There are perhaps no greater late-night food cravings than for French fries or macaroni and cheese. Fortunately for Boston barhoppers, Silvertone serves mean versions of both in its soothingly dark subterranean bar and lounge. Slip down the stairs and settle into a booth to order from a menu filled with a mix of comfort food and gourmet dishes, served quickly and efficiently by the casual, friendly staff. The full bar means that those who still have the aptitude for one last tipple can wash down their BLTs with an ice-cold draft. What's more, the location (smack-dab in the middle of the newly trendy Ladder District) makes Silvertone an easy addiction to indulge. 69 Bromfield St., Boston, MA silvertonedowntown.com/.
One hundred seventeen pages long, with upwards of 32,800 bottles, the Federalist's wine list is a tome to be reckoned with—if not downright feared. But as inaccessible as the list may seem, sommelier James Flynn navigates it with cool confidence and a breadth of knowledge underscored by a sincere affection for wine and food. He can select a single perfect wine for a table filled with even the most difficult of entrée combinations—say, aged beef sirloin cooked rare, roasted scallops, and poussin—and serve the resulting (and invariably delicious) bottle promptly and at the ideal temperature with barely a bat of his eye. 15 Beacon St., Boston, MA .
Boston chef Ed Gannon maintains Aujourd'Hui's reputation as one of the finest hotel dining rooms in the city. No, we're not swayed by the view. Okay, maybe a little. The unpretentious menu is flawlessly presented and prepared, and despite the formal china it succeeds in bridging the gap between over-the-top fine dining and the kind of food that people prefer to eat these days. Chef Gannon's creatively presented dishes are simultaneously hearty and light and they reach the table in a timely fashion. The chef gets extra credit for his friendly way of coming around to the tables, and for so willingly sharing his kitchen with visiting chefs for themed dinners. Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
As if P-Town wasn't otherworldly enough, along comes Silk & Feathers, where between the lacy, sequined Rozae Nichols dresses and the handcrafted shoes, you might as well be shopping in Santa Monica or SoHo. Just try to resist the supple lime-green biker jackets or the Mille K wrinkled pink-satin dresses. Ache over the Casch polka dot tops and Cosabella lingerie. And when you break down and buy one of the bright tangerine Furstenberg skirts, you'll know that in a store (and town) this hip and flamboyant, you're doing the right thing. 377 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA silkandfeathers.com/.
Though this polished 114,000-square-foot gym and spa is every bit the haven for fully grown and well-paid adults, it seems there's room here for younger fitness fans to get in on the action, too. Besides Family Day every Sunday and a grab bag of special classes held throughout the year, one of the star attractions is the weekly kids' yoga workout led by Cambridge pro Claire Carroll. Under her gentle guidance, youngsters ages three to five learn ancient—and surprisingly fun—exercises (stretch like a dog! bend like a cobra!) designed to help increase flexibility, coordination, and strength. 4 Avery St., Boston, MA 2111, .
Veteran art dealer Bernard Toale, formerly based in the Back Bay, relocated to Harrison Avenue back when SoWa was just a gleam in ambitious real estate agents eyes. Today he stands as one of the pioneers of the neighborhood's thriving arts scene. The works on display at his upscale gallery are so edgy you could shave with them. Two spare, bright white showrooms host a merry-go-round of psychedelic paintings, urban photography, graphic prints, abstract sculptures, and mixed media displays; featured artists range from international stars like Laura McPhee to rising Massachusetts talents such as Sandy Litchfield. 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 2118, .
This mammoth Fenway space is more than just a place for catching concerts. Come midnight most nights of the week, the venue transforms into the dance club of choice for Boston collegians and techno lovers alike. With an outstanding lineup of big-name DJs from Junior Vasquez to Sasha, John Digweed, and Grandmaster Flash, an impressive sound system, and a newly redesigned VIP lounge called the Nu Room, the line behind Avalon's velvet rope is consistently one of the longest in town. Not to worry: The high-energy, anything-goes atmosphere attracts a hip but diverse crowd, making the people-watching alone well worth the wait. 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, MA .
