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How Are Boston Exports Faring in New York?

Eater NY critics Ryan Sutton and Robert Sietsema explore two new New York locations of Boston restaurants, O Ya and Wahlburgers.

Wahlburgers, Coney Island
Wahlburgers, Coney Island
Robert Sietsema for Eater

Boston may not be welcome in New York when it comes to sports, but two local restaurants are making moves to infiltrate the Empire City’s culinary scene.

Eater NY critics Ryan Sutton and Robert Sietsema recently checked out O Ya and Wahlburgers to see how the Boston exports fared in new territory.

Sutton took full advantage of the extensive omakase tasting menu at O Ya in Manhattan, an outpost of Tim and Nancy Cushman’s Japanese restaurant in Boston’s Leather District.

O Ya joins the ranks of Per Se and Masa as one of New York’s most expensive restaurants, and Sutton had some recommendations for eaters interested in giving it a try. The New York location near Madison Square Park offers fixed menus, without the a la carte options of the Boston restaurant, and Sutton weighed the cost of these tasting menus, the quality of the meal, and the overall dining experience.

What’s the consensus? Sutton said the more expensive tasting menu option offered a more complete dining experience (especially when paired with a view of the sushi chefs at work), but the price might not help O Ya curry favor with its New York audience. Read to the bottom of the review to check out Sutton’s interactive price comparison of each menu option.

Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema took on a restaurant with a slightly different vibe — one that, due to its founders, packs quite the Boston punch. Wahlburgers — the brainchild of Wahlberg brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul — recently opened in a 6,800-square-foot space on the Coney Island boardwalk in part of a reported 60-restaurant rollout of the Hingham, Mass.-based chain.

The Coney Island Wahlburgers was packed, even a few days after its initial opening, and Sietsema said he had a bit of a wait for his order. Though he found that the actual burger part of the signature burger fell a little flat, he commended its dressing and felt the biggest hit of the restaurant was a New England staple — a foamy chocolate frappe.

Wahlburgers is also expanding locally, with a Fenway location still in the works. The restaurant is actively looking for new employees but has yet to announce an opening date, according to its Facebook page.

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