A Boston chef wants to fill East Boston with noodles, and in doing so, to establish a sustainability-minded neighborhood restaurant. Chef Matthew McPherson (previously of Tiki Rock, Menton, Porto, and more) plans to open the Noodle Bar by Iterum Foods in Jeffries Point, just a few blocks from the Maverick MBTA station, and is in lease negotiations for a space at 303 Sumner St.
McPherson, who lives in East Boston, told Eater he wants to create a restaurant people could visit on a daily basis, while making meals “more approachable for everyone.”
The restaurant will focus on all kinds of noodles — ranging from potato and vegetable noodles to glass noodles — and will serve the neighborhood at all hours, as a cafe, an easy lunch spot, and as a dine-in dinner option. Additionally, McPherson plans to make the restaurant as sustainable as possible.
“One of the main focuses is going to be on zero-waste,” McPherson said. “I’ve always been very big about waste in restaurants. Fine dining is so wasteful because it’s all about presentation, always about making things look perfect. Why can’t you not only have something be perfect, but utilize the waste for that in making something else?”
Part of the sustainability effort will involve a heavy focus on vegetables over meat. McPherson has been testing recipes, including a vegan bolognese with mushrooms and beets, which he describes as a rich and hearty red wine-like sauce.
“Taking a dish and adjusting it to modern taste and where things are going in the food world,” will be a huge part of the Noodle Bar, according to McPherson, who also wants to make sure his food is affordable. “It’s where the trends are going, and it’s where everyone else needs to start going as well. It’s baby steps to show that it is possible, and it’s possible to make food that people crave every day.”
McPherson already has a preliminary menu online, and he recently launched a campaign through Main Vest to help fund the buildout and startup costs. As he works towards opening, McPherson plans to run a few pop-ups to test the concept. Ultimately, he may aim to replicate the Noodle Bar at additional locations.
The proposed space for the Noodle Bar at 303 Sumner St. spans 1,500 square feet. The day will start with a light breakfast menu, with to-go options as well, plus coffee and tea. Noodles come into play for lunch and dinner, and any carry-out items will be served in reusable containers to support the sustainability mission of the restaurant.
“We want to make the residents feel as though this an extension of their home and are welcome to come multiple times a day for whatever they are in need of: coffee, a warm meal, or a quiet place to work over a beer,” McPherson wrote on the fundraising page.
Stay tuned for further details on an opening timeline for the Noodle Bar by Iterum Foods. McPherson will be documenting the restaurant’s progress on social media.
Update 2/20: This story has been updated to reflect the status of lease negotiations for the 303 Sumner St. space McPherson is pursuing for the Noodle Bar.