111 East is located in the Seaport and opened earlier this summer. Although you may not be familiar this Asian hot pot / street food inspired bistro, you’ve probably heard of its sister restaurant Lola 42, which is easily my favorite dining option in the Seaport.
Unlike many restaurants in the Seaport, the restaurant doesn’t feel cavernous and for those who have a modern design aesthetic – the interior will appeal. According to the website, the interior juxtaposes more traditional Asian design with an urban edge. Below are images of the bar and the main dining room.
111 East menu is affordable with starters and sandwiches ranging from just a few dollars to $15; build your own noodle and rice bowls ranging from the teens to low $20s; Entrees from teens to $52 (only a couple options are at the top of this price range); and of course their Hot Pot menu which starts in the low $20s but can increase based on your taste and extravagance.
We started our dinner with Steamed Buns – Pork Belly and Fried Chicken. Although both were delicious, I was partial to the Pork Belly (shown below) that came with hoisin sauce and crsipy shallots. The Fried Chicken was good but I prefer the soft buns with the sweet pork belly and encourage you to try it.
Although 111 East is the Seaport’s only hotpot restaurant, it was too warm for us to contemplate ordering it so I chose the Flank Steak with garlic broccoli and waterchestnut in a spicy mango sauce that wasn’t really all that hot but was very flavorful. The greatest challenge I faced eating the steak was trying to cut it with a chopstick and knife until our attentive waiter brought me a fork. The steak (shown below) was really excellent – I would definitely recommend.
Since we skipped the hotpot, we decided to try a build your own rice bowl. We both love curry so Sergio selected a chicken bowl with steamed rice, yellow curry and an assortment of vegetables. Sadly, this was the one disappointing plate we ordered. The curry had little flavor and was quite bland. It was as if what little flavor the curry had seemed to dissipate the minute you consumed it.
Despite the disappointing curry, everything else was really quite excellent. The space has a cool vibe, the service was attentive without being obtrusive and the menu was appealing. If you’re looking for a place to try out for a date or with friends, I would recommend trying 111 East and after dinner enjoy a nice walk along the waterfront just one block away or grab a nightcap at their bar.