When sitting in a colorist's seat, we often feel like a disembodied head of hair. The colorist distractedly feels up our tresses, divines what's needed, then vanishes to conjure up a mystery hue. That's never the case at Will Charles, a low-hype establishment on Newbury Street where Daskowski approaches his work with the mind of a shrink: He wants to know how you and your locks are getting along. He'll then deliver a thoughtful report on the status of your relationship, and provide counsel on where you two could find happiness together. 11 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, willcharlessalon.com.
It seems like practically everyone—from your tattoo guy to your vet—is wielding needles filled with muscle-paralyzing toxins. But while we may be obsessing over our deepening between-brow craters, the injection frenzy has made us just a tad wary of the whole business. Enter Julie Cahill-Hollingsworth, an MGH nurse practitioner, whose Copley Square office is a respite from the madness. With little fanfare, she administers a dose, billing by the unit, not by the procedure. In the past, she’s had an open schedule, which made it easy to book. But now the secret’s out. 535 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2116, sasskin.com.
These two designers are as ease working with chintz as they are with sleek, minimalist, and modern. That's largely because they have an eclectic clientele ranging from the Brahmin variety to dotcom whiz kids. No request is too obscure, and no historical period too difficult to recreate. In addition to transforming your abode into a house of style, de Santaren and Tress-Balsbaugh will micro-manage contractors and ensure the finished product is picture perfect, right down to the linens. 1 Designer Center Place, Boston, MA manueldesantaren.com/.
Don't throw that sofa out: Getting it re-upholstered couldn't be easier, thanks to Fabric Place. The array of chintz, cushions, bias piping, and floral repeats might be overwhelming—at last count there were more than 50,000 fabrics alone—but this is one store where the staff takes the time to show you around. On-call decorators will swing by your house for a consultation (free with a custom order of $299 or more), all jobs are carried out at the company's workrooms, and prices are extremely competitive. 136 Howard Street, Framingham, MA fabricplacebasement.com.
Letting go of your inner Griswold in favor of a genuine vacation can be a challenge, but the Chatham Bars Inn makes taking it easy a breeze. The oceanfront resort serves R&R on a silver platter with a lengthy list of activities—croquet, kickboxing, nature hikes—along with pristine rooms, a top-notch destination spa, and no fewer than four Zagat-rated restaurants. 297 Shore Road, Chatham, MA 2633, chathambarsinn.com.
When it comes to burgers, size matters. Test your gastrointestinal fortitude with Eagle's Deli's 'small' 1-pound Godzilla burger, topped with four slices of cheese and accompanied by a pound of fries, or the outrageous 3-pound Reilly burger, with a dozen slices of cheese and 5 pounds of fries. Each bite (and there are many) proves how good flavorful beef on a toasted bun can be. 1918 Beacon St., Brighton, MA 2135, .
You won't find modern, four-star Greek cuisine at this hole in the wall. But in an oddly delightful way, it reminds us of every humble neighborhood taverna we've savored in Greece, from the blue-and-white paper place mats to the scattered but amiable service. The tzatziki is a house specialty, the moussaka hearty and delicious, the ;horiatiki a true Greek salad—all plates so tasty, we'd be loath to smash a single one. 202 3rd St, Cambridge, MA 2141, desfina.com.
With 112 drafts and 380 total beers to choose from, this just ain't much of a competition. Sure, other places offer great lists: The Publick House has a slate of about 35 beers on tap. But 35 is not 112. And where Lord Hobo—another bar with an admirable lineup—can come off as aggressively hip, friendliness rules the day at this Allston spot. The servers enthusiastically steer you through the menu in search of a pint that'll suit your mood. And that mood, more often than not, is a good one. 130 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA 2134, allstonsfinest.com.
Tinier than many walk-in closets and closed by 2 p.m. each day, Mike & Patty's isn't your typical café. But it's home to the most satisfying handheld breakfast around—the "fancy" egg sandwich, a pile-up of bacon, cheddar, avocado, house-made mayo, and red onion on crisp multigrain bread. 12 Church St., Boston, MA 2116, mikeandpattys.com.
So often, toy shopping is an experience in extremes: You’re either wading in aisle-to-aisle plastic packaging or browsing precious baubles curated to please parents’ aesthetics, not kids’. Stellabella, however, has found the sweet spot at its four Boston-area stores. Its stacking cups are environmentally friendly but also fun for your growing infant, and the baby dolls are soft, cuddly, and ethnically diverse. Also find German-made tricycles, sturdy play kitchens and firehouses, and Legos galore. 1360 Cambridge St., Cambridge; and other locations, stellabellatoys.com.
This little bar just off the main drag in Oak Bluffs has upped the cocktail game for the whole island with its expertly executed house-made syrups, infusions, and discerningly cultivated selection of boozes—including an imposing whiskey list. With classic Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs that meet or beat just about anything you can find in the city, the only clue that you’re on the Vineyard will be the sand in your hair. 16 Kennebec Ave., Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, 20bynine.com.
Wood-fired pizzas and small plates make this cozy hang ideal for neighborhood types, but the curated draft-beer selection and splurge-worthy cellar stash upgrade it to a must-visit destination for suds seekers. An alum of the Publick House, co-owner Michael Cooney has built the relationships necessary to tap uncommon releases—from Allagash's cold-brew-infused Curieux to Almanac's dry-hopped sours—and stock the cellar with bottles of Orval for years to come. 7 Moulton St., Charlestown, MA 02129, brewersfork.com.
Drawing influences from Indian and Caribbean cuisines, this Trinidadian shop's roti wraps—pizza-size flatbreads griddled to order, then stuffed with meat (curried goat!), vegetables (sautéed cabbage, potato), and a house-made spicy pepper sauce (also available to go by the bottle)—are hearty and bold. Share one with a friend to leave room for the rest of the menu's treasures, which include curried chickpeas, garlicky puréed pumpkin, and spongy pholourie fritters with sweet-sour tamarind sauce. 692 Columbia Rd., Dorchester, MA 02125, singhsrotishop.net.
When we need support, we wade through the beige and white underthings at Intimacy and Nordstrom, where polite ladies wielding measuring tapes thoughtfully correct our ignorance in thinking we were a B cup. When we need lingerie, however (the kind of thing that revs our engine, and hopefully yours, too, hot stuff), we head to Agent Provocateur. New this year on Newbury Street, the British retailer deals in flashy-not-trashy revisions of boudoir basics: satin corsets, push-up bras in tartan plaids, tasseled pasties...okay, maybe not too trashy. 123 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 2116, agentprovocateur.com.
An order of the fried Ipswich clams comprises two heaping piles—one of plump bivalves, and the other of twice-cooked, almost caramelized French fries. Follow our lead and generously dunk both in the house-made, lemon-aioli-based tartar sauce. 550 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116, bandgoysters.com.