We've had it with snotty wine sellers. You know what? Sometimes all we want is an oaky California chardonnay. Instead of judging our palates or wallets, the folks at Central Bottle approach our preferences and budget like a fun riddle. That the in-store tastings are built around themes like "Bad-Ass Winemakers" only confirms this shop's populist approach. 196 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 2139, centralbottle.com.
As a country, we take our hamburgers seriously; they are, after all, our native food. Luckily, the fine citizens at Mr. Bartley's offer more than 20 top-notch variations, each reasonably priced, awesomely juicy, and served with a free side of snark: The George Bush Jr. ('not bad for a C student') combines tangy cheddar and Texas barbecue sauce, while the Ted Kennedy comes with a 'liberal' pile of mushrooms and cheddar. It's enough to make a satisfied patron stand up and sing 'God Bless America.' 1246 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 2138, mrbartley.com.
Sisters Megan and Moria Flynn have transformed old brooches into cool lockets and necklaces into eye-catching earrings. And if you’re looking for something completely bespoke, the jewelers will happily create an entirely new piece limited only by your (and their) imagination. 40 Waltham St., Boston, MA mflynnjewelry.com.
You know you're a true New Englander when you begin recognizing the work of Thos. Moser. Built in Maine and designed in-house, each artful chair and table is crafted from decades-old cherry and walnut trees, which ensures pieces both elegantly thin and impossibly strong. 19 Arlington St., Boston, MA thosmoser.com.
He has a running back who blew out his knee, an owner who likes to vamp it up in front of the fans, a head coach with the personality of a suburban recreation director, and a personnel director who lost four starts to free agency and came a cropper in the college draft. You think you've got problems?
Unusual, funky fixtures displayed in a Fort Point Channel warehouse showroom. This isn't the place to come for full-service electrical supplies, but check it out for that knock-your-socks-off fixture for the dining room or entryway, or an exotic lantern for the millennium like S.Y.O. Devesa's "Zen" brushed-aluminum table lamp. 319 A Street, Boston, MA .
The place to go when you must match the color of that faded clapboard, or need a specialty shade for your Victorian trim. A full selection of the better lines such as Benjamin Moore, Martin Seymour, and Ralph Lauren, as well as Martha Stewart's favorite brand, Schoeder Paint, an expensive—but worth it—import from Holland. 355 Newbury Street, Boston, MA .
When you want to feel more like Cinderella than a sexed-up supermodel, step into this frilly fairy-tale world. Not only does it offer high-quality brands like Cosabella and Lise Charmel, it showcases adorable, top-quality children's clothes. Like stepping into your friend's bedroom. 112 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Adesso wins for its carefully edited selection of trendy pendants, sconces, lamps and track systems, all of the most refined design. Stainless steel, Murano glass, or paper fixtures satisfy even the most sophisticated of tastes. Fixtures to light up your life. 200 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
They're not cheap, but the Rivas brothers can always be trusted to shorten a pair of jeans (miraculously keeping the original hem), nip in a slightly saggy couture gown, or overhaul a three-piece suit with surgical precision. The service is completely no-nonsense; the turnaround time, minimal. As for the results, your impeccably fitted wardrobe will speak for itself. 91 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
Why not get the same treatment as the models she styles for photo shoots? Cal can transform you for the big event, whether it's a graceful style for flowing hair or an elegant short cut. She can make thin hair look voluminous, tame thick tresses, and do your up-do with artistic flair.
What good is having a face that holds up against time and gravity if you neglect your hands? They're the surest sign of a person's true age. A manicure by Victoria will help console even the most abused paws. And they'll look so good, you'll never ignore them again. 118 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Oftentimes, active dogs (and lazy cats) need a little help in the hygiene department. The animal-loving folks at Dolittle's are trained in the ways of the bath and the blow dry, and manage to lather-rinse-repeat even the most petulant pet. Your furballs might not appreciate it, but they'll come back to you looking good and smelling sweet. 7 Green St., Jamaica Plain, MA 2130, .
This automobile insurer dispatches its "Crashbuster" van as soon as metal meets metal. An adjuster steps out to inspect the damage to your car, compute the repair cost, and issue a check before leaving. So, who you gonna call? 695 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA .
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 .