Do you ever get so hungry, that just the act of sitting down to dinner is a relief and comfort? Usually for us, it is a comfort, but an exciting adventure of tastes we’ve concocted as opposed to a relief from the day. After travelling from the Boston Local Food Festival to Inman Square to pay homage at the Temple of Tummy, we settled into a table at East by Northeast. This place is easily one of our new favorite restaurant on that side of the river. The dainty tapas portions, the Asian influenced New England flavors, the multi-layered goodness that is this food.
We were remarkably restrained in our ordering, especially being so hungry earlier and walking so far to get to the eatery. On top of that, the new Fall menu had just rolled out, presenting a new set of delectables for temptation. I think that self-restraint was Laura’s call, and a good one it was.
Did I have a favorite dish? Hmm… no. They were all great in a different way. The boiled peanuts were very different. They were soft, in a way that reminded you that they were, in fact, a legume. We nibbled the nuts (beans?) while discussing what you could do with boiled peanut paste, comparing it to hummus and white bean dip. The croquettes were fried, and mixed the sweet of the pumpkin with the crunchy exterior and the zingy sauce. The salad was a remarkable combination of sweet and salty, and I love the texture of silken tofu. The pickle plate was an inspiration. If you think all pickles taste the same, or even similar, think again! Each pickle had something different to offer, though my favorite were the pickled beet stems. Really unique and worth attempting to replicate. It may take a second tasting to come up with a start recipe. 😉
The three major dishes all were flavors I know I like. Brussel sprouts with cured meat is a dream come true, and East by Northeast did a great job getting the sprouts crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, bearing the varied flavors of salty meat, lemon zest and pickles. Chefs are amazing. The pork rague was a comfort food, with fresh corn and carrots mixed into a delectable ground pork sauce over crunchy napa cabbage. They were kind enough to put the chili vinegar on the side, to protect tender tongues like my own from overdoing the heat. And, if I absolutely had to pick a favoritedish , it would be the seafood special. I don’t kow what Chef Tang does with the fish, but it is magical. The haddock cake was the perfect umami-sensation. The noddles were perfectly chewy, the baby squid added panache, and the miso broth was smooth and comforting.
I need to go back soon. So many other good things to eat! It has a special place in my heart, and tummy.