Glam décor and upscale cocktails like the dirty wasabi-tini cordon off sushi lounge Privus as 'adult swim' amid undergrad-swamped booze holes. 165 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA 2134, .
No watering hole is more welcome in Allston than this gastro-grunge newcomer. After all, where else could a Genny Cream pair so perfectly with $2 oysters, or a seasonally flavored margarita with a wobbly game of pool? 1277 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02134, hopewellboston.com.
During the Boston Film Festival next month, the Lenox will have more celestial density than a black hole. If you manage to catch that director's eye, proceed to Anago to seal the deal with seductive cuisine. 710 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
Boston lacks the perfect waterfront drinking hole. Ahmed's patio, in Cambridge, is nice enough, and its summer drink specials will have to do until we find something better. 96 Winthrop St., Cambridge, MA .
This tailor honed his craft at Louis Boston, and it shows, especially when it comes to pants. Benny Ho is the master of finding that extra inch, making sure the break falls in the right place, and giving a suit an almost made-to-measure look. And for that jacket that's a little tight across the chest, Ho can open up some breathing room. 1405 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA .
Once or twice a year, lavish love on your buggy with the $30.99 full treatment— an exterior wash and interior cleaning and vacuuming, with all the bells and whistles. The whole process takes about 15 minutes, and the car washers don't make you feel like a curmudgeon for pointing out that little smudge just to the left of your rear bumper. Given the gentle touches and attention to detail, we wished they buffed car owners, too. 521 Trapelo Rd., Waverley Square, Belmont, MA .
How does the Rialto keep getting better? By growing itself is the only serious restaurant in the Square; by being so comfortable and discreet yet lively, both in the main restaurant and the super welcoming bar; and by paring away the Spanish, southern French, and Italian curios that once seemed essential to hold diners' attention (and still do at other restaurants) so that what's left is food you want to eat. The duo of chef Jody Adams and impresario-inspirer Michela Larson is rock-solid. The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge, MA .
In her stark solo show, "After Eros," Maureen Fleming conjures images ranging from spiraling water to bone fragments to a butterfly breaking out of its cocoon. Using her own elegant brand of Japanese Butoh to communicate the process of regeneration, Fleming sifts through shapes with an excruciating slowness, nearly holding time still in a breath.
Since earning this accolade four years ago, Mercury has somehow managed to up his game even further in his current role at Oak + Rowan. His beguiling confections are at once adventurous and familiar (see: the Twix-inspired sweet with chocolate cremeux, whey caramel, and a bright-green pool of EVOO). And Mercury’s deft touch extends far beyond the dessert menu, from his outstanding sourdough bread to the irresistible pastry cart at brunch. 321 A St., Boston, MA 02210, oakandrowan.com.
In the past year alone, Pollen Floral Design owner Krissy Price has dreamed up masterpieces for a distillery engagement party, a restaurant wedding, and seaside nuptials on the Cape. She’s as comfortable working in jewel tones as she is in pastels, giving big, beautiful blooms the starring role in every custom installation, free-flowing bouquet, and color-packed centerpiece she crafts. MA bostonpollen.com.
Yes, it's a hole-in-the-wall. And yes, the din is almost unbearable on occasions. But who cares when you can get the best Mexican within God-knows-how-many-hundreds of miles? 1682 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
Despite its clutter, since 1927 this small hole-in-the-wall bookstore off Mass Ave in Harvard Square has been the place to buy poetry books of many countries and genres. 6 Plympton St., Cambridge, MA .
We’ve all become more interested in sprucing up our home offices over the past year, and Design Within Reach’s eye-catching and efficient workspace furnishings get the job done. Should you need a Nathan Yong filing cabinet, a posture-improving Eames chair, or a Herman Miller desk that makes you feel like the #boss you are, the store has flair (and options) to spare. 1045 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138, dwr.com.
With the shutdown of the Willow and the yuppification of Bob the Chef's, Wally's proposed expansion into the space next to its current Massachuetts Avenue hole-in-the-wall is the best thing going. 427 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA .
Christine Walber Colon knows bridesmaids play no minor role in pulling off a wedding, so she outfits them accordingly. Her third-floor suite carries the bright hues, comfortable fabrics, and flattering cuts of designers such as Charsa, Lynn Lugo, and Jenny Yoo. There are no wear-it-once sateen selections here—just gracious service and moderate prices. Finally, someone who gives the supporting cast its due. 10 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, flairbridesmaid.com.