Hands down, the best dim sum in Boston. Get there before 10:30 a.m. on Sunday or be prepared to wait for cart-delivered delicacies that include shrimp chow foon, sticky rice wrapped in grape leaves, and chicken feet—if you dare. The bill usually averages around $12 a person, and then you need not think about food again until dinner. 9 Tyler St., Boston, MA .
In slightly less than a decade in business, Emanuel Coelho's firm has painted hundreds of houses around Boston. The secret of its success boils down to that magical combination rarely seen in contractors: top-quality workmanship—backed by a five-year, no-chip warranty—and a rate that leaves clients with a little extra cash for other home-improvement projects. 14 William St., Medford, MA 2155, .
The Boston Globe Spotlight Team, whose Pulitzer Prize-worthy coverage of the archdiocesan sex scandal was earth-shattering journalism at its and a return to the kind of aggressive investigative reporting that is badly needed in this town after years of newspaper "exposés" about such easy targets as crooked small-town building inspectors and ticket scalpers outside Fenway Park (no, really?)
Whether it's delivering the pork, hiking the minimum wage, extending health care benefits to the poor, or working behind the scenes on the Fleet-BankBoston merger and the Patriots stadium deal, our hyperactive senior senator hasn't stopped running for reelection since 1994. Which is why, come next year, his Republican challenger-whoever the poor fool may be—will be wearing a blindfold, smoking a cigarette, and saying his last words.
There were so many of them, right? But if we had to choose, it was the night a grinch at the Globe scratched a mustache on a news photo of Governor Dukakis. Either that, or when Globe reporter Bella English wrote a heart-tugger about Boston tenants who were being victimized by condo spectators, only to learn later from a column by the Herald's Norma Nathan that the tenants in the Globe story resided in a building owned by Globe star reporter Ben Bradlee, Jr., and his wife, Martha, Channel 5's chief correspondent.
After tenures at Sage and eat, chef Nick Speros has migrated north from Boston and opened 197 East Main. If you're smart, you'll follow him. Tuck into the rib-eye or native halibut, and you'll see what we mean. The seafood is fresh off the Gloucester day boats and the rich entrées come with tender vegetables that provide the perfect textural contrast. Speros wanders the dining room to get his guests' reactions firsthand. Our feedback? Keep up the good work. 197 East Main St., Gloucester, MA .
An orchid among daisies, Winston Flowers has all but cornered the market west of Boston. Whether you're after luscious greens, blazing blossoms, or aromatic herbs, the colors and intricate designs here are irresistible. And with the freshest stems in town, it's no wonder Winston's blossoms hold their perfect petals higher than your average posy. 31 Central St. at Rte. 9, Wellesley, Newton, MA winstonflowers.com/.
Takeout in the 'burbs isn't all soggy pizza and greasy Chinese. Bakers' Best has the food you'd make yourself, if only you had the time. Delicious choices—from chicken piccatta to chicken marsala, grilled salmon to beef brisket—are available at the counter of this nine-time Best of Boston winner. Don't overlook the frozen food, perfect for heating and eating. 27 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, MA bakersbestcatering.com/.
During an up-close and personal interview with the Boston Globe, Romney attempted to strike a chord of cloth-coat, log-cabin Republicanism while recalling the family's lean years in Belmont, when her husband was attending Harvard Law. "We had no income except the stock we were chipping away at," she confessed. "We were living on the edge, not entertaining." Imagine.
In addition to bringing the authors to Boston, the Harvard Book Store also provides the most diverse and frequent reading series. HBS increases its breadth by teaming up with the Hasty Pudding Institute, the BPL, and the Harvard Film Archive for many events. It also makes an effort to reach beyond the literary by inviting writers of nonfiction and even business gurus to speak. The business breakfast series is among the store's most popular. 126 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
Good thing J.P. Licks launched a new line of ice cream cakes in time for its 40th birthday. Now we can properly celebrate the small chain of Boston-area scoop shops, which has gifted us over the years with countless creative flavors served in cones and cookie sandwiches. All of them are still handmade at Licks’ home base in Jamaica Plain, including a few boozy varieties — like caramel-bourbon-fig or cherry-amaretto — that would feel particularly appropriate for raising a ruby anniversary toast. Multiple locations, jplicks.com.
The Hub’s abundance of prize-worthy pies continues to grow, but this year’s cornicione crown goes to a repeat winner. We credit the Area Four team’s obsessive attention to detail, starting with the tang, chew, and char of that crust, enough to make a dough aficionado’s knees wobble. And the toppings? Just your run-of-the-mill larder staples like hand-stretched mozzarella, Wellfleet clams, and a satiny mushroom sauce that is surely the reduction of some luxe French bisque. 264 East Berkeley St., South End, Boston, 857-317-4805; 500 Technology Sq., Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-758-4444, areafour.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.
In a time when Hollywood seems to have lost its way (Mortdecai, anyone?), places like the Brattle Theatre stand as beacons of hope. Rather than subject you to Let's Be Cops on three screens, the Brattle offers area premieres of independent films, Charlie Chaplin's 100th birthday celebration, the annual Boston LGBT Film Festival, a week of avant-garde Polish cinema, and a newly restored print of Jaws. All of this, plus the warm feeling you get from supporting a local nonprofit theater, and the additional warmth provided by the local beer and wine available at the concession stand. 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138, brattlefilm.org.
Let's get one thing straight: Fringe isn't synonymous with small. In fact, the fringe companies in town are all about big ideas, big risks, and big heart, none more so than Company One Theatre, a long-standing resident of the Boston Center for the Arts. Dedicated to performances you aren't likely to forget (did you see the perfectly perturbed Shockheaded Peter ?), Company One should be celebrated not only for its adventurous theatrical achievements, but also for its efforts to carve out a more diverse, informed, and open-minded city. 539 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116, companyone.org.