Reasons to Dine Out This Week: Nightshade Noodles, a la Carte at Asta, and More

Plus, the America's Test Kitchen food festival returns to Boston, and more newsworthy leads on where to eat right now.

It’s a busy time to be a food lover in Boston. Here, an easily digestible roundup of the five restaurant news stories you need to know to have a delicious week. (And if you missed last week’s updates, check it out here.)

Chef's counter seats provide a front-row look into the kitchen at Nightshade Noodle Bar.

Chef’s counter seats provide a front-row look into the kitchen at Nightshade Noodle Bar. / Photo by Ella Rinaldo

Nightshade Noodle Bar Opens in Lynn

Downtown Lynn has a new Vietnamese-inspired bar from one of Boston’s most talented toques: chef Rachel Miller (Bondir, Clio) is now serving lunch and dinner at Nightshade Noodle Bar. A permanent home for the Best of Boston-worthy pop-up she launched in 2017 with partner and wine director Liana van der Water, Nightshade Noodle Bar brings back some favorite dishes from Miller’s fly-by-night days, such as mi kho, egg noodles with beef and peanuts with a caramelized garlic sauce; and tamarind-glazed fried chicken with coconut ranch. But it also features new flavors, including lunchtime-only banh mi sandwiches, plus cool cocktails like Fig of Fortune with rum, fresh lemon, fig, and ginger; and a lemongrass martini. The 30-seat space—a former coffeeshop that’s just a few minutes’ walk from Lynn’s Commuter Rail station—is filled with high-top tables and counter seats, and features a hand-painted mural by van der Water. Nightshade Noodle Bar is now open for reservations and walk-ins Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch and then 5-10 p.m. for dinner; and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. for brunch and 5:30-10 p.m. for dinner.

73 Exchange St., Lynn, 781-780-9470,

MarketPlace Logan -Monica's Mercato at Logan Airport

Take a taste of the North End with you next time you fly out of Logan Airport. / Nate Fried-Lipski Photography

Logan Airport Dining Is Really Taking Off

Here’s hoping you have a vacation planned soon, because there’s a lot to eat now at Logan Airport. Here are the latest opening updates on this year’s planned concessions upgrades:

  • Terminal B: Visit new outposts of Temazcal Tequila Cantina, chef Jody Adams’ Mediterranean restaurant Trade, chef Michael Schlow’s Tico, a fresh new B.Good, beloved bi-state pizza place Otto, and Sullivan’s Castle Island
  • Terminal C: Dig into some pasta, or have a steak delivered terminal-side, from a new Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse; or check out the new Shojo location
  • Terminal E: From the heart of the North End, take off with sandwiches and more from Monica’s Mercato

And still to come: a second location of Charlestown gastropub Monument Tavern, and a slightly smaller—but no less local—version of the Boston Public Market. Airport food never tasted so good!

Duck confit at Asta

Duck confit is on the menu at Asta, no tasting menu required. / Photo courtesy of Asta

Tuck Into Duck Confit at Asta

A five- or eight-course experience is well worth the adventure (and expense) at Asta, a perennial fine-dining favorite which just inched up to the No. 2 spot on our list of Boston’s 50 best restaurants. But we understand that it’s a commitment—and so do chef-owner Alex Crabb and partner Shish Parsigian. That’s why the idiosyncratic Asta is now serving an awesome a la carte option every night that it’s open. The dish will change as the main menus do, but for now, it’s confit duck leg, set with a “chef’s whim” of vegetables—daikon and pickled young ginger to start. Stop in, no reservation required—the $15 dish makes a fine dinner paired with a glass of wine; or you can add it onto a tasting menu for the ultimate Asta experience. Bon appetit!

47 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-585-9575,

A brighter, warmer, more luxurious Avery Bar is back open at Boston's Theater District Ritz-Carlton.

A brighter, warmer, more luxurious Avery Bar is back open at Boston’s Theater District Ritz-Carlton. / Photo by Michael Kleinberg

Avery Bar Once Again Smells of Rich Mahogany

After a summer of renovations, the Ritz-Carlton’s swanky lobby bar reopened October 16 with a chic, updated look and new food and drink menus. Designers with the New York firm AvroKO toned down the color palette with warm neutrals, accented with deep burgundy and plum, rich golds, and subtle blues; and a new, marble and brass bar has moved off to the side to open up more sumptuous leather seating around the floating fireplace. Tuck in for a classic Avery martini, or one of mixologist Sterling Jackson’s refined cocktails, such as Tesoro, with brown butter-infused rum, orgeat, vanilla and nutmeg tincture, and a dash of salt; or Lady in White, made with a private-label Avery Bar gin from Bully Boy, Cointreau, an apricot and verbena cordial, lemon, and egg white. The luxurious living room is a prime place in the Theater District for pre-show snacks as well: executive chef Kenneth “Shane” Cooprider’s new fall menu features buffalo-fried oysters with celery-apple creme, sweet chili tiger shrimp with puffed rice noodles, and more shareable plates. Avery Bar is open Tuesday-Saturday at 5 p.m.

10 Avery St., Boston, 617-574-7100,

America's Test Kitchen on-air personalities Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster lead a demo at ATK Boston Eats in 2018

America’s Test Kitchen on-air personalities Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster lead a demo at ATK Boston Eats in 2018. The food fest returns to the Seaport this weekend. / Photo courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen

Fill Up This Weekend at ATK Boston Eats

For 20 years, America’s Test Kitchen has been producing some of the country’s best cooking content right here in Greater Boston—and for the past three years, the culinary media company has been inviting fans behind the scenes during its now-annual ATK Eats Food Festival. The weekend-long event returns to Boston Thursday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Oct. 26, with a dynamic lineup of delicious events. It all starts tonight with a nearly-sold-out chef’s table dinner hosted by the cast of the hit America’s Test Kitchen TV show. Then, fans can say “Cheers to 20 Years” on Friday night, as top tastemakers like chefs Michael Scelfo, Will Gilson, and Joanne Chang, mixologists like Jackson Cannon and Naomi Levy, and others celebrate the occasion with an all-you-can-eat fête alongside ATK’s on-air personalities and content creators.

On Saturday, it’s the main event: an afternoon tasting extravaganza with more than 30 local restaurants, including Blue Ribbon BBQ, El Pelon Taqueria, La Morra, Pabu, Rochambeau, and Shōjō, plus custom beers by Trillium Brewing Company and more fun. Later that night, America’s Test Kitchen will welcome guests into its Seaport headquarters for an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience, complete with cooking demos by the likes of Cook’s Illustrated luminaries Dan Souza and Elle Simone, chef Tiffani Faison, and more. All events are happening at the Innovation and Design Building at 21 Drydock Ave.—check out the full lineup, and get your tickets, at