Oleana could serve its lush menu from the back of a pickup truck in a parking lot and the place would still draw crowds. Fortunately, Ana Sortun's ode to all things Turkish and Mediterranean has a patio oasis, complete with a bubbling fountain, fragrant herb garden, shady fig tree, and heat lamps for chilly summer nights, all lit by strands of overhead lights. During stormy weather, the glassed-in porch makes an equally fine perch. 134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139, oleanarestaurant.com.
London Harness might be the oldest luggage retailer in the country, but its stylish selection is anything but dated. The Wellesley boutique carries chic Bric folding duffels and Lipault rolling carry-on satchels—perfect travel companions for a stress-free trek through those long TSA lines. It’s no wonder Rod Stewart, Steven Tyler, and (once upon a time) Benjamin Franklin have been customers. 45 Central St., Wellesley, MA 02482, londonharness.com.
On our first visit, a pair of regulars told us, completely unprompted, that we’d love this place. Why? Is it Mohan Singh’s meltingly tender, bone-in goat masala, accompanied by hubcap-size naan? The sitar-heavy soundtrack? Or the adrenaline-fueled open kitchen, where a cluster of cooks pile steaming vindaloos and curries onto metal trays? By the end of our meal, we’d answered that question: all of the above. 225 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139, punjabidhaba.co.
If you think shopping for a new adult toy should be done under a veil of secrecy, you’re out of luck at Good Vibrations. The sex-positive store sells all the accessories needed for a good romp in the sheets in a brightly lit, well-designed space that easily blends with the neighboring stores in both locations. Bonus points for a calendar chock-full of events and seminars about various types of play, all of which confirms that talking about sex out loud is totally normal—and completely healthy. 52 JFK St., Cambridge, MA goodvibes.com.
Once a certain hour hits, most restaurants make the switch from carefully designed entrées to standard-issue flatbread pizzas. Not so at Tavern Road, where Louis DiBiccari’s late-night menu sparkles with verve and inventiveness, as evidenced by delights like lamb meatballs with harissa vinaigrette, Korean-inflected barbecue wings, and salami, mortadella, and Gruyère—stuffed calzones. 343 Congress St., Boston, MA 2210, tavernroad.com.
A class-A PGA pro who's done teaching stints at the Legends Club of Tennessee and Stow Acres Country Club, Parker gives duffers a 21st-century swing at his high-tech indoor training center, outfitted with state-of-the-art practice bays and virtual rounds at St. Andrews and Pebble Beach. Free advice: "Most golfers slice to the right, and think they should align their feet to the right to fix it. But it's the opposite—align to the left. If you're a slicer, aim your feet to the shortstop and swing to the second baseman." CityGolf, 38 Bromfield St., Boston, MA citygolfboston.com.
Sure, sometimes a single, tiny scallop garnished with edible flowers is enough to get the job done. For the rest of the time, there's Grill 23. This traditional haunt of the powerful and the generously compensated plates up jumbo iceberg wedges doused with million-calorie blue cheese dressing; staggeringly large slabs of beef, flawlessly grilled and delivered by white-coated waiters; and a distinguished list of hearty cabernets to wash it all down. 161 Berkeley St., Boston, MA grill23.com.
Attending a show here is not unlike sitting inside a gigantic inverted wedding cake. Three years after a painstaking $30 million restoration, the Opera House shines once again as the city's most opulent venue. As for the performances—whether flashy Broadway tours, big-name rock acts like the White Stripes, or Boston Ballet's Nutcracker—all seem to gain a bit of extra polish from this gilded Beaux Arts masterpiece. The 1920s proscenium mural alone is worth the ticket price. 539 Washington St., Boston, MA broadwayacrossamerica.com.
Globetrotters will have no problem finding the ideal traveling companion amid Leather World's broad assortment of luggage from Hartmann, Vera Bradley, Victorinox, and other trusted names. Standing by to help fill that handsome new roller bag, duffel, or suitcase is every accessory you might need on the road (portable game sets, ingenious money belts, etc.). Plus, the repair services are second to none. 30 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 2138, shopleatherworld.com.
If you're spending too much time counting sheep, drag your weary bones to Frette, where the bedding experts will help you unravel the mysteries of linens—for example, thread count (the higher the number, the heavier the sheet). The store carries sheets, quilts, bedspreads, and accessories by top designers, in addition to the in-house line, which comes in both classic shades and colorful prints. 776B Boylston St., Boston, MA frette.com.
Whether the occasion is a charity ball, garden party, or black-tie wedding, you'll always find the right frock here. Fashions from all the "it" designers are represented, including Balenciaga, Roberto Cavalli, Pucci, Anna Molinari, and a few others right on the cutting edge. Owner Ines Capelli knows just which ensemble will work, and makes sure everyone leaves feeling—and looking—like a million bucks. 134 Newbury St., Boston, MA serenella-boston.com.
E-mail, e-vites, e-cards—you've been there, e-done that. Lend your correspondence some off-line heft with a pilgrimage to this epistolary shrine, with its formidable collection of paper, cards, and craft supplies. Initially you may feel overwhelmed, so take advantage of the design-savvy staffers (many of them art school students), the nifty DIY invitation and letter-writing kits, and personal stationery consults—all of which can help give your every missive a signature style. 1361 Beacon St., Brookline, Boston, Cambridge, Wellesley, MA 2446, paper-source.com.
You could quite feasibly get lost as you wander from room to room. Wait... there's the gang-waterfall-shower-stall, so you're almost back to the front door. In addition to configurations you never dreamed a sink or tub could take (basins hand-painted with fairy tales for the kids; glass cones for mod grownups), there are so many varieties of faucets and knobs that you want to throw in the towel. Just give me water! 244 Needham St., Newton, MA .
Once you experience the personal touch of Darlene and her crew, you'll never go back to a corporate cleaning outfit. Would they pick up your kids at the airport, wash your dog, do your laundry, go grocery shopping, and even prepare dinner for you? Well, Darlene will. Not only that, she hand-scrubs your floors and even makes that black city grime on the window ledges disappear. 28 Smart Street, Waltham, MA .
You want natural? Tell Rachel Bezanson so, and, when she's done, you'll see only the gleam of your features, not cakey foundation or madly mod eyeliner. You want dramatic? Tell her, and instead of the annoyed streetwalker look that so many "artists" render, you'll come away with lips that pout, eyes that pop, and cheekbones that could cut butter. 297 Newbury St., Suite 21, Boston, MA .