Even if the food at Taberna were lousy (and it most certainly isn't), you'd be too relaxed to care. From the decor to the gracious service to the fruity sangria that arrives in a big ceramic pitcher, this little tapas place lowers your blood pressure, just as an authentic Spanish taberna would. Raise it again with the veal sausage, or try the spinach, sauteed with pine nuts and raisins, or hot dishes (like garlic shrimp) that arrive sizzling in clay pots. The dishes are designed for sharing, and it's a good thing because the novel tastes are conversation starters. | Add candlelight playing off of whimsical wall frescoes and cozy tables spaced a healthy distance from one another and you've got Tasca, where that international language starts to spill from your lips (and we don't mean Esperanto). Oh, and the food is fantastic—Spanish tapas like gambas al ajillo (sizzling shrimp in garlic), jamon Serrano (Spanish cured ham with extra virgin olive oil), and tortillas (traditional Spanish potato-and-onion omelets). 999 Beacon Street; 1612 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline; Boston, MA .
Okay, so maybe this isn’t a surprising choice. But when a three-year-old music festival is already bringing the likes of Sia and Janelle Monáe to our fair town, we must tip our hats. The band choices are solid, and there’s actually enough space for food, fans, and giant Jenga. With a big move to Allston planned for next year, we can’t wait to see what Boston Calling will bring to the city next. bostoncalling.com.
On our first visit, a pair of regulars told us, completely unprompted, that we’d love this place. Why? Is it Mohan Singh’s meltingly tender, bone-in goat masala, accompanied by hubcap-size naan? The sitar-heavy soundtrack? Or the adrenaline-fueled open kitchen, where a cluster of cooks pile steaming vindaloos and curries onto metal trays? By the end of our meal, we’d answered that question: all of the above. 225 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139, punjabidhaba.co.
We stumbled into this much-buzzed-about salon as the worst of our possible client selves—no appointment, unwashed hair under a ballcap, jittery with caffeine—and were frankly blown away. They graciously squeezed us in but never rushed things, first consulting, then checking and rechecking our cut so we'd look better than we had any right to. We walked in as the Hopeless Mess, but walked out the Devoted Fan. 241 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 2481, .
Lauren Genatossio knew exactly how to bring our brows to a fuller, more natural place, meticulously tweezing each individual hair to sculpt our arches to perfection. We left with homework (don't tweeze anything, start brushing upward to train the hair to grow properly) and a transformed look that earned compliments for weeks. 840 Summer St., South Boston, MA 02127, sarrastudios.com.
Upgrade your pizza delivery with one of these showstoppers, cooked well-done with bubbly crusts. For dessert, the brownie sundae is nothing short of divine. 513 Tremont St., South End, MA 2116, piccorestaurant.com.
Tour the historical Fort Independence, take a stroll around picturesque Pleasure Bay, or just grab a bench and watch the planes overheadthe options are endless. bostonharborwalk.com.
You know a restaurant does a mean carryout business when you can order your fully loaded lobster bánh mì via an online form. 324 A St., Fort Point/Waterfront, MA 2210, ming.com/blue-dragon.htm.
Paul Pierce, for leading that historic comeback only to miss two free throws that might have iced the series with 1.1 seconds left in game four.
If she's good enough for the aching legs and feet of the Boston Ballet, Moskow can surely handle the knot in your shoulders from hunching over a computer keyboard.
More than just a beauty treatment. Loquacious Walter works on the inside as well as the outside of your head . . . and slowly. At $20 a shot, he's cheaper than a shrink. MA
Besides the fact that he's very good, he makes house calls. You can't even get a people doctor to do that. Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic, Boston, MA .
If you are really good your whole life, when you die you go to a place very much like the Chocolate Bar at Le Meridien. 250 Franklin St., Boston, MA .
Sweet and smooth, with a memorable kick. Everyone makes it differently, but most local bars pour vodka, Peachtree schnapps, cranberry juice, and orange juice.
The bleachers at Fenway Park are ideal. No one will notice you, or, if they notice—care, and the sights, the sounds and the smells will give your supercharged senses plenty to play with. Boston, MA