Fred Feldmesser will be your own Indiana Jones, searching for the gem you want and helping you find a jeweler to set it, all for less than a ring bought at retail. 8 Chauncy St., Cambridge, MA .
Not only can you sit in a dining area upstairs, attractively done in butcher block and ferns, but you can peruse a how-to-cultivate-ferns tome while you sip your coffee. South Market Bldg., Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA .
The best by far. There's music in the restaurant's back room, in the bakery, in the basement (once a bowling alley). Eclectic bookings, a much-needed showcase for local rock and jazz musicians, and not a milliliter of yuppie pretension. 472 Massachusetts Avenue (Central Square), Cambridge, MA .
Stoner dads and undergrads alike loiter outside these vaunted doors, thanks to the ’Dise's reliably eclectic roster. The sense of égalité only continues once inside: Don't be surprised if you spot the opening act dancing in the crowd behind you. 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, thedise.com.
The western ’burbs have no shortage of fine Italian restaurants, none as transportingor as lovelyas this Waltham mainstay. The artfully prepared cuisine (tagliolini with fresh lobster and shrimp, duck-confit-and-fig pizza) and warm, rustic atmosphere (fresh flowers, wooden beams, hanging pots and pans) offer a window to southern Italy by way of Main Street. 504 Main St., Waltham, MA 2452, lacampania.com.
Last time we stopped at Captain Frosty's, we spotted a crow flying off with a beakful of clam strips. Who can blame him? The shack's golden, crisp clams are summer in a salty bite—and especially great when finished off with a fluffy cone of soft-serve. 219 Main St. (Rte. 6A), Dennis, MA 2638, captainfrosty.com.
This sunny shop has hit the mark by assembling a rare collection of cult favorites (Molton Brown, Wink, T. LeClerc, TINte), all in a rainbow of colors and shades. What's more, the outgoing staff helps guide you to goods that match your skin tone and type exactly, which is a thing of true beauty. 33 Charles St., Boston, MA thebeautymark.com/.
Once you get used to the misleading name (it's stationary), the atmosphere (warehouse style), and the system (books listed by publisher), this is a browser's haven. Most books are 20 percent off, except in the remainder room, where prices are even less. 82-84 Needham St., Newton Highlands, MA .
Leave it to Chanel: The company renowned for staying ahead of the fashion pack is once again leading the way with its makeup products and skin-care lines. See for yourself: Schedule a makeover with Rita Sorrentino, Chanel's traveling makeup artist, who is excellent at translating runway looks into reality. In-store minifacials are available by appointment. Saks Fifth Avenue, Prudential Center, Boston, MA saksfifthavenue.com/.
Fabulous chicken (the piccata is especially wonderful), great veggie pizzas and calzones, and some of the best Caesar salad we've ever had. They'll even cater your weekend party, or—chicken soup to shank bone—your Passover Seder. 27 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, MA .
A 46-foot-long marble bar gives manager Jackson Cannon room to move as he stirs up snow cone daiquiris, tart Whiskey Smashes, and mojito-esque Old Cubans. The jazz-meets-Brit-pop beats entertain a mix of twentysomethings and power brokers—most of whom Cannon knows by name. 528 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 2215, easternstandardboston.com.
Soul singer and local legend, Mighty Sam McClain has had many ups and downs in his 30-year career, but with his late 1993 recording "Give It Up to Love" McClain is riding high once again.
Nine Zero is at once international and approachable: Its rooms are trendy but luxurious, the service hip but not obnoxious. Amenities include Mario Russo bath products and expansive in-room work spaces with ergonomic desk chairs. With the addition of executive chef Gabriel Frasca to its restaurant, Spire, this hotel has officially reached celebrity status. 90 Tremont St., Boston, MA ninezero.com.
There are other Indian restaurants in town, but none present top-quality food as consistently as the Bombay Club. Check out the Chicken Tikka Masala, and try the garlic and onion naan as an accompaniment to your meal. The lunch buffet is easy on the taste buds and the wallet, and the restaurant's top-floor view of Harvard Square doesn't hurt, either. Harvard Square Galeria, 57 JFK St., Cambridge, MA .
Locals love the smooth, creamy texture of the sweet ice cream at this no-frills spot. Order a cone of ginger, Grape-nut, or mud pie, or opt for soft-serve or frozen yogurt—there are more than 40 flavors in all to choose from. 18 North Rd., Bedford, MA bedfordfarmsicecream.com/.