The H-word may be ill defined—something about young, vaguely cool people having fun in a place where you're not. Unless you happen to be at Trina's. Equal parts dive bar, cocktail lounge, diner, and comfort-food joint, it has the type of lived-in authenticity the you-know-whats can't resist. 3 Beacon St., Somerville, MA 02143, trinastarlitelounge.com.
Perhaps because it aligns with our modern taste for all things fermented, preserved, and pickled, Jewish cuisine is undergoing a much-needed renaissance in these parts. Playing a big role in its revival is this recurring pop-up from proprietor Jeff Gabel, who's managed to talk culinary luminaries like Bread & Salt Hospitality's Joshua Lewin into getting creative with everything from brisket-topped latkes to hamantaschen. kitchenkibitz.com.
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.
Rare is the makeup artist who can shake you out of your routine with a single application of blush and eyeshadow. Tavi de la Rosa, who mans the Sisley counter at Neiman Marcus part-time and preps Boston's style icons, can suss out your look in minutes. For us, that meant smoky eyes, flawless foundation, and near-nude lips, plus a few false-eyelash applications for extra zing.
We’ve loved Glen Cunningham’s classes for the better part of a decade, and on good days, his instruction helps us remember why we hit our mats. (On bad days, a few of his signature words of wisdom certainly don’t hurt.) Cunningham’s style is soothing, his pace is precise, and, unlike most instructors, he encourages a bit of creative interpretation in the poses. 15 Worcester St., Boston, MA 2118, sadhanastudios.com.
Building the perfect gyro is a Herculean task. The pita must be warm and soft. The meat must be flavorful and tender. But the real key is the sauce holding it all together, the tzatziki. This is where so many good gyros go bad. At Esperia, the classic Greek cucumber-yogurt sauce is just the right combination of creamy and tart, making it the perfect complement to the juicy chicken or pork. 344 Washington St., Brighton, MA 2135, esperiagrill.com.