Bakers here understand that great bread rises from all-natural ingredients. The seven-grain loaf is moist, earthy, and studded with dates, and the baguettes are so light and sweet, it's almost a shame to top them with anything. 288 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA 2116, slowrise.com.
The theatrics alone make this starter ($9), accented with peaches and sweet peppers, a winner: A waiter pours the anise-flavored liquor over the salty cheese, then lights the dish on fire. The light show is impressive; the taste, even better. 134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 2139, oleanarestaurant.com.
Champagne truffles? Assorted pralines? Emphatically, yes! These bon-bons are mindnumbingly sweet and decadent beyond belief. Unfortunately the prices can be prohibitive—8 ounces for $27—but sometimes you just gotta have it. 230 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
It ain't fancy, but the fish is fresh, sweet and tender; the platter—clams, scallops, fish, and shrimp—is a bargain at $10.75. In the dead of winter, it's the closest thing to a clam shack this side of Key West. 81 L Street, Boston, MA .
The world's best cider—a sweet golden brew—may be quaffed on Columbus Day at the Sandwich Fair, in Sandwich, N.H. During the rest of the year, Lawson Farm in Lincoln dispenses an excellent substitute. Sandwich, NH
The 10 menu items at this petite boite, including meats and homemade pastas, list for $21 or less, and the vibe is as sweet as it gets. Your date—and your accountant—will be impressed. 597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA tentables.net.
Known for creative southwestern cuisine, Masa rockets into the O-ring stratosphere with its sweet-battered, plump Vidalia onion slices dusted with dried chilies. 264 Newbury St, Boston, MA 2116, matsuboston.com.
Savoy's blackberry-raspberry muffins define the form: enormous, light, moist, packed with fresh fruit, and not too sweet. 1003 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA .
Originally just a breakfast spot, Rox Diner is now offering three squares a day, largely prepared with locally sourced produce and all-natural meats. What to Order: The "Green Lantern" burger with avocado, pesto aioli, and smoked Gouda; crab cakes; sweet-potato-and-black-bean chili. 1881 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA roxdiner.com.
That's right—Ned Devine's. We were won over by the buttery, not-too-thick texture, bits of fresh thyme, and sweet, chopped cockles and clams that make this Faneuil Hall spot's chowder a perfect example of what the New England staple should be. 1 North Market St., Boston, MA 2109, neddevinesboston.com.
It's this simple: Nothing satisfies a pizza craving like a piping hot pie from the kitchen at Emma's. Choose from more than a dozen tasty (and sometimes bizarre) toppings, including dried cranberries, sweet potatoes, and goat cheese. The near-perfect, thin-crust pies will satiate all your taste buds. 40 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA emmaspizza.com/.
This charity gives non-cooks and harried cooks—the only two kinds during the holidays—perfect endings to Thanksgiving dinner: pumpkin, apple, or sweet potato-pie, from the kitchens of Julia Child, Jody Adams, Tony Ambrose, and dozens more. Proceeds benefit home-bound AIDS patients. 125 Magazine St., Roxbury, MA .
This store is packed with tempting goodies—specialty chocolates from local candy makers, imported Italian sweets, bags of familiar and exotic dried fruits and nuts, holiday novelties, candied mint and roses, quality bulk chocolate. If you don't see what you want, just ask. It's probably there. 57 Salem Street, Boston, MA .
After five years without a release, the Gigolo Aunts burst back onto the music scene with Minor Chords and Major Themes, a disc so infused with kicky pop sensibility it landed them in People magazine and won them an opening slot on summer tours for Matthew Sweet and Counting Crows. Welcome back.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love—and somebody to look after sick kids while their parents are working. Who better to do it than the Visiting Nurses? (Preregistration is required.) 1100 High Street, Dedham, MA .