East by Northeast

Last weekend, we went out to dinner on Saturday night to East by Northeast in Inman Square in Cambridge.  It is a pan asian restaurant that we have heard many good things about and have heard that most of their food is locally sourced.  So, of course we had to check it out for ourselves.

Outside of East by Northeast, courtesy of their website.

So, what did we find?

Sourcing of Food: Well, when we asked about sources of the food, the produce is mostly from Parker Farm, the eggs are picked up weekly from the farmer’s market, the meat is from Vermont Quality Meats, a sustainable Vermont based Meat Coop, and a lot of the items like buns and noodles are made by the chef. This was pretty good for a restaurant, and I have to say that their menu had a splendid offering of very seasonal dishes and ingredients.  We were impressed.

The Food itself: Was amazing.  May I say that again.  Amazing.  The restaurant serves all dishes tapas size, so they recommend 3-4 dishes per person.  We got a total of 6 dishes, and I think it was one dish too many, but it was so good that we didn’t mind.  So, what did we have?

Drinks: Cilantro Limeade Soda, and Ginger Soda (all made in house)  They were good, we’re planning to make cilantro limeade the next time we get cilantro.

Salad:  Watermelon salad, with silken tofu, cucumber, beets (raw thinly sliced) basil and a miso dressing.  It was a surprising and lovely combination of really nice seasonal treats, refreshing, cooling and just plain tasty.  We liked it so much, that one of our meals will be featuring this salad this week.

Bread: Crispy pork belly (oh god it was divine!) with daikon and sweet bean paste on mantou bread ( a little homemade bun) and pickled vegetables.  This was really quite tasty, like a little tiny sandwich with luscious bread ( I have no idea what mantou bread is, but it was a nice a light bun, made of something ethereal), scrummy crisp pork belly meat, and the pickles were good crisp and had amazing zingy hints of various spices.

East by Northeast's Website's picture of their Mantou Bread Crisp Pork Belly 'sandwich'

Vegetable: Chinese broccoli with spiced rutabaga garnish garlic and lemon.  Really great vegetable side dish, just knock your socks off simple but good.

Noodles: Hand rolled short rice noodles (really like asian gnocchi- great texture!), with shiitake mushrooms, greens, carrots, and sweet bean paste.  This dish was very tasty with a nice smokey uniting flavor.

Chilled Spicy Garlic Noodles with shredded napa cabbage, grilled eggplant, and house cured ham.  It was amazing, simply the perfect combination of vegetable, sauce, and meat with noodles that held up on their own in flavor. A really unique marrying of garlicky asian sauce and ham.

Homemade Wide Egg Noodles with seasonal vegetables, jonah crab and squid.  The dish was fresh and lovely, with divinely supple egg noodles, fresh seafood, crisp vegetables, and a hearty seafood sauce that married these ingredients in a lovely manner.

They served us little lemon poppy seed cake squares in ginger rum sauce as a compliment of the chef to end the meal.  They were small and tasty, and I do agree, finished the meal very nicely.

So, you can see, we really liked this restaurant.  We will certainly be back in the future.  The sourcing of ingredients also makes this an establishment that we would be happy to support.  So, if you are a locavore in the Cambridge area, we certainly recommend this as a great locavore treat.

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