The previous generation (Eastern Standard, the sadly defunct B-Side Lounge) may have planted the seeds for a cocktail revival, but Fort Point newcomer Drink—with its house-made liqueurs and garnishes, mid-bar herb garden, and bespoke ice cubes—presents the modern imbiber's paradise in full flower. The brilliantly designed winding bar hides the bottles and puts the bartenders front and center as they work off of their imagination, rather than preconceived menus. Everything from the custom drinks to the linen-and-mini-water-glass setup at each seat is meant to focus the patron's attention on the matter at hand: the serious art of cocktail making. 348 Congress St., Boston, MA 2210, drinkfortpoint.com.
The name means "delicious," and the food delivers on the promise at this new addition to Boston's sushi scene. (Move over, Ginza.) Hidden away off Route 9 in Chestnut Hill, Oishii was opened by brother-in-law chefs Ting San and Kung San, both of whom trained at New York's raw fish temple, Nobu. On offer are generous portions of delectable fresh fish presented with great art and friendly service. Exclusivity is guaranteed: Oishii seats only 12. However, if you're willing to drive to Sudbury, it has already spawned a somewhat bigger branch. 612 Hammond Street, Chestnut Hill, MA oishiiboston.com/about-ch.html.
This family-run store may seem small, but it's packed with objects to render your home as cozy, chic, and vaguely exotic as its name. There are intricately beaded silk table runners, art deco picture frames, mammoth plants, exquisite scented candles, artsy salt and pepper shakers, gorgeous Asian antiques, and a flat-out stunning selection of French tulips, Chinese bamboo, and other exotic flowers available by the stem or bouquet. Make sure to allow ample browsing time, then circle back again; you're sure to stumble upon another unique piece you missed on the first pass. 170 Tremont St., Boston, MA cocoonhome.com/.
In the traditional-furniture smackdown, the allure of an artisan hunched over his work right here in Massachusetts always wins out. So in Dovetail, a 20-year-old family-owned company based in Holden, just 50 miles from Boston, it was clear that we had our champ. Using hand-selected hardwoods, these folks turn out masterfully crafted, individually signed Shaker, Mission, Arts and Crafts, and Prairie furnishings, as well as custom work fit for any Ivy League reading room. Which, since Dovetail counts Harvard, Yale, and Princeton among its customers, only stands to reason. 2284 Washington St., Newton Lower Falls, MA 2462, furniturebydovetail.com.
In a town where buff young men in designer newsboy caps spend the better portions of their sun-filled days debating the question of where to eat dinner, said dinner had better be worth the discussion. At Chester, it is. Even if it didn't boast a cosmopolitan interior of butter-yellow walls and bright art, a handsome, diverse clientele, and attentive service—Chester would be worth it for such culinary lovelies as foie gras with rhubarb confit and just-off-the-boat lobster in rich lobster coral sauce. Cap it off by ordering the orange blossom-honey mousse with caramelized blood oranges. Now the only question left is where to work off the calories. 404 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA chesterrestaurant.com.
You'd expect to find a kindly gardener and art collector holed up in Belmont. But a jet-setting hair- and fashion-industry giant? In Leon de Magistris, they're one and the same. Between chopping models' locks in Italy (where the revered Tocco Magico has named deMagistris its U.S. artistic director) and jaunts to New York to teach other stylists the latest cuts, de Magistris still finds time to keep everyone in his quiet, close-knit suburb trimmed and styled to perfection. 84 Leonard St., Belmont, MA leonandco.com/.
There are three key criteria that elevate a cinema to superior status: the caliber of the screenings, the comfort of the seats, and perhaps most importantly, the quality of the concession stand. West Newton Cinema's management mixes art house releases with a few mainstream flicks and serves popcorn that's decidedly above average. And while four of the six auditoriums have been updated with Star Trek-style seating (renovations of the remaining two are under way), the exterior and the foyer still retain their old-fashioned character. With Lumière right across the street, it's a recipe for the perfect date. 1296 Washington St., Newton, MA westnewtoncinema.com/.
565 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
Peter Sellars's performance work at the Harvard Indoor Athletic Building.
Good for us but incredibly boring.
Considering how chained we’ve been to Zoom during workdays, a meal kit that includes a “virtual interactive dining experience” has to be really, really good to get us in front of a laptop on weekends. Exhibit A: [email protected], Saturday-night livestreams that guide us through unboxing everything we need to prepare and artfully plate courses of the same haute cuisine — say, dry-aged duck with fermented autumn olive — served at chef Peter Ungár’s innovative fine-dining restaurant. Our rating? Two thumbs-up emojis. 14 Tyler St., Somerville, MA 02143, tastingcounter.com.
When you work with Caitlin Spaulding, you won’t just get custom wedding invitations—you’ll send out one-of-a-kind works of art. Whether she imagines your wedding venue in watercolor on your envelope linings or depicts your love story in a colorful illustrated map, the footwear designer turned stationery guru understands the impact of personal touches. Her talents go way beyond invites, though: She can also carry your design vision through to your save-the-dates, place cards, menus, programs, signage, and more. wouldntitbelovely.com.
From their home at the Boston Center for the Arts, the folks at SpeakEasy manage to do it all, regularly hosting Boston and New England premieres, staging crowd-pleasing productions, and reaching out with socially conscious theater, including Allegiance, about a Japanese-American family held in a World War II internment camp. The upcoming season promises an even more engaging, eclectic lineup, with School Girls, a self-described "African Mean Girls play" about a boarding school in Ghana; The View UpStairs, a glam-rock musical set in a 1970s New Orleans gay bar; and a staging of the Tony-winning show Once. Stanford Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116, speakeasystage.com.
We’ve been juggling hot, steamy (occasionally cold-brewed) flings with a veritable bevy of eligible coffee small-batch-elors, each with its own heart-palpitating charms. There’s George (Howell) with the soaring, bright notes and single-origin intensity; there’s Grace (note) with the delicate roasting finesse and come-hither latte art. But lately we’re finding ourselves back on the old, uh, Render app, swiping right for the laptop-friendly seating, well-built sandwiches, and exemplary espressos—the small, dark, and hand-pulled type we’re suckers for. Multiple locations. 563 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA 02118, rendercoffeebar.com.
The key to the PEM's brilliance is its diversity. In the past year alone, it put on exhibits from titans such as Alexander Calder and J.M.W. Turner; displayed worldly treasures, from abstract Indian art to imperial Chinese ceramics; and stayed true to its New England roots with a survey of 18th-century local furniture maker Nathaniel Gould. The coming year promises shows covering Dutch kinetic sculptures, Native American fashion designers, and everything in between. And with a $650 million expansion under way, this Salem institution is only going to get better. East India Square, Salem, MA 01970, pem.org.