Our test of a good haircut: Will it grow out gracefully? In other words, can we get an extra week out of it without looking like outtakes from Headbangers' Ball? James's cuts make the grade. 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
It was while dining at a rickety card table at this tiny Chinatown spot that we learned to cast aside our fear of cheap sushi. Pro tip: Ask the chef what's freshest, and he'll guide you through the menu. 42 Beach St., Boston, MA avanasushi.com.
Our food critic called the leafy creations of Cafe Cybele in the South Market Building "tidy little masterpieces": varied veggies in a sublime vinaigrette bound with egg and cream. South Market Building, Boston, MA .
Carefully considered questions about pain points and pressure yielded a rigorous 60-minute massage ($125) that turned our computer-worn shoulders and chair-stiffened lower back into Jell-O. An aprՌs-treatment hot-tub soak on the penthouse level, meanwhile, helped bring the brain back into alignment. 278 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, g2ospasalon.com.
So maybe Fields Corner is named for colonist Zechariah Field and not for its green spaces. Still, we'd like to point out that the neighborhood has some mighty fine fields. Our favorite, Ronan Park, hosts an annual kite festival. Dorchester, MA 02122, boston.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation.
We have only one rule when shopping at this cavernous cosmetics shop: Bring cash. How else to limit ourselves while stuffing our basket with lotions, powders, polishes, and liners? Oh, and there are the goodies tempting us from the bins near the checkout line... sephora.com.
Instead of being bigger versions of Cabbage Patch dolls, kids here are littler versions of our best-dressed selves. That means ruffled frocks by Splendid and Twelfth Street, snappy orange cargos from Jean Bourget, and Eberjey Indian-motif swimwear. (Excuse us, but does this come in a size 32T?) 115 Newbury St., Boston, MA 1945, .
It's said that what separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize. If you're looking for pashminas, the flash of a Fendi croissant bag, beaded scarves, shoes, or jewelry, Barneys has it. And it can make or break even the most stylish fashionista's outfit. The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA .
This family-owned store gets our raves for the chef (or wannabe) looking for the best items to outfit the serious kitchen. Competitive prices on brands such as Calphalon and All-Clad, but beats everyone on price for top-of-the-line cutlery. Nice selection of hard-to-find gadgets as well. 161 Newbury Street, Boston, MA .
Far too many of our Irish pubs cater to students, putting flat-screens on the walls and wings on the menu. Suddenly you're not in a pub at all, but some grotesque shamrock-themed sports bar. Here, there are no such transgressions. No LCDs. An extensive beer and whiskey list. This is what makes the Behan Irish. And this is why it beats them all. 378 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 2130, .
A store with avant-garde clothing needs a sales assistant who can steer a client through it. Pamela Santorelli of Louis Boston does just that. She's relaxed and refreshing, patient and pressure-free. And she tells us when something looks terrible without hurting our feelings. Louis Boston, 234 Berkeley St., Boston, MA .
Carnivores descend upon this old-boy's-club dining room to eat big portions, tell tall tales, and pay top dollar. While some of our more subdued purveyors complained of undue ambient noise, you can always request the quieter area beyond the bar. 161 Berkeley St., Boston, MA .
Honestly, we don't know whether it has fewer calories than any other chocolate cake, but we can eat a dozen slices of this featherweight chocolate banana cake without feeling guilty. That's our definition of lite. 1020 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA .
What Father Flanagan was to Boys Town, Father Monan is to our little burg, Boyos Town—brokering the stadium deal that kept the Pats in town in much the same way he did when he rescued the Fleet Center years ago from the usual tribal mischief.
Our favorite spot in this charming arcade-style mini mall is the Marketplace Café, where you can grab coffee and pastries to go—and return later for craft-beer tastings, brunch on the patio, and live music. 154 Maverick St., Boston, MA 02128, 154maverick.com.