It's a good thing they make such a sweet mango lassi</em in this softly lit space just off Harvard Square. A cool yogurt drink is just what's needed after the unusual Indian dishes here, which can set afire even the most tolerant tongue. Named after a city in southern India, Tanjore is the third oldest of four restaurants run by Bombay-born Samir Majmudar, with a mouthwatering menu that covers the country's north and south regions. The dosas are melt-in-your mouth, made of rice and lentil flours and filled with potatoes, chicken, or lamb, then served with coconut chutney and sambhar. For the adventurous, konkan xacuti is a blend of coconut and tamarind curry, while the more traditional kashmir rogan josh, a lamb curry cooked with cloves and cardamom, practically dissolves on the tongue. Like to stick with the familiar? The tikka and tandoori are divine. But with reasonable prices and exceptional service, this is the place to test your limits. Just keep the mango lassi handy. 18 Eliot St., Cambridge, MA tanjoreharvardsq.com/.
In summer, it carries beautiful pastel twinsets; in winter, it's rich, thick four-ply turtlenecks. Whatever the season, this is the place to stock up on all your cashmere items. In addition to the requisite sweaters by all the top designers, you'll also find scarves, gloves, and other supersoft accessories. 114 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
The fanny pack and walking shoes may mark you as a tourist, but your digs definitely won’t. Tucked away in the Back Bay, this brownstone inn blends in with its neighbors, keeping your tourist status our little secret. Small and intimate, the property’s suites feature copper fireplaces and signature bow-front windows, creating a quintessential Boston experience. 99 St. Botolph St., Boston, MA 2116, innatstbotolph.com.
Canadian sisters Mia Kizaki and Amy Kaye set up shop on Newbury Street last fall, and have proved yet again that our neighbors to the north know how to make everything, even eyebrow plucking, congenial. At Rise, you lie on your back on a comfy spa bed as the stylist works her magic seated in a chair behind you. No more awkwardly staring at yourself in a mirror as your eyes water; just an almost nap that ends with the big reveal of a perfectly manicured brow line. 316 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02115, risebeautystudio.com.
Led by industry vet Sam Treadway, the friendly bartenders here entice imbibers with innovative "drink of the day" options such as a scotch-raspberry sour, ever-changing milk-punch offerings, and the willingness to concoct anything you crave on the fly. The drinks are serious, but the slightly kitschy vibe is not—say hi to Yoda on your way out. 7 Sanborn Ct., Somerville, MA 02143, backbarunion.com.
If you can make your way through the supercool front-of-the-house impressarios, and manage to obtain one of the precious few tables in the back dining room, Nicholas Tischler's food will delight, amaze, and just plain satisfy. He's got a way with fish and is equally adept and meat and game dishes. Restaurant Zinc, 35 Stanhope St., Boston, MA .
We wanted to love the Attic, Central Square's newish 'lifestyle' shop that broke up the Payless-Blockbuster-Gap oligarchy. And we do like that its stock of Dunks is readily available in women's and kids' styles. Still, it's only a slice of the selection available at other sneaker stores in town (with a lack of Saturday hours being the final nail in the coffin). So we're still sending all our love to everyone's favorite 'hidden' shoe mecca: Though after three years Bodega's no secret, what with preteens and parents infiltrating the hipster fray, that famed secret-door Snapple machine still marks the spot for the city's most commanding array of limited-edition kicks, from Livestrong Air Maxes to Japanese Monster Pumas. 6 Clearway St., Boston, MA 2115, shop.bdgastore.com.
Cranage will make the dress of your dreams. With decades of wedding-gown experience behind her, this seamstress ensures that our gown will be the talk of the town. Stoneham, MA
Baby-lust-inducing clothing (Pixie Lily onesies, Trumpette 'cowgirl boot' socks) and accessories (Skip Hop diaper bags, Dwell crib sets) make this whimsical South End shop our favorite answer to big-box hegemony. Whether your limit is $20 or $200, staffers are happy to brainstorm presents, and wrapping is free. Even if your gift isn't on Mom's registry, she'll probably wonder why she didn't think of it herself. 58 Clarendon St., Boston, MA 2116, shoptadpole.com.
This mainstay's Alsatian pizza—a tarte flambée-inspired pie, with a perfectly charred crust and a layer of luscious crème fraîche—is a gluttonous revelation. Finish your meal with a towering ice cream sundae in a house-made flavor like honey or cardamom. 513 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116, piccorestaurant.com.
All the missing parts for your crumbling Victorian—unique moldings, and unusual size clapboards, plus a helpful staff to walk you through the choices. Diehl's also has everything you'd expect from a full-service lumberyard, from pressure-treated decking to two-by-fours and plywood. 180 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA .
Surely, you must have done something right recently to deserve dessert at the Four Seasons. Whether you choose a dense and delicious chocolate mousse cake, the scones served warm from the oven, or platters of exquisite miniature pastries. Ponticelli's artistry is worth blowing your diet for. Skimp on calories somewhere else. Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
Alden Merrell's chocolate-fudge layer cake, topped with a velvety sour-cream frosting, is so rich and delicious, you'll actually look forward to your birthday. For something a little different, try the carrot cake, spiced just right and slathered in cream-cheese icing. 1361 Beacon St., Brookline, MA .
This crown jewel of Pat Lyons' nightclub empire is the only local dance venue with the clout, and sound system, to draw superstar deejays, including in-house legend John Debo. For that heart-stopping, in-your-chest electronic groove, it doesn't get much better than Avalon. 15 Landsdowne Street, Boston, MA .
Skoah's slogan is "personal training for your skin," and yes, a facial here is honestly one of our favorite workouts. All that deep cleansing and extracting while we kick back in a peaceful, light-filled setting. We now go for regular sessions—and you can see the results all over our perfectly toned face. 641A Tremont St., Boston, MA 2118, skoahboston.com.