Warm sun streams into this Charles Street bakery-cum-café's expansive windows, where the clientele kicks back (sometimes for hours) over high-octane lattes, crumbly slices of walnut bread, and the daily papers. And while you can clearly witness the hustle and bustle outside, it fades as you sink deeper into the shop's meditative momentum. 144 Charles St., Boston, MA panificioboston.com/.
While brides spend hours hemming and hawing over lace and tulle, most guys just want a smart-looking tux that requires as little fuss as possible. Classic Tuxedo offers a comprehensive online catalog of suiting by Calvin Klein, Jean Yves, and Ralph Lauren, so grooms can narrow down the choices before trekking to the store. And once they do come in, fittings and alterations are a snap. 223 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
In Grace Kinahan's hands, pore cleansing and zit zapping are somehow rendered relaxing. It might have something to do with her plush, blanketed bed and brief initial skin consultation, followed by an hour-long steam, mask, and Jurlique hydration therapy. Clients walk away smoother ;and smarter, thanks to insider tips like 'flouride toothpaste can cause chin breakouts' and 'switch to an oil-based lotion for glowing skin.' 4 Avery St., Boston, MA 2111, thesportsclubla.com.
Since New England puts a limit on the weight of lobster's caught, the place to find oversized crustaceans is the Lobster Shanty in Point Pleasant, N.J. If you balk at a seven-hour ride, try Crusti's in North Kingston, R.I., where you can eat all the chicken lobsters you have the appetite and patience for, Wednesday through Sunday, for $15.95. Route 1, Kingston, RI .
Chasen likes to compare eyebrow grooming to the art of bonsai, and her disciplined approach to creating perfect shapes is why skin-care pro Brad Duncan tapped this standout makeup artist and clinical aesthetician to join his staff last fall. After deploying the gentlest of hard waxes, she draws on a decade's worth of eyebrow-refining experience to tweeze away strays and smooth contours. All this in less than half an hour. 530 Tremont St., Boston, MA 2116, bradduncanskincare.com.
It's a bold statement for a city mag to give the stellar-cellar nod to a restaurant located a couple of hours (and several modes of transportation) from downtown. But for those willing to roll with the car-ferry-taxi shuffle, the reward is Orla Murphy-LaScola's gem of a wine list at American Seasons, packed with off-the-beaten-vine vintages from the States. Even jaded sommeliers—stuck tending to creaky libraries of 'important' quaffs from Burgundy and Bordeaux—scratch their heads in amazement at theeccentric yet impeccable collection of small-production wines. 80 Centre St., Nantucket Island, MA 2554, americanseasons.com.
At Eastie red-sauce palace Rino's Place, patrons can get stuck waiting two hours for huge portions of baked rigatoni and chicken Parm. To accommodate the throngs, the owners opened Prima E Dopo across the street, offering balsamic-glazed wings and $6 cocktails. Now we just skip Rino's altogether and hang here, dining on sausage-and-broccoli-rabe pizza, crispy bruschetta, and perhaps the most flavorful meatballs we've ever had. 300 Saratoga St., East Boston, MA 2128, .
Chef Frank McClelland's celebrated dining room offers not one, but two extravagant tasting options. There's the "Seasonal Degustation"—a six-course meal headlined by dishes like Hudson Valley foie gras (take that, California!) with angelica and oatmeal-nut tuile, or lamb alongside roasted figs and caramelized fennel, both featuring ingredients sourced from the chef's own Essex farm. Not lavish enough for you? Then choose the $200 "Chef's Tasting Journey," and you'll be treated to an hours-long repast replete with caviar and truffles. 774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2199, lespalier.com.
Surrender your soles to Kathy for a luxurious and relaxing pampering. One of her secrets: she wraps your toes in saran before you slip on your shoes so as not to disturb the polish—your pedicure will last for weeks. 115 Newbury St., Suite 301, Boston, MA .
Once you experience the personal touch of Darlene and her crew, you'll never go back to a corporate cleaning outfit. Would they pick up your kids at the airport, wash your dog, do your laundry, go grocery shopping, and even prepare dinner for you? Well, Darlene will. Not only that, she hand-scrubs your floors and even makes that black city grime on the window ledges disappear. 28 Smart Street, Waltham, MA .
Back Bay residents have long entrusted the Rivas family with their most precious items of clothing — and with decades of experience under their collective belts hemming, mending, and stitching, it’s no wonder. Bonus: The second-floor atelier is open five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday, which means you can pop in for a quick lunch-hour button repair or come by for a longer weekend wedding-dress fitting — or have them come to you for an in-home appointment. 324B Newbury St., Boston, MA 02115, newburytailors.com.
When you slurp an oyster from this hip dockside restaurant overlooking the harbor, it’s likely that the fresh, sweet bivalve was in that very same water just hours before. But it’s not just the oysters, of course, that earn Cru its title. The buttery fried clams, famous lobster roll, and jumbo cocktail shrimp all deserve recog- nition, especially when accompanied by a cool and refreshing “Crucumber” martini. One Straight Wharf, Nantucket, MA 02554, crunantucket.com.
Bella sante strikes the right combination of peaceful spa (fruit-infused water, plush furnishings) and briskly run business (in and done in half an hour). Technicians prune and preen nails into such pristine condition it's almost a shame to cover them with polish — but those who do will walk out with lacquered tops strong enough to endure several days worth of wear and tear. 38 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, bellasante.com.
Too many makeup artists labor under the tragic misconception that "bridal" means caked-on foundation, tarlike mascara, and Dynasty-esque cheek contouring. Not Wagener, who studies the bride-to-be's everyday look, then simply ratchets it up for the nuptials. After a session in her cozy workspace—well worth her $125 hourly fee—we walked away feeling glamorous as hell, but looking like ourselves. 130 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 2116, shuuemura-usa.com.
What's as rich as Toro's cheese plate, has as much flavor as its olive oil-roasted Brussels sprouts, and is as undeniably saucy as its patatas bravas? The neighborhood designers and artists, in-the-know real estate movers and shakers, and local restaurateurs who—without fail, seven nights a week—flock to chef-owner Ken Oringer's no-reservations hot spot from happy hour till closing time. Rubbing elbows with such characters over cava at the raucous bar makes waiting for a table seem like a perk, not a burden. 1704 Washington St., Boston, MA .