A lounge used to be a place where you could mingle with strangers and tie one on at any time of day. Now it's usually just home to overdressed scenesters and overpriced drinks. But Lucky's is a throwback to the glory days. A speakeasy-style bar with dim lighting, vintage leather booths, and walls covered in Rat Pack photos, it's an ode to the three-martini lunch era. 355 Congress St., South Boston, MA 2210, luckyslounge.com.
A pure, fine broth; a smoky backbone of bacon; and plump whole mollusks elevate this above the gluey sludge commonly doled out to tourists. No bells and whistles, just the essence of the sea. Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA gbayrestaurant.com.
Bacon-wrapped and smothered in refried beans, crema, and chipotle mustard, Lone Star’s over-the-top Sonoran dog tastes best around midnight—wonder why that is? In fact, the Mexican spot’s full menu of satisfying snacks—including house-made chorizo tacos, piquant chili con queso, and crispy tostadas—is available until 1:30 a.m. every night at both the Allston and Cambridge locations. Pair them with a hydrating Topo Chico mineral water, and you’ll thank yourself in the morning. Multiple locations. 479 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134, deepellum-allston.com/lonestar.
The magic here is in the tortillas—hand-pressed in the kitchen to provide a sturdy foundation for toppings like smoky barbacoaand rich Dallas spicy beef. (For an afternoon hangover, there's the breakfast taco topped with scrambled eggs, cheese, avocado crema, and roasted salsa.) And thanks to a soon-to-open (at press time) location in East Cambridge, you can finally enjoy quality tacos on both sides of the river. 479 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134, lonestar-boston.com.
The Celtics' coach understands that this team needs little instruction and lots of support.
This plant-based restaurant trio is meat-free—but that’s beside the point. With toppings like pickled cauliflower and miso-barbecue tofu, its green-and-grain bowls are light, bright, and soul-satisfying, even for carnivores. 487 Cambridge St., Allston, MA wholeheartprovisions.com.
Owner and founder Natalie Carpenter sought to create a store that harnessed the artistic energy of the South End; her foresight and discerning eye for Scandinavian design quickly catapulted the shop to success. Thanks to wares such as textured Pols Potten glasses and fired-clay Chris Stiles figurines, Lekker is still the city leader in outstanding contemporary décor. 1317 Washington St., Boston, MA 2118, lekkerhome.com.
Were it not for Hall of Farmer Larry Bird's preeminence, McHale might be recognized as the greatest basketball player this town has seen since John Havilcek retired.
As the longtime chair of the MFA museum school art sale, Boston's other Barbara Lee—the art consultant, not the gazillionaire—has built it into the largest event of its kind in the country. She brings that same passion to the needs of her high-powered customers, for whom she'll travel to the Venice Biennale and Art Forum Berlin in search of just the right piece. Lee is also an expert on the local scene, comfortable with both established stars such as Ellsworth Kelly and hotshots like George Rosa. 35 Fisher Ave., Brookline, MA 2445, barbaracolelee.com.
Since its inception in 1889, this Everett mainstay has remained true to Old World techniques, fashioning new heirloom-quality pieces and reinvigorating antique ones with an appreciation for the craftsmanship of yore. McLaughlin’s master upholsterers hone their practice with every thoughtful cut and well-placed stitch, drawing from an extensive library of fabrics and leathers to give life to bespoke headboards, plump ottomans, high-backed wing chairs, and so much more. 1813 Revere Beach Parkway, Everett, MA mclaughlinupholstering.com.
Since Larry's in the Hall of fame. No one can stop him under the basket, and this year he was voted one of the top defensive players in the NBA, even though he had one of his weaker years defensively.
When it's world-class cheese you crave, head straight to the River Street branch of this ubiquitous natural-foods chain for the most consistently ripe, reasonably priced fromage around. The store stocks several hundred different kinds of cheese—from imported and esoteric cave-aged Brillat-Savarin and aged asiago to the common but elegant cheddar. What's more, the staff is happy to special-order anything, dole out samples and serving advice, or wax poetic about the unsung glories of raw (versus heated) milk cheeses. 340 River St., Cambridge, MA wholefoodsmarket.com.
Why shop at a chain store? At Lavender, linens, candles, and other tabletop wares are culled from independent European vendors. And while a French country vibe pervades the shop, it's not all rustic; sleek and modern looks abound as well. If you can't outfit your abode with accents from your own adventures, this exotic home store is the next best thing. 173 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Tiger was putting its inspectors through a comprehensive training course even before it was required by state law (legislation the company's cofounders helped craft, by the way). The 60-odd inspectors—overseen by president Carl Pucci—are renowned as the region's most thorough, whether they're probing floor joists for termites or expounding on repointing a chimney. 969 Washington St., Braintree, MA 2184, .