Fiery martinis, seductive lighting, chef Jamie Mammano's Mediterranean flavors, alluring bartenders—whatever drarws them there, the beautiful people who sidle up to Mistral's long, intimate bar wind up in the mood to shake and stir long after the last call. The barflies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and present a decent cross section of the city's professional landscape along with well-heeled out-of-towners looking for a good drink and possibly a good time. The come-ons can be so smooth that on a recent night we actually overheard this imaginative opener: "Hi." And it worked. 223 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA mistralbistro.com/.
Ardent followers of the tenet 'Well, you just never know,' we're not the types whose weekend gear will fit in a tiny backpack. And so the crew at Biltmore-Green has come to know us by name. The Back Bay shop has our favorite high-end Tumi and Hartmann rollers; durable Samsonite and Swiss Army suitcases; and leather totes from Bosca and Jack George. If your packing preferences lean toward the aforementioned knappie, well, you can buy simple, sleek carry-ons here, too. Just don't complain if you wind up needing the shoes you left behind. 176 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2116, .
Propriety meets gluttony in this new gourmet shop, which takes its them—though thankfully not its cuisin—from the British empire. Instead of bangers and mash, there's an amusingly twee menu of 'bespoke' sandwiches named for famous (the Churchill burger) and infamous Britons (the Camilla—a roll piled high with ham and baby Swiss described as 'an old familiar friend to fall back on'), plus flatbreads, salads, add-ons such as imported blue cheese and smoked duck, and dessert options that include flawless miniature pastries and $10 bars of Italian chocolate. 79 Barnard St., Andover, MA 1810, .