Ellen Kempner’s vocal melodies have a tendency to shoot up high without warning, just like her hands on the fretboard of her guitar during bouts of frenzied rocking. It’s this unpredictability that brings excitement to Dry Food, the debut album from her band, Palehound. The trio recently made an appearance at Boston Calling, where after their last song, Kempner said, appropriately enough, “We’re Palehound, from right here!” The band plans to record their follow-up in the fall. Here’s hoping they go far, but always remain nearby. palehound.bandcamp.com.
When chef Michael Serpa left Neptune Oyster to open his own restaurant, we wondered: What would happen to the overflowing lobster roll? Or the crisp "Piggyback" oysters, piled high on toast with shreds of tender Berkshire pork? Thankfully, they're still here and as good as ever—only now, chefs Daniel Karg and John Ross have added their own stamp to the menu. Try inventive dishes like whole roasted mackerel Veracruz in tomato-olive brodetto with bright chimichurri and a refreshing orange-fennel salad, or tender PEI mussels in a complex, beautifully textured red-curry sauce with toasted cashews. 63 Salem St., Boston, MA 02113, neptuneoyster.com.
Here it's all about hospitality, from thoughtful kids' offerings like mini beach chairs and cabanas to a program that tracks repeat guests' preferences. Want a rare book delivered to your room? They thought so. Planning to propose—but need a violinist? She'll be right over. It doesn't hurt that Wequassett's on-site restaurant, Twenty-Eight Atlantic, is helmed by L'Espalier alum James Hackney, or that a roving Good Humor truck doles out post-swim snacks. At sunset, a newly expanded veranda with fire pits offers serene views of Pleasant Bay. 2173 Route 28, Harwich, MA 02645, wequassett.com.
From the outside, it’s a classic 1909-built brick Beacon Hill building. From the inside, it’s an ultra-chic, modern oasis with every comfort of home and then some. Enjoy plush amenities such as Frette robes and complimentary bikes for cruising around the Hill like you live there — and when hunger strikes, you won’t have to go far for top-notch fare: Peregrine, the lauded on-site restaurant from Joshua Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri, can bring an antipasto platter for two right to your room. 170 Charles St., Boston, MA 02114, whitneyhotelboston.com.
If we needed any more proof that celebrities (and hugely viral TikTok stars) really are just like us, Zachariah Porter, a.k.a. @zzzachariah, is it. He’s shopping at Target a little too frequently, imagining the reality shows he would be really good on, and above all else, drinking iced coffee from Dunkin’ (medium with a splash of almond milk) in his car. His 60-second clips — including his spot-on impression of every mom at HomeGoods — manage to make every day entertaining, and have snagged the loyal viewership of 2.1 million followers in two quick years. tiktok.com/@zzzachariah.
Brunch is best served in the company of good friends and shameless rounds of pre-noon cocktails. And right now, there’s no better place to indulge than at Southie’s Lincoln, where the crowd is lively, the dishes are ultra-decadent (did someone say Fruity Pebbles pancakes with cereal-milk anglaise?), and the Bucket of Bubbles makes it easy to toast the day away. Lest you think the lazy late-morning meal is solely a weekend affair, Lincoln serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, so you can get your breakfast-pizza fix on your lunch break. 425 W. Broadway, Boston, MA 02127, lincolnsouthboston.com.
Some bike shops take themselves too seriously—What, you don’t know how to change a chain? At this unassuming yet hip workshop, however, even complete novices are welcome. Staffers will patiently answer any questions about the trials and tribulations of urban cycling before steering you toward a superb selection of sleek new city cruisers from brands like Bianchi and Linus, as well as refurbished wheels. And that kindness extends to all aspects of the nonprofit: Bikes Not Bombs ships thousands of refurbished two-wheelers to partners across the world, and supports the community closer to home with a youth-employment program for Boston’s aspiring mechanics. 18 Bartlett Sq., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, bikesnotbombs.org.