For a town that prides itself on being a seafood lover's Valhalla, Boston has surprisingly few exemplary restaurants in the category. And after subtracting the ones that'll set you back more than a few clams (B&G, Oceanaire, even Legal), the outlook is bleak indeed. A lovely exception is Pescatore, serving up Italian-style seafood entres that never venture past the mid-teens. Highlights include generous pasta specials like the fusilli Amalfi: Tossed with sweet lobster claw meat, scallops, and shrimp in a garlic-wine sauce, it makes for an unbelievable bargain. 158 Boston Ave., Somerville, MA 2144, pescatoreseafood.com.
We'll admit we're skeptical of any salon inside a full-service day spa. Can one place really excel at massages, pedis, and cuts and color? At Spa Ni'Joli, the answer is a resounding yes. The stylists strike the delicate balance between listening to your hair-care woes and delivering advice, and our tresses were all the better for a visit. For all you busy North Shore moms: Ni'Joli also offers babysitting ($5 for two hours). Now that's what we call full service. 116 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen, MA 1844, nijoli.com.
Considering the onslaught of just-opened and recently renovated hotels, it's a good time to be a guest in Boston (if a somewhat less good time to be a hotelier). How to stand out among the expected 300-thread-count sheets, Frette robes, designer bath products, and 24-hour room service? The glossy waterfront InterContinental outshines the competition (literally—its wavelike structure is swathed in reflective glass) with all of the above, plus a spa, a gym, three novelty restaurants, and one of the biggest ballrooms in town. The quick, courteous employees are a business traveler's dream; the mini esplanade along nearby Fort Point Channel, a stroller's delight. 510 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA intercontinentalboston.com.
Have you ever been told upon showing up at work with a brand-new haircut, "Oh...you look terrific, I'm so happy for you!"? That last part belongs to the realm of getting a good job, a good husband, or a big award. A haircut by George is just such an event. And if you've reached a certain age, he knows how to shear some of those extra years, too. Best of all, George's haircuts pass the test of time. One very short haircut kept its style for more than three months as the hair grew in. Unfortunately, many people already know about George, so book ahead. Mario Russo, 9 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
So what if Food & Wine Magazine stole our thunder by making her one of America's best new chefs for the year? They read about Lydon's talents here first, courtesy of reviewer Corby Kummer. Indeed, Kummer knows true talent when he tastes it: Lydon's holistic approach to food involves combining the very best local ingredients with proven French techniques. Her frogs' legs, her lamb chops, her simple touch with vinaigrettes and sauces—she's a star on the rise for sure. Lydon makes it look effortless; we can't wait to see what she'll concoct next. 560 Tremont Street, Boston, MA .
If you need to get something somewhere in this perpetually gridlocked city quickly, you have two options: hire City Express, or . . . okay, you've got only one option. Rain, wind, traffic jams, and subway breakdowns fail to thwart this company's army of messengers, who quietly, safely, and responsibly complete rush deliveries, often along custom routes established for regular customers. Full disclosure: We use City Express. Fuller disclosure: We use City Express because they're the most reliable and efficient service out there. And—novelty of novelties—they staff the phones 24 hours a day to fine-tune delivery schedules. 201 South St., Boston, MA cityexp.com/.
When testing this category, one might expect things to get a little uncomfortable. But unsanitary? Thanks, but no thanks! (In truth, some of the most pain-free waxes weve ever had were disqualified because of sketchy hygieneas in, double-dipping wax from a communal pot.) Luckily, just when we were contemplating letting our bikini line go rogue, we met Exhale pro Garczynski. In addition to the fact that she creates a fresh container of wax for each customer, shes quick and thorough, and any ingrown hairs worst enemy. 28 Arlington St., Boston, MA 2116, .
A good brasserie is not a paean to fine French cuisine—though great eats should be in ample supply. Nor is it a flash-in-the-pan hot spot that's busy one month, empty the next. It's a bustling, reliable restaurant where everyone—foodies, tourists, business travelers, sports fans—feels welcome. No place does all-occasion fun better than Eastern Standard, which, five years after takeoff, is still filled noon to night with revelers catching the Sox game and regulars dining at the bar on an expansive menu (raw bar, burgers, salads, charcuterie) that's only gotten better with time. 528 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 2215, easternstandardboston.com.