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North by Northeast or Myers and Chang?

shaebones Oct 24, 2012 10:12 AM

Hubs want s to go out for great innovative asian cuisine on his birthday. Which would you pick? Have been to M &C but not N by N yet

  1. g
    Gigihsu Oct 24, 2012 11:44 AM

    They are both good. M&C has a more extensive drink menu I think. M&C was so loud, and I could hardly have a conversation. N by N is smaller, and the tables are not that close to each other. If you haven't been to N by N, why don't you give it a try?

    1. c
      ColoradoXJ13 Oct 24, 2012 12:03 PM

      Been to both in the past 6 months. M+C was good, N by N was outstanding. I want to go back to the latter, the former, eh, maybe someday.

      1. j
        jforman Oct 24, 2012 12:33 PM

        I've been to both places, although M+C much more than N/Ne. I must say that in my two visits in the past year to N/Ne, first to see how the food was by myself, second to confirm how the food was wife my wife, I have twice walked away disappointed. M+C's menu is frequently rotated, allowing you to order the standards you get every time, and throw in some new ones. I felt like menu at N/Ne was pretty much the same between visits. The noodle dishes were very heavy, almost overly gummy noodles, where the sauce on top muddled out the rest of the dish.

        Call me crazy, but if I blow $70-80/couple, I expect to get a decent variety of food, and not leave feeling that I deserved more for my money. For that kind of money, I am able to get several dishes off of the M+C menu, ranging from vegetarian to the more 'innovative'/spicy food that I enjoy, and throw in a couple drinks on top.

        For a birthday meal as well, personally, I find the vibe at M+C a lot more festive than N/Ne, which has a more quiet staid feeling. One note, bring a jacket and wear long pants to N/Ne! My wife and I sat at the bar near the back, and had frigid air blowing on our feet under the bar the entire meal, as well as the general restaurant being quite chilly.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jforman
          opinionatedchef Oct 24, 2012 01:03 PM

          unlike you,we are fans of NxNE , but like you, i would rec M+C and for many of the same reasons (except that we always sit in the window and have not had the chilly wind effect. I find Philip Tang to have a very wonderful palate and i love his co-opting non trad ingredients into his dishes, but i find his whole noodle program (way underdone-style)not good. Plus getting neat innovative drinks, and getting enough to eat- are consistent experiences at M+C (and some of the nicest women servers around.) The larger space and lively/loud/fun vibe at M+C is diametrcally opposed to the tiny quiet sedate scene at ExNE.

          1. re: opinionatedchef
            teezeetoo Oct 24, 2012 02:04 PM

            I'm at a loss at the compairson. N by N is innovative, consistently challenging, and always serene. M & C is Asian Fusion with a hip vibe and good enough bar but it is noisy and there's nothing innovative about the food (its good but you could find its like in a dozen places without trying hard. ) If you want a pleasant, happy vibe meal with drinks go to M & C. If you want to see what a real chef is doing, going to N by N. Each has its place but there isn't anything that warrants a comparison except that they are each arguably "asian."

            1. re: teezeetoo
              opinionatedchef Oct 24, 2012 10:35 PM

              tz, i don't get your <you could find its like in a dozen places without trying hard.> Plse tell me where we could find, in the same place, the arctic char roll, chicken udon stir fry, shiitake omelet, smoked spareribs, smoked duck (or 'their like'.) because i would love to know about those places. If your response is: "this dish can be found here, and that dish could be found there," then I would reply that it is those dishes, and all available at the same place,(in addition to the comfortable room and friendly vibe) that has had us loving M+C the last few yrs. We find it unique, so i am so surprised that you think there are many places like it.

            2. re: opinionatedchef
              opinionatedchef Oct 24, 2012 10:22 PM

              I meant ExNE. I continue to mis-title it, as much as i try to catch myself. sigh.

          2. r
            robwat36 Oct 24, 2012 02:11 PM

            Wait, we're talking about East by Northeast, right?

            1 Reply
            1. re: robwat36
              katzzz Oct 24, 2012 04:16 PM

              Yeah, it's East by Northeast. Good food is to be had there and at M+ C as well. But as pointed out above, the big difference is atmosphere, East by Northeast is small and somewhat quiet, M+C is bigger, louder, livelier. All depends what you're in the mood for.

            2. MC Slim JB Oct 24, 2012 07:14 PM

              I like them both a lot. East by Northeast feels more original, idiosyncratic, intimate and handmade. Myers + Chang is much bigger and livelier, is easier to bring a crowd to, does a lot with a limited alcohol license, has a much broader menu (with handy accommodations to vegetarians, vegans, the seafood-averse, and the gluten-intolerant), takes reservations, and does a worthy lunch and brunch.

              I might add Shojo to your list, a charming little place that is doing something quite different for Chinatown: serious cocktails, cool lounge-y atmosphere, entertainment on weekend nights, a similarly inventive, modern take on pan-Asian fare (including a good handful of dim-sum-y small plates), and a few bistro-style entrees (like some brilliant Italian-leaning pasta dishes), all novelties for the neighborhood.


              1 Reply
              1. re: MC Slim JB
                hcraddock Oct 25, 2012 10:45 AM

                I love ExNE, but all of my best experiences there have definitely been for Sunday brunch. The handful of dinners I have had there have been good, but always felt a bit lacking in one way or another. The brunch menu combination of scallion pancake fried egg sandwiches, dim sum style dumplings, and the option to add a poached egg to any of the noodle dishes really puts it over the top. Also, the szechuan peppercorn and sriracha Bloody Mary is terrific.

                I visited Shojo right when they opened (within a week or so), and found it to be kind of a mixed bag. I felt that everything was just one or two minor tweaks away from being truly great. For example, I had a really nice braised beef ravioli with a terrific, mostly asian sauce, but it also had some halved cherry tomatoes that I felt stuck out like a sore thumb. However, the GM did spend the evening going from table to table asking people serious questions about what they did and didn't like. Sounds like maybe they have been listening and improving. I will have to give them another go now that they have settled in.

                I do agree that the cocktails are well done, although I was a bit mystified that their non-alcoholic section features house made tonic water, but the drinks list failed to include a gin and tonic. Seems like a gimme.

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