The western 'burbs were abuzz this year with several hot new openings, but none as significant as the lovely Sycamore, in Newton Centre. Here, co-chefs David Punch and Lydia Reichert are serving up top-notch bistro food—a spring-bean cassoulet, suckling-pig confit—in an elegant, sexy atmosphere. 755 Beacon St., Newton Centre, MA sycamorenewton.com.
Many area nightspots sponsor weekly gay nights, but none satisfies the masses quite like Avalon Sundays. Beautiful players sip cocktails and get groovy in superlative style to pumping tunes spun by local DJ heavyweights, while drag queens take advantage of the airline hangar of a dance floor to strut their stuff. 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, MA .
Looking for a post-quarantine quad challenge with the best views on the island? Stretching from the Old South Road rotary all the way to ’Sconset, this 9.5-mile paved route is it. Once you’ve cruised past the sky-blue inlets of oyster farms and mile upon mile of emerald-green moors buzzing with songbirds, soothe those achy muscles with an icy drink from the Sconset Market, or refuel with an ice cream (or two). An easy and quick pedal from there to the Sankaty Head Light offers an unforgettable view of the Atlantic. Nantucket, MA
Like a favorite old book, this warm tavern from Barbara Lynch Gruppo alum Devin Adams is a place we come back to again and again. On any given day, you'll find Van Morrison on the speakers, regulars hoisting Jack's Abby at wooden tabletops, and, oh yeah, some seriously upgraded comfort food, from braised pork belly with grilled-corn salsa and chimichurri to bone-in lamb shank with baby zucchini, walnut gremolata, and ricotta salata. 1250 Hancock St., Quincy, MA 2169, thetownshend.com.
Need to grab groceries for your next dinner party? Set up a last-minute car inspection? Don't sweat it—just call Fini Concierge, a small firm that helps busy people all over Massachusetts find the assistance they need. Choose from the _ la carte service list, or opt for a monthly membership—either way, Fini will get it all done, leaving you free to tackle the next 50 things on your mile-long to-do list. 665 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02215, finiconcierge.com.
We get it: Membership at Equinox Chestnut Hill is pricey. But once you consider the 37,000-square-foot gym's unparalleled offerings—including some 100 classes per week in five dedicated studios—the $165 monthly fee seems justifiable. Add the indoor lap pool, eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, juice/smoothie bar, and WiFi-equipped lounge, and you may never want to leave. 200 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, equinox.com/clubs/boston/chestnuthill.
This shop's limited-edition, retro-funky frames—in specs and sunnies—will give you 20/20 vision, and the service is a perfect 10, too. High-quality craftsmanship seals the deal: We've had our sturdy See frames for four years, and they've fallen on the floor, been crushed by a toddler, and gone through the dryer—and never snapped under pressure. (Multiple locations.) 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, seeeyewear.com.
In a time of disposable blades and unisex salons, you’d be forgiven for thinking the straight razor shave had gone the way of Brylcreem and wooden teeth. But practitioners of the lost art still remain, including master barbers Anthony and Joseph Berriola. If you haven’t experienced the pleasure of shaving oils, hot towels, and a warm lather, do plant yourself in their Somerville barber chair. It’ll be the best $25 you’ve ever spent. 308 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02144, razorsbarbershop.com.
Yes, it’s nestled within the tourist mecca of Mashpee Commons. No matter: Once you step into Trevi, you might as well be on a European vacation with your secret paramour. There’s an expansive covered terrace overlooking a soothing backlit fountain, a vast menu of global wines, and a list of generously poured cocktails (the Trevi Tini is our favorite). 25 Market St., Mashpee, MA 02649, trevicafe.com.
Sure, seafood is easy to come by on the Cape. But you're reading this magazine, so you’re looking for the best. Pack your cooler and sunscreen and snag a picnic table at Sesuit Harbor Café: Yes, you’ll wait in a line out the door, sit outside rain or shine, and BYOB, but once those heaping trays of lobster rolls, fried scallops and clams, and Cape Cod Bay oysters are in front of you, you’ll understand. sesuit-harbor-cafe.com/.
Okay, so Laugh Boston may be smack in the middle of no man’s land (has anyone ever actually been to the convention center?), but we promise it’s worth the trek—and so do plenty of big-ticket comedians. Jimmy O. Yang, Leslie Jones, and Dulcé Sloan have all hit this Seaport-ish establishment, as has cult-favorite storytelling series “The Moth.” So grab some pals and an Uber—a belly-laughing night awaits. 425 Summer St., Boston, MA laughboston.com/.
First comes love, then comes the wedding florist, who can singularly set the tone for your big day. Ensure a blossoming affair with Rose Mattos and Erin Heath’s ethereal bouquets and centerpieces, characterized by stunning foliage, fruiting branches, and local, seasonal blooms. Some of their recent floral feats include wrapping lush white flowers around a wooden archway, stringing garland on a vintage Volkswagen, and swathing tree branches in lace. foretdesignstudio.com.
Once a land overrun with whale belts, Hingham is casting off its preppy past. Leading the charge is Crossing Main, a fashion-forward boutique that sells sophisticated clothes, shoes, jewelry, and handbags. On hand are frilly Tracy Reese dresses, bright hibiscus-print shifts by Milly, Tibi tunics, and quasi-bohemian dresses from Nanette Lepore. So if you're still putting off that wardrobe overhaul: Give your surplus Lilly Pulitzer to Goodwill and embrace the new soccer mom chic. 5 Main St., Hingham, MA 2043, .
Cracked elbows, oily T-zones, and damaged locks all require different care routines, which is why C.O. Bigelow fills its floor-to-ceiling shelves with enough creams, soaps, balms, masks, and bath salts to satisfy even the biggest product pack rat. Favorites include Kevyn Aucoin makeup, Frederic Fekkai hair care, and exclusive skin-care treatments from Patricia Wexler M.D., as well as the store's eponymous line of quince and grapefruit hand and body lotions. Copley Place, Boston, MA 2116, bigelowchemists.com.
This casually hip Central Square boîte may no longer be the well-kept secret it once was, but it's still well worth the wait for a table in the sexy, darkly lit dining room to sample chef/owner Gary Strack's delicious cuisine. The steak frites are simple and delectable; the grilled octopus, clean-flavored and beautifully presented. In fact, everything at Central Kitchen is as casually well dressed as the clientele that fills the stools along the bistro's long slate-and-blue-tiled bar. 567 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .