We have one strategy when it comes to the manicure: Get in and out as fast as possible. Unfortunately, speedy service at many salons can come at the expense of quality—and cleanliness. Which is why it's MiniLuxe for us. The technicians here rub germ-killing sanitizer on mitts and briskly file, buff, and sculpt nails with new and autoclave-sterilized instruments. Then there's the flawless polish application—one that lasts for a full week (no UV light required). 296 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, miniluxe.com.
Some resort-town spas tend to get a little hectic at times, making relaxation a nail-biting endeavor. The Dan'l Webster offers complete serenity, along with uninterrupted pampering in the form of Chakra massage, hot lava pedicures, and, for those who forgot their SPF 45, a sunburn body treatment. Because the last thing you want to need after a day at the spa is another day at the spa. 149 Main St., Sandwich, MA 2563, danlwebsterinn.com.
This polish empire continues its expansion in the Bay State and beyond, and for good reason. A “Clean Lab” sterilizes all equipment to hospital-level sparkle. The atmosphere is minimalist yet warm (picture a chemistry lab combined with a Zen hideout). Services are streamlined, too: Instead of doing it all, they smartly focus on manis, pedis, and waxing. What can we say? MiniLuxe nails it. Prudential Center, 776 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199, miniluxe.com.
The friendly folks at Framers' Workshop give you a choice. You can simply drop off your MFA poster/diploma/illuminated manuscript, and pick it up behind glass two weeks later. Or you can master the craft of framing it yourself—an economical, labor-intensive, yet strangely meditative process, on par with making your own bread. Choose the matte and molding of your choice (they cut it for you), then plant yourself at one of 10 workstations in the back, equipped with a vise, nails, glue, and all the other supplies you need. The background music is good, too. 64 Harvard St., Brookline Village, MA .
Jeanne Lee doesn't shy away from problem toes—no, she specializes in them, taking the time to rigorously cleanse, file, buff, exfoliate, and massage before unscrewing the cap to your desired polish. And because Lee works with only one other nail technician (her mother) in her fourth-floor Newbury Street space, you're all but guaranteed a tranquil experience. 125 Newbury St., Boston, MA jeannesalon.com.
The foot treatments here are as good for your head as they are for your toes. Grab a magazine and settle into one of two elevated pedicure stations. Then your snacks and tea arrive. And then you notice the flat-screen TV in front of you, and the remote at your side. As your nail tech buffs, soaks, and scrubs, you feel like a kid on a fake sick day. And that makes for very happy feet. 100 Stuart St., Boston, MA 2116, blissworld.com.
She will work around a hair appointment, filing and pumicing feet to a glow while you enjoy a deep hair conditioning; she will also advise you on suitable shades of nail polish, from baby pinks to urban-decay green. No matter what state of disrepair your feet are in, Victoria can rebuild them, or at the very least make them look decent enough for those Manolo Blahnik sandals. City Salon, 118 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Perched in an uncomfortable chair, your hands bound (inevitably, an itch) while a stranger picks at your cuticles, you cant help but wonder: Is a speedy, painless, and long-lasting manicure out of the question? Not when youre sitting across from the Lofts Chiaradia, who narrowly bested Jeanne Lee (formerly of Salon Trio, she almost had us with that add-on reflexology treatment). Chiaradias polish work was flawless and superquick, and didnt chip for nearly a week. Hate small talk? Youll appreciate the option to catch up on your E! podcast of Speidi and Glambert gossip as she overhauls your nails in silence. 207 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
With so much that’s changed over the past year, it’s reassuring to know that we can still rely on this institution to keep our closets stocked with broken-in tees, khaki shorts, soft button-downs, and other classic styles. Owner Philip Saul is known for his precise vision and impeccable taste in menswear, but he should also be applauded for navigating the pandemic by offering curbside pickup and re-upping the store’s e-commerce presence so his loyal customers could nail that effortless New England style effortlessly. 577 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02118, saultne.com.
As long as Boston’s stylish men never lose their taste for leather-scented candles and pants held up with twists of nautical rope, Sault will continue to be indispensable. A new women’s section appears not to have affected the store’s emphasis on laid-back yet fashionable accents for the fellas, from killer railroad-spike-inspired bracelets from metal jeweler Giles & Brother to leather bi-folds from Todder. And lest men be excluded from the self-care trend, the shop also offers an assortment of high-end grooming products, including beard oils and one very preppy whale-shaped nail brush. 577 Tremont St., Boston, MA saultne.com.
Loyal sidekicking is hard work. So is giving a cat a bath (something we've learned the hard way). Make life a little easier for both you and your furry, filthy pal with a visit to 'sPoochies, where the gentle techs will get even the most hygiene-averse animal into show-ring shape: clipping nails, cleaning ears, decrusting fur, trimming those unsightly under-chin spots where drool goes to die. A generous selection of sweet-smelling grooming products provides the necessary tools for ambitious owners to try again at home, if they must. 400 Tremont St., Boston, MA .
We're tempted to call what Redd's does "home cooking," but given that this version of comfort food would require an apprenticeship at a southern barbecue joint, the ability to break down an entire pig, and a smoker in the backyard, we're not exactly talking about our home. Redd's nails everything, from the house-made pickle plate (try the pickled cabernet grapes) and apple mignonette-topped raw oysters to the just-about melt-in-your-mouth pulled-pork sandwich. If this is how you cook at home, we're coming over for dinner. 4257 Washington St., Roslindale, MA 2131, reddsinrozzie.com.
Sophisticated city dining has hit Newton—hard—in the form of this beautiful bistro. Chef-owner and Ritz-Carlton Dining Room alumnus Mark Allen has nailed everything modern French eating ought to be; his menu is refined (minus any stuffiness) and delicious (minus any heaviness). Diners are pampered from the time they walk in the door, as the friendly staff takes coats and hands over drinks almost simultaneously. All that, and we haven't even mentioned the enchanting, sumptuous dishes: scallops seared and paired with cucumber-potato purée, lobster and fennel profiteroles, and pan-roasted monkfish so rich it could pass for dessert. 51 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, MA .
Leave it to the folks behind Somerville resto-industry darlings Parlor Sports and Trina’s Starlite Lounge to nail the rare trifecta of legit casual, plus far suburbs, plus pitch-perfect right-nowness. Chef Suzi Maitland’s graze-friendly menu trots the globe with ecumenical panache, slinging polished riffs on Vietnamese bun cha, Spanish gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), and Thai-ish fries loaded with chili sauce, scallion cream, and peanuts best ordered immediately: You’ll want sustenance for negotiating the rest of the itinerary. 27 State St., Newburyport, MA 01950, paddleinnsurf.com/.
French cuisine is back, bébé, and who’d have guessed that Jamie Mammano, king of client-wowing wallet lighteners like Mistral and Ostra, would be the one to nail its kicked-back neo-bistro form. In such an unassuming South End storefront, no less, with dreamy apps that include mahogany-burnished duck confit on melted-onion-studded potatoes Lyonnaise, dragged through “broken garlic butter” puddles; reasonably priced entrées, like a magnifique bavette steak; and nary a wobble in his restaurant empire’s trademark perfectionism. 1750 Washington St., Boston, MA barlyon.com.