuesday, starting at 8pm, so absolutely not busy. However, we had, at times, *3* dishes of the tasting menu on our table at once. Felt rushed and very unwelcome. Barely any description of the food from the staff. The food was good but not good enough for a third visit after that."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "We were there for Ramen noodle Wednesday night-Incredible, including the soft boiled egg!The mix of flavors explode in your mouth. Nice beer list. The brussel sprouts were divine, and the citrus salad was like dessert. This place is a gem. Don't miss this one."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "This place is a true gem. Their vegetarian tasting menu is very unique and me and my wife loved it."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I've been visiting EXNE for over two years now and I am always so impressed from start to finish. I have never had a drink, dish, or dessert that wasn't layered in flavors - although because of this, it's good to ask for pairing recommendations (drinks with food), or what order the dishes you're looking at will taste best in so you don't overpower any one thing. The house manager Blaine is super helpful (and hilarious!) - she's passionate about the dishes they make and she always knows what can and can't be made vegetarian. I've only ever eaten as a party of two and have always been happy splitting four to five dishes. And it's always busy, but I've never not been able to get in (which is great considering its smaller size)."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "I fall in love with this charming spot each time I go. It's hard to pick a favorite with some many wonderful and surprising dishes. I went recently for Wednesday ramen that was amazing and ended up ordering several dishes to start off because I couldn't help myself. Well worth indulging. And don't miss out on the cocktails, they are as creative and amazing as the food. The service was fantastic - friendly, helpful and attentive."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "So we love ramen; and have tried most of the options out there in boston. Uni's late night, Gucci's, Yume Wo Katare. When East by Northeast, already a favorite restaurant, announced that they would be doing ramen Wednesdays we were there on the first night. It is BY FAR the best ramen I've had. Ever. They use a mixture of pork and seafood broths, pork confit, and monkfish liver butter, which sounds gross but is anything but. You're out of luck if you want the ramen other ways but if you'll eat it all, go!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "The new Wednesday ramen is the best I've had in Boston. A must try. The other dishes are phenomenal, as well: the new pork shoulder on a biscuit? Amazing. The scallion pancakes? I could take those home in a bucket. Love this place, and the staff is delightful."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "I came here with a party of 7 and we all ordered the tasting menu. It was a treat, each plate small but special, and by the end we felt sated but not overstuffed. The waitstaff went above and beyond, going so far as to bring me a plate of pork buns when I jokingly complained that everything seemed vegetarian. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "We did the tasting menu and it was one of the best meals I've had in boston in a while. Very reasonably priced and delicious. Our server was very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. The atmosphere isn't super fancy, but it's a nice little spot and if you're looking for something a little different where you can also hold a conversation and enjoy great food, I highly recommend it."
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "We got the tasting menu and it was excellent! All the dishes were amazing, the service was excellent and the ambiance great for 3 friends getting together to catch up!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "The menu was small but had so many options and I love small plate, sharing styles. I usually don't seek out asian cuisine but I can't wait to get back to ExNE. The venue is small, feels like a New York or South End spot. Prices are definitely reasonable. The service is on par too, they take care of you! Also, they accept reservations which is great."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "Drawing on his Chinese roots, chef Philip Yang has created something new and wonderful! Traditional ingredients take on altogether new identities. His small tapas-like servings are "almost Dim-Sun" -- but very different from the usual Chinatown variety. Yang's creations are bursting with flavor, often unconventional or unpredictable but always delicious! Favorite dishes include Scallion Pancakes (with braised beef cheeks in roasted garlic sauce), Lamb Croquettes (or anything Yang does with lamb!), Beet Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing, Eggplant "Sandwich" with Daikon and Shao-bing bread and Chili-Peppercorn Aioli, Spicy Cumin Potato Chips ... and more! There are two tasting menus: 5-course is an adequate meal; 8-course is a grand banquet!"
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "Rich flavors, small plates, cozy space, QUIET, Asian-fusion themes, not too $$$. Consistently excellent and trustworthy food. Thank you, E x NE !!!!!!"
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Good food but general manager tries to turn over tables and only cares about that. We were essentially told that our time was up. Bring a timer if you go, and if you dare enjoy your meal and wine and aren't done when she needs the table... Just go somewhere else. Not worth the hassle."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "You can't go wrong here. Everything on the menu is so tasty. The pork belly buns are always a must and we didn't think that you could get much better than this but the pork shoulder on brioche - so amazing - a new favorite! The house made noodles and the tasty of selection of vegetarian dishes rounds out a terrific experience. The service is top notch, very friendly but not overly so. It is a neighborhood gem but also definitely worth traveling to."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "My husband and I both had the 8-course tasting menu. We loved every course. Delicious, interesting, all courses were different. Some light, some a little heavier. Definitely enough food.. We went at 5PM on a Friday and were the first pople there. LEft by 6:15 and it was just starting ti fill up. Would go back."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "This place is very interesting, delicious, and reasonable for a nice night out."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "My daughter (age 20) and I shared the two five-plate tasting menu (one vegetarian, one not) and enjoyed both the experience and the food. The server substituted the pork slider for the eggplant after my daughter inquired about it--which was very sweet, but actually not what I would have chosen if she had asked. The pasta was fantastic. Besides the food, there was a very friendly vibe and they were able to shift our reservation to later at the last minute. On the downside, they forgot my cocktail for a long time and the extra plate (edamame salad with pomegranate) that we ordered forever--but we were too full to eat it anyway! It was a memorable, friendly meal and really I couldn't have asked for more."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "It was extremely overpriced and mediocre compared to the prices. The food was good, but not amazing. I won't be going there again."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We have eaten at East By Northeast several times and each time it's fantastic! The chef is creative, makes wonderful food and Blayne is so knowledgeable and also makes the evening totally fun!"
