There's something you should know about Maureen Kilpatrick: Her baked Alaska is such a dreamy, caramelized puff of fluffy, warm meringue with coconut ice cream, and a delicate macaroon, doused with a pool of brilliant yellow passion fruit caramel, that once you taste it, you may never want another dessert again. It's simply that good—all at once hot and cold, soft and crispy, sweet and tart. Kilpatrick's other creations, from tapioca tartlet to palace bread, a syrup-soaked bread pudding, perfectly complement Oleana chef and owner Ana Sortun's Mediterranean cooking. 134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA oleanarestaurant.com/.
An interior designer would call it classic modernism; we call it sleekness without pretense. However you describe Dennis Duffy's characteristic geometric lines and striking color combinations, you'd know them in an instant. Distinctive and original are the two adjectives uttered by nearly every client of Duffy Design Group, which was the team responsible for the livable luxury that is Manny Ramirez's Ritz-Carlton penthouse (but is just as happy to help Jane and Joe Suburb renovate their living space). Duffy has mastered the most delicate balancing act of all: divining clients' needs, yet supplying enough style to fill a house. 1313 Washington St., Suite 505, Boston, MA .
Around these parts, the authentic Irish pub is an expectation, not a novelty. Which means there's a full-on scrum of contenders in this category—the Sligo, the Behan, Foley's—with none stooping to T.G. O'Friday's flair, and all possessing the power to make you linger for one more pint. What hoists the Squealing Pig over the top is its welcoming open layout, with kitchen at one end and fireplace at the other; outsize beer selection; and very Irish puckishness (heavy metal/kung fu film fests; 'toasties' made with Mars bars). All of which makes slipping inside this decade-old Mission Hill pub like a conversation with an old friend: effortless. 134 Smith St., Boston, MA 2120, .
Teak oars and regatta flags share wall space with retired surfboards and stuffed sharks in this gem of a waterfront tavern, composed of equal parts yacht-club cachet and tiki-bar kitsch. Live music, bar games, and 10 on-tap beers make the casual summer scene popular, with the diverse crowds of revelers spilling out onto the spacious deck most nights. Moored mariners craving the sea need only hop aboard the Rockmore's launch for a quick cruise to the "Wet Dock," a flotilla of good cheer smack in the middle of the harbor. 94 Wharf St., Salem, MA pickeringwharf.com/rockmore.html.
The Nields were once an acoustic trio—two Nield sisters, Nerissa and Katryna, and Nerissa's husband, David, who took their name—before evolving into an electric quintet. Although the Nields successfully made the transitoin form folk to rock—its latest release, Gotta Get Over Greta, was produced by U2/Sinead O'Connor producer Kevin Moloney—the band has not completely lost touch with its folk roots. It now lies somewhere in between, and is part of the new breed of folk that includes artists such as Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan.
Ah, to kick back with a strawberry-infused water in the Mandarin’s lounge again. After months of quarantine cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling, the Himalayan-salt-stone massages and hydrating body wraps at this 16,000-square-foot temple to relaxation promise to be even more restorative—especially if they’re in one of three new treatment rooms the hotel is unveiling as part of its multimillion-dollar renovation. 776 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199, mandarinoriental.com/boston.
If you’re a budding small brand, how do you get your products into the public’s hands when you can’t afford Boston’s high rents? Connect with For Now, a shop that acts as a revolving showcase for indie labels, with about a dozen lines—from soaps to shoes—displayed at any given time. 68 Seaport Blvd., Boston, MA itsfornow.com.
The DJs at C-Zone Entertainment have spun records for Clint Eastwood, Lady Gaga, and the Red Sox, and they’ll drop the bass at your wedding, too. Armed with your curated “play” and “do not play” lists, these music mixers will seamlessly transition from your favorite soulful ballads to Grandma-approved party hits (and maybe a few Cardi B songs in between). And with a number of skilled DJs to choose from, you can be sure that you’ll find someone in tune with your musical taste. czonemusic.com.
Unsurprisingly, this 20-seat setup tucked inside a Somerville warehouse excels at the format for which it’s named. Chef Peter Ungár continually catches us off-guard with ingenious touches prepared inches away—think: pads of mackerel brined in fermented daikon broth and crowned with turnip kimchi and herbs from the restaurant’s living wall. Also unexpected: the recent launch of TC Market (a line of house-made condiments), not to mention news that an à la carte Counter will land at a local food hall this year. 14 Tyler St. , Somerville, MA tastingcounter.com.
As a member of the baby-fine-hair tribe, Patricia Guiggey understands what ladies with thick tresses do not: the desire to casually toss abundant locks over a shoulder or assemble a messy bun without seeing scalp. Armed with the tools of her trade, she’ll give you the chance to experience what a full head of hair looks like, whether you opt to invest in cold-fusion bonds or test the waters with tape-ins. 33 Exeter St., Boston, MA 02116, g2ospasalon.com.
This basement-level bakery is part of Frank DePasquale's North End culinary empire, and yet somehow everything about it screams old-world charm. From the tiny space, bakers churn out umami-rich olive-studded loaves and prosciutto-stuffed baguettes that are served at DePasquale's restaurants and, if you're lucky, with your next plate of home-cooked pasta. 241 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113, briccopanetteria.com.
Imagine a flakier, more buttery version of a Pop-Tart, stuffed with finely chopped pistachios and blackberries. A chocolate-hazelnut baklava that is fudgy, not cloyingly sweet. A densely textured yet delicate almond-rose cake. Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick draw on inspiration from the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece to create their café's sweets, and the result is otherworldly. One Belmont St, Cambridge, MA 02138, sofrabakery.com.
Harbor views and cool summer breezes augment a listening experience that provides access to big-name acts (the coming months will bring Slayer and Diana Ross) without the hassle of stadium seating. A shifting naming-rights situation may make it hard to keep track of what to call this outdoor music emporium, but it's long been one of the best reasons to visit the Seaport. 290 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 02210, .
With floor-to-ceiling windows and a string-lit terrace showcasing Green Monster vistas, Hotel Commonwealth’s new event space hits it out of the park. Part of the hotel’s recent $50 million makeover, the just-built wing is now the perfect spot for both Sox fans and culinary-minded couples to celebrate their love: The catering menu features dishes inspired by on-site hot spots Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar. 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA hotelcommonwealth.com.
Skoah’s short but sweet facial menu promises customizable “sweat-free skin-care workouts” powerful enough to whip even the most problematic skin types into shape. Case in point: The “Fitskin” facial, a 45-minute treatment that includes an exfoliating mask, hydrating lotions, and an ultra-relaxing hand-and-arm massage, will leave even the most blemish-prone skin looking bright and healthy. 641A Tremont St., Boston, 857-350-4930; 33 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-383-5185. 641A Tremont St., Boston, MA 02118, skoah.com.