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.
A month after chief book critic Gail Caldwell won a Pulitzer, the Globe reduced the size of its book section.
Dan Gordon and his team truly understand how to extend a home's beauty into the landscape, creating elegant, timeless spaces that reflect how you engage with the outdoors. Wellesley, MA dangordon.com.
Sure, they serve pho at this hole-in-the-wall storefront in Dorchester: great steaming bowls of it, delicately flavored with lemongrass and scallions. But the soup is just the beginning of an adventurous menu of rare and authentic Vietnamese dishes. There's a reason why the tables beneath the tourist prints and buzzing neon are always crowded with locals. The highlight is the chef's specialty, dac biêt bò báy món, seven courses of beef served six ways to Sunday. Thin slices of pure pink meat are offered with the tools to cook it yourself at the table—boiled in vinegar, flash-fried in butter and garlic—then followed up with soup, skewers, and three other gut-busting courses. While no alcohol is served, you can wash down your meal with such exotic beverages as jasmine limeade, salty plum soda—even egg soda. 198 Adams St., Dorchester, MA pho2000boston.com/.
Okay, so it's not in pristine condition. In fact, on a recent visit, we found what appeared to be a large fishing net half-buried in the fairway of the 12th hole. So what's so great about this municipal course? For starters, it's right in the city—a verdant oasis hidden in Hyde Park, with a clubhouse that looks like a medieval castle. This course was designed in the 1930s by Donald Ross, the famed Scotsman who built some of the finest courses in both the state and the nation. The best thing about George Wright, however, is that a loop around these greens runs Boston residents just $24 ($27 on weekends). While you play, take the time to imagine what this course could become with a just little tender loving care. 420 West St., Hyde Park, MA cityofboston.gov/golf/GWGC/.
Oga's is the kind of place that breeds fanatics: Die-hards go once a week, sometimes more. If the joint doesn't look like much at first, one bite of the spicy scallop with flying-fish roe, the Japanese red snapper sashimi, or the poke maki (white tuna with radish sprouts, onions, and shiso dressing) will tell you that's beside the point. The best—and only—view is the one of the artists at work behind the bar. 915 Worcester St., Natick, MA 1760, ogasnatick.com.
When blu opened at Sports Club/LA last winter, many eyed the restaurant with suspicion. Would the brightly colored, Cali-inspired glass-walled dining room work in Boston? Would the menu be filled with bland, flavorless health club fare? The answers: yes and no—in that order. And it's all thanks to Dante deMagistris, the 27-year-old Belmont native who has won the hearts and stomachs of Bostonians with his culinary style (honed under Michael Schlow during their stint together at Café Louis and flourishing under blu co-owner and culinary legend Michela Larson). Even fitness-phobes clamor over deMagistris's fresh seasonal dishes. His "Out of the blu" appetizer, a presentation of assorted sashimis served on brightly colored glass plates, is a work of art, while entrées like steamed wild striped bass or potato gnocchi (made from deMagistris's grandmother's recipe) show the promise of a chef on the rise. Sports Club/LA, 4 Avery St., Boston, MA blurestaurant.com/.
According to Irina Stukalov, of Brookline’s Electrolysis & Skin Care Clinic, there’s only one way to vanquish unwanted hair once and for all: Electrocute the little buggers, one by one. While this isn’t the cheapest, fastest, or most painless option, it’s the real deal, especially when the follicular executioner has 20-plus years of experience. Stukalov knows how to reap the most devastating damage, distracting clients with tales of Soviet-era Russia as she shocks those whiskers into oblivion. 1170 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 2446, hairremovalskincareclinic.com.
This Donald Ross-designed course in Hyde Park is the perfect diamond in the rough. The imposing clubhouse recalls a staid Victorian manor, but the staff is downright friendly, whether organizing weekday tee times (reservations are accepted only for weekends and holidays) or teaching chip-shot fundamentals. The par-70 course—5,131 yards from the red tees, 6,096 from the whites—covers a beautiful, hilly terrain, and includes the breathtaking 10th hole, whose green lies in a serene, tree-ringed dale. Greens fees are also breathtaking: just $22 for Boston residents on weekdays ($25 for nonresidents), and $25 on weekends ($28 for nonresidents). Of course, that doesn't include the balls—or bets—you lose. 420 West St., Hyde Park, MA cityofboston.gov/golf/GWGC/.
It's playground of interior design, from armoires to sofas and chaises: A wall of woods, a wing of leathers, a nook of nubuck suedes. You'll start by changing your home's color scheme, but end up changing your way of life (and credit limit). 585 Commercial St., Boston, MA .
Not quite ready to rock a smock at your favorite salon just yet? You don’t have to thanks to Grettacole, whose root touchup kits quickly became a quarantine sensation. Here, Natalie Salerno, a senior stylist at the salon, demonstrates how to pull off a successful DIY dye job at home. 1. Remove the touchup color and professional application brush from the kit. Be sure to put on the included disposable gloves before getting started—you’re not dying your hands, after all. 2. Always begin at your center part and follow the hairline, slowly moving from ear to ear as you apply the dye in small, quarter-inch sections. 3. Once the dye is applied, wait the full processing time—35 minutes—to ensure the color develops properly (unless you want orange hair!). Then shampoo twice: The first wash is to remove the color and prevent it from irritating your scalp or making your roots oily. The second is to eliminate any residue so you don’t stain pillowcases and towels. 10 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02116, grettastyle.com.
The prettiest pastries, bar none. But the ones at Will-Yums, 314 Shawmtu Avenue, Boston, are more soul-satisfying. 57R Union St., Newton Center, MA .
Too busy, too tired, too pale, too preoccupied hunting down errant sneakers...there are ample excuses to skip the gym. The trainers at Equinox dont want to hear it. Theyre toned, tough, and, when not in one-on-one sessions, inclined to roam the 40,000-square-foot gym handing out sweat towels and stretching tips. While the classes are choice and the equipment upscale (oh, hello, Kinesis machine!), a welcoming vibe is what gives Equinox a leg up on the more intimidating Sports Club/LA. Plus, the chains new Financial District location doubles the convenience, further cutting down on the excuses. 131 Darmouth St., Boston, MA 2116, .
Like spaghetti sauce or competition chili, clam chowder is one of those foods that's better made in enormous quantities. The big-batch approach melds all the flavors—and no one in town does as much volume as Legal. Based on a rich fish stock made from the bones of thousands of swimmers, the chowder features the essence of briny clams, a bit of cream, herbs, onions, and potatoes. Simple and delicious. 26 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 2116, legalseafoods.com.
You can't get any fresher than this Cambridge spot: On any given day, you'll spot employees hauling out huge whole fish and breaking them down as you look on. Vast and unrivaled elsewhere in the area, the seafood selection includes whole branzino, Spanish octopus, and fresh anchovies—not to mention everything you need to make your own maki and sashimi. 622 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141, newdealfishmarket.com.