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Cozy spot with tasty Asian tapas. The pork belly sandwiches on steamed mantou bread were worth the price of admission! Those and the green bean casserole, and the noodle dishes were the best!! I'm not normally even a huge pork belly fan. The other mantou sandwich was good but paled in comparison (cold pork inside & mantou was toasted not steamed) My only wish is that the portion sizes were larger. We had to order 8 dishes for 4 of us ladies. Service was very courteous and attentive. Great with recommendations."
    Dined on 12/12/2013
  • "Excellent, ever-changing menu, surprising combinations of flavors that work well, layers of complexity. Love this place!"
    Dined on 12/10/2013
  • "Food was excellent. Clear and clean Asian flavors. I had the tofu salad and eggplant sandwich. Both were outstanding, especially the sandwich. The bread was very flaky and crunchy with many layers. My other party ordered dumplings and brussels sprouts with bacon and rutabaga relish, which she didn't like. She said she didn't know why, and judging by its appearance I suspect that its flavors were muddled (I didn't try it since i don't eat meat). Service could have been better. Empty dishes were not all cleared at once, some were left on the table while others were taken. The mini sesame cookie at the end was disappointing (compared to the treat at the end of dinner at Hungry Mother -- yum). Ambiance was lovely."
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "I do not understand why our server squatted down on the floor while talking to us - it was strange and felt a little condescending. She was in no way towering over us while standing. The diners sitting near the window looked very cold - they were wearing winter jackets inside. The temperature at our table was fine, but I felt bad for the people sitting near the window. We really liked about half of the 8 dishes we tried. The others were also fine but not as memorable. The crispy rice noodle was a lot harder/crunchier than we expected - to the point where it felt difficult to bite into. Overall, we thought the food was good, but you could probably get similar quality with larger portions and lower prices elsewhere."
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "This is my favorite restaurant in Cambridge. The food is amazing and the prices are extremely reasonable. It's a bargain for the quality of the food. I always go for the 8 course menu. The menu changes frequently and it's very original and seasonal. The staff is super friendly and they always make us feel at home."
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "Fun spot that serving whipped edamame spread, Vegetable Bao, Chicken Mushrooms, Garlic Chive, Lettuce Cups, Marinated Eggplant, Thick Cut Wheat Noodles and rice noodles, carrot soup beef ragout and much more all delicious in this tapas style small ,9 table, restaurant with very good service. Go ahead and have some new tastes!"
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "A really exciting little restaurant - the idea of a classically-trained French chef equipped with the ingredients, techniques and flavor combinations of Chinese cuisine is always going to get the pulse racing. Some dishes fall a little short of the mark - sweet potato beignets had a fantastic, almost croquette-like texture in the centre - a sweet, oozing bechemel - and came with a delicious honey, miso aioli yet were let down by the soggy crust. The pork meatloaf, enlivened by a Brussel sprout slaw and xo ketchup, nailed it as did the salad and ginger cake. all this for 35 bucks! A wonderful, local, neighborhood joint that just misses greatness because it wants to stay a friendly, local with terrific value. Lovely, knowledgeable service."
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "We ordered the 8 course seasonal tasting menu and the beignets were the best part of the dinner. They are scrumptious delicious! A very well balanced dish in terms of flavor and the bite-size beignets are so delicate! All the other dishes (including 2 specials) were good but I'd say one-note in terms of flavor, all tended to have a pickled/sour note. I sense a lot of experimentation by the chef in the 2 specials, especially the hake, but the flavor combinations in the hake special were a little strange. Service was terrific!!!"
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "The pork ragu was horrible. So horrible in fact that I won't be coming back, despite my admiration for the other courses."
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "Thought we'd try something new. Vibrant foodie zone up and coming. Old line neighborhood for the blue collar. Unfortunately, the food misses the mark at every dish. Too expensive by a factor of a third, pretentious about their cuisine, side condiments not interesting or one dimensional. $12 for a very small bowl of noodles is too much. $9 for four medium sized dumplings is too much. Filling was one note. Overall, I'd not go again. Overall, theirs better traditional Asian food meals to consume in the area. Save the visit. We ended up next door at the bar to watch the Red Sox win the WS and are $0.10 grilled chicken wings... These at least had integrity and clear value! And they were filling."
    Dined on 10/30/2013
  • "Chef Tang and his terrific team presented us with yet another wonderful culinary adventure. Each dish seemingly more delicious than the last, though we all had our favorites. Thanks too for making a special evening with family even more memorable."
    Dined on 10/24/2013
  • "EXNE has become our go to restaurant when we head into Boston/Cambridge. The food is scrumptious and innovative. We are always impressed by the creative combinations presented. I only wish the grapefruit drink from a year ago would return since it was my favorite. We love sitting at the bar and watching the kitchen."
    Dined on 10/19/2013