All-natural whole-wheat pasta with pesto (basil, Parmesan cheese, and nuts), or raclette (melted cheese over potatoes, with pickles) at the Health Gourmet, 175 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 175 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA .
This North End gem trumps even North Shore clam shacks with its pristine, local whole-bellies; nonpareil crunch, courtesy of expert batter-frying; and exceptional tartar sauce. 63 Salem Street, Boston, MA 2113, neptuneoyster.com.
Chloe! Jimmy! Marc! The gang's all here. When choosing the clutches and everyday bags that fill her two shops, Gretchen Monahan shows a killer instinct for homing in on fashion's coolest kids. Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA grettaluxe.com.
So neat that is has been awarded the Better Homes & Garden Seal of Approval. Stacks of soap, piles of towels, and little bottles of Desinex all in a row. Taught Beth everything she knows. MA
We love the way they use herbs and plants (cucumber in a cleanser and aloe in some lipsticks), the recycling program, the championing of socially correct causes, and the whole PC atmosphere. And we love the obliging return policy. 745 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
The Kitchen Shelf sells coobooks—and only cookbooks. It features a world-class selection of regional cookbooks, as well as a tasty vegetarian and healthful-cooking section, all sure to please professionals and home cooks alike. 1308 Beacon St., Brookline, MA .
It won't be cheap, but when your favorite sweater has been visited by moths or some other holey disaster, Toni Columbo's magical reweaving process will render the damage virtually invisible. 72 Broad St., Boston, MA invisiblereweaving.com.
We'll let Jasper White's former assistant chef make and deliver dinner to our house anytime. Can dining at home get any better than this? 256 Marginal St., East Boston, MA .
Why do these two hosts of the MFA film series hold forth on thematic interpretation of every film in plodding, painstaking detail...before it starts? We'd like to give them some advice: Shhh, no talking at the movies.
Even if your home garden is a window box of salad greens, Niche is your local source for the seeds, planters, and garden tools that you’ll need to keep them thriving. 619 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02118, nicheboston.com.
Lauren Genatossio is a brow architect. Those three hairs on top? They exist to keep the ones underneath in place. The stragglers on the end you so desperately wanted to tweeze this morning? Once they’re properly filled in (don’t worry, she’ll take plenty of time to walk you through the finer points of eyebrow penciling), they’ll contribute to a beautiful, full, and perfectly sculpted brow. 840 Summer St., Boston, 617-269-8999; 104A North St., Hingham, 781-749-5599. 840 Summer St., Boston, 02127, sarrastudios.com.
Signature seollongtang beef soup is the heavenly house special that keeps this Allston eatery humming. The dish is presented with Dickensian austerity—chalk-white broth hiding slices of boiled brisket and slippery vermicelli—but once you season your bowl with the supplied sea salt, scallions, properly fermented banchan, and exceptionally good (tender, chewy, clumpy) steamed rice, it’s one of the most soul-satisfying meals around. As for the bulgogi and bibimbap? Things of beauty, both. 1245 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, MA seoulsoulongtang.com.
Here, crusty pan con tomate and aioli-smothered tortilla española mingle with refreshingly less-traditional small plates such as roasted bone marrow with radish-citrus salad and oxtail marmalade (pictured). It's precisely this mix that has helped the tapas spot develop a cult following over the years—one that we suspect will expand south when chef-owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette bring their creative fare to a Toro outpost in Manhattan this fall. 1704 Washington St., Boston, MA toro-restaurant.com.
Fast Eddie Felson wouldn't have set foot in most of the upscale pool halls that have replaced the smoky hustler haunts of old. He might have made an exception for Flat Top Johnny's, though. Unlike the rest of its ilk, this Kendall Square hangout is one classy joint that's neither a meat market nor an amusement park. At once understated and regal, the place features clean red felt, good cheap beer, and regulars who actually know how to play a game of nine ball. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA flattopjohnnys.com/.
There are plenty of Boston ice cream shops worthy of caloric indulgence, but none as enticing as this one. The selection may not be the biggest in town, but it's varied enough for even the pickiest of palates, with about a dozen incredibly smooth and rich flavors including Hydrox cookie, Vienna Finger, burnt caramel, and ginger-snap molasses. The real draw, though, is the super-light texture, which especially comes through in the richly flavored nocciola (hazelnut) and Belgian chocolate varieties. 899 Main St., Cambridge, MA tosci.com/.