Hipsters, locals, and industry folk mingle at this Inman hangout, where stiff drinks and retro vibes accompany seriously good late-night eats, cranked out by the kitchen staff till midnight on weekends. The crisp tots with rosemary-garlic aioli pair well with a Green Goblin (a neon mezcal-based tipple), as does the beefy Starlite chili with a side of cornbread—a butter-soaked masterpiece so good, you might as well order an extra slice to take home for breakfast. Correction, June 26, 11 a.m.: In the July issue of Boston, we misstated how late Trina's serves (midnight). We regret the error. 3 Beacon St., Somerville, MA 02143, trinastarlitelounge.com.
Picture a funnier Alex Trebek holding court on the dance floor of Studio 54, and you’ll have a close approximation of the shtick at the Big Quiz Thing, a cabaret-style trivia night held monthly among the disco balls at Oberon. Comedian Noah Tarnow provides multimedia clues (film clips! sound effects!) and sports a sparkly jacket, adding flavor to the proceedings. Teams win luxe prizes like gift certificates to spas and restaurants, and tickets to The Donkey Show at the A.R.T. It’s also completely free. 2 Arrow St., Cambridge, MA 2138, americanrepertorytheater.org/oberon.
Quarantined herbivores rejoiced when vegan chef Graham Boswell replaced his beloved meze pop-up’s brewery appearances and ticketed dinners with convenient home-delivery service in March.He’s proven that he still has everything it takes to enliven animal-free cooking—namely, rich and creamy nut-based sauces to fill fluffy flatbreads, no cheese required; and the confidence to get creative with the Eastern Mediterranean pantry he learned as a line cook under Oleana’s spice queen, chef Ana Sortun. littleburgveg.com.
Powder House Square’s traditional Mexican kitchen is well known for its regally stuffed and sauced chile relleno en nogada and, yes, crispy grasshopper tacos. But what you absolutely can’t miss here are the produce-forward dishes: nopales (cactus) that tastes like tangy green beans; dense, tender chunks of chayote (Mexican squash) smothered in verdant pumpkin-seed mole; and slate-gray blooms of cuitlacoche (corn smut, an edible fungus), which cook into soot-colored mush but charm with an earthy, mushroomy depth of flavor. 858 Broadway, Somerville, MA tuyyorestaurant.com.
Simply lining up the members of the bridal party by height is not Richards's style, which is more akin to photojournalism than traditional wedding photography. She captures every moment in dramatic black and white, from a miniature ring bearer playing peekaboo over a wing chair to a bride's quiet moment of contemplation. The resulting images might seem more at home in a gallery than on a coffee table. Maybe that's why Richards has flown as far away as Poland to document the special days of the rich and the famous—and why it's a good thing for Boston newlyweds that she spends most of her time on this side of the Atlantic. 247 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
There's more to upscale salesmanship than strategically doled-out snootiness. In her 30 years at the ring-for-entry Alan Bilzerian boutique, Bilzerian-Kelly (Alan's sister) has developed a knack for divining what customers want and, better yet, what they need. She'll know, for instance, to break the news gently but firmly that, alas, that fabulous Alexander McQueen corset is not a good look for your untoned upper arms—but that you might give this Rick Owens tunic a try. Her unfailing candor doesn't crowd out her dry sense of humor, though, which can turn a quick shopping stop into a memorable event. 34 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
Had there been a Fabric Place down the road from the von Trapp family, Maria could not only have outfitted those seven kids in patterns and colors more exciting than the bedroom drapes, but she could've consulted with an at-home decorator to replace the drapes themselves. Armed with "New England's largest selection of in-stock drapery and upholstery fabrics," as state in the brochure, the experienced, trained staff takes the fear out of decorating. There's a reason why Fabric Place has won kudos from us in years past: Its selection is unparalleled. Route 139, Randolph, MA .
Boston women who have their jewels (like they have their hats) probably got them from Shreve, Crump & Low. Holding down the corner of Arlington and Boylston streets since 1929 ("Shreve's" has actually been in business since 1796), it's still the place to go for a timeless strand of perfect pearls, a pear-shaped diamond pendant, a just-for-fun 18-carat-gold-link bracelet, or, for that matter, a tasteful set of commitment rings. Quality may never go out of style, but Shreve's is far more than just great-grandmère's jewelry store. 330 Boylston St., Boston, MA shrevecrumpandlow.com/.