This Donald Ross-designed course is tucked deep in the heart of Hyde Park. Once you're there, you'll find a challenging Depression-era par-70 layout that calls for patience: The two par fives are reachable in two shots only for the longer hitters, while the par fours vary from the very long (the 450-yard #10) to the very short (the 313-yard #2). Holes 8 through 10 can make or break a good round. Expect a good test of all facets of your game, in addition to some considerable time waiting to tee off. This is city golf, after all. 420 West St., Hyde Park, MA .
True medical fact: If you sat down at the bar at Sunset and drank only four ounces of each beer in stock, you'd die a horribly painful death, probably by exploding. But if you're willing to take a more sober excursion through the world of malted, fermented beverages, the Sunset is your place. Silverback Gorilla Black Coffee Ale? Got it. Hacker-Pschorr Dunkel? You bet. All told, the Sunset boasts nearly 600 beers, including 111 on tap and three beer engines for those cask-conditioned ales. 130 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA .
In Burke's hands, a round brush is a magic wand. With it, he could do evil (a pageant bouffant, perhaps?), but he inevitably chooses to do good: not too big, not too flat, just soft and smooth. As for staying power, our Burke-blown mane remained fresh-looking for four full days. Kent Newton Salon, 1315 Washington St., Boston, MA 2118, .
We could live by bread alone if it came from Biga Breads, the fledgling bakery that already has an enthusiastic following for its crusty peasant-style loaves. Olive bread and black currant and molasses loaf are especially popular but our favorites are the sour cherry and walnut and the chewy classic baguettes. 50 Terminal St., Charlestown, MA .
You will not leave this boisterous hangout sober. It pours some of the cheapest, strongest cocktails we've ever sipped. (At least they're made with fresh-squeezed juices, so we can feel somewhat virtuous.) At $9, a 16-ounce mai tai slurped through a straw is potent and refreshing; after an $8 Quahog Sunset with Smirnoff orange vodka, Triple Sec, and 7-Up, it's lights out. The servers have seen it all before, and they'll treat you like a local from your first tipple. 97 Spring Bars Rd., Falmouth, MA 02540, quahogrepublic.com.
Aside from a bounty of cheap burgers and greasy fries, this year's tour of pub grub options turned up a surprising lack of substantial (read: tummy-filling) dishes. Except, that is, at Matt Murphy's, where the farmhouse plate's country-style paté is the size of a small brick and the soup arrives in a bowl as big as your head. Besides which, the food is outstanding. Try the tender, relish-slathered lamb sirloin sandwich or the piping-hot, supercrispy fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper—they're more than enough to make you forgive Matt Murphy's for not serving burgers. 14 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 2445, mattmurphyspub.com.
A good gourmet always appreciates knowing where his food comes from. And at East Ocean City, where lobster, fish, shrimp, and king crab swim happily in large tanks before being plucked for your plate, it's pretty obvious. The menu includes everything from exotic shark fin soup to classics like sweet-and-sour chicken and beef with mushrooms. The fish dishes are all flaky as only just-caught fish can be, and the accompanying fresh vegetables and savory sauces make each dish pop with flavor. 25-29 Beach St., Boston, MA 2111, .
Spicy, sour, salty, and sweet: In Thailand, the perfect meal offers all four tastes. And with its extensive menu, Brown Sugar Café furnishes plenty of options for creating the consummate Thai dinner. Now that a second, larger location on Commonwealth Avenue has joined the charming original spot in the Fenway, the options have doubled. Specialties are all over the map, from comforting dishes for fire-averse tongues (such as the pineapple fried rice, flaky and aromatic steamed ginger bass, and sweet tamarind duck) to more incendiary plates of chili scallops with bamboo shoots and scallions. Try the stir-fried beer with macadamia nuts, and wash it down with a Singha beer. 1033 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA brownsugarcafe.com/.
There are three key criteria that elevate a cinema to superior status: the caliber of the screenings, the comfort of the seats, and perhaps most importantly, the quality of the concession stand. West Newton Cinema's management mixes art house releases with a few mainstream flicks and serves popcorn that's decidedly above average. And while four of the six auditoriums have been updated with Star Trek-style seating (renovations of the remaining two are under way), the exterior and the foyer still retain their old-fashioned character. With Lumière right across the street, it's a recipe for the perfect date. 1296 Washington St., Newton, MA westnewtoncinema.com/.
You personalize so many elements of your wedding day—why have a basic cake? Silver Whisk Bake Shop works with each couple to create a confection unique to their style, with two constants: understated elegance and surprising flavors (think: matcha and lychee). And while COVID-19 temporarily puts a pause on parties, the Stoneham bakery has been staying busy delivering wedding-cake tasting boxes and packaged petit fours—jewel-like sponges coated in Swiss-meringue buttercream and sealed with chocolate that are a perfect taste of sweeter times to come. silverwhiskbakeshop.com.
Go for the house-made pastas and crudos, stay for the…well, everything else. Two years in, chef Colin Lynch and his team have hit their stride, doing a dizzying number of things well. Toasting a special occasion? Sit back with a bottle of Barolo and let Lynch send out a chef’s-choice parade of inspired dishes. Craving a casual bite? The bar-only chicken Parm sammy (served Mondays) has a cult following, the burger is among the best in town, and, believe it or not, they pour a mean scorpion bowl here, too.. 360 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, barmezzana.com.
Housed in a Nantucket Railroad car, this 41-year-old stalwart got a gorgeous redesign last year courtesy of its new owners, who earned their bona fides at Boston favorites like Toro and Grill 23. Chef-partner Mayumi Hattori’s Cali-inspired cuisine is top-notch, but we especially love the scene at the bar, which pours local Cisco brews and cocktails such as the Garden Variety, a refreshing mash-up of tequila, cucumber, and lime. Live piano music gets the party started while keeping it classy. One Main St., Nantucket, MA 02554, theclubcar.com.
We all know the standard china and silver registries backwards and forwards, but at Bliss Home, newlyweds learn to expect the stylishly unexpected. This is where they find not only exquisite Spanish handcrafted rugs and French crystal Champagne glasses, but avant-garde curvilinear bookcases and natural-horn pâté spreaders. Bliss consultants can guide you through the registration process even if you're a flat-, serve-, bar-, dinner-, or stemware novice. And if you think it all looks good here, just wait 'til you see it in your house. 121 Newbury St., Boston, MA blisshome.bridgecatalog.com/.
Rummaging through the racks at the Garment District is like looking for the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. That perfect paisley shirt, pleather skirt, or even preppy blue blazer is there—you just know it is—but the place is so full of classics (designer and otherwise), it sometimes takes a while to find it. By the end of your tour, you've got three hot-pink shopping bags full of inexpensive low-fashion masterpieces, from jeans to jumpers, leather jackets to costume jewelry. Behind the punk rock, studded collars, and tattoos, the store's employees are some of the friendliest around. And if you have a few extra bucks, the landfill piles of leftovers are downstairs at Dollar-a-Pound. 200 Broadway, Cambridge, MA garment-district.com/.
A wag-worthy alternative to the city's many well-intentioned but hospital-like kennels, the Urban K9 is based in a Roslindale home that owners Karen Donoghue and Erika Forssberg are happy to share with their four-legged clients. After being dropped off (or fetched by the duo's 'pet taxi' service), Fido is let out on his own schedule, taken to the park for group romps, and tucked into his very own doggy bed at night. For owners who prefer not to board, the Urban K9 will make dog-sitting (or cat-, bird-, fish-, or hamster-sitting) house calls, too. 129 Malden St., Boston, MA 2118, theurbank9.com.