From the pleasant people who take reservation to the early-edition daily newspapers, reading lights and phones in each car, Boston Coach has got it covered. Forty dollars will get you from downtown to Logan in the luxury of a snazzy Volvo ($45 from Cambridge). Limos are available as well. $60/ hour for a six-seater, $78/ hour for eight to ten people. You can make international arrangements, too. 1 Airforce Rd., Everett, MA .
Recently moved from his old location (in Combat Zone), Michael is endlessly patient, reasonable—and meticulous. 354 Tremont St., Boston, MA .
Bucking the megacookie trend, these bite-size morsels are perfect—buttery, slightly chewy, crisp edges, with just enough chips. Buy the by the dozen, and they disappear. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA .
Marinated chicken broiled on a spit plus various trimmings. Real food, real good. 14 Austin St., Newtonville, MA .
A controversial choice, no matter how you cite it, considering the bank's relatively recent troubles with the law. Happily, Bank of Boston has since then kept its nose clean and its books in order. Despite some shaky Latin American paper on its ledgers, the bank reported a bracing 34 percent rise in profits this year. Moreover, our cockles were warmed by a number of neighborly gestures: those full-page Globe ads congratulating the coaches of our suddenly successful sports franchises, for instance. And the bank's sponsorship of M. L> Carr's "Say No to Drugs" campaign in area schools. Some would dismiss these as mere public relations gestures. Bleeding hearts that we are, however, we were moved. After all, second chances are what America is all about.
The bar-of-the-moment for the after-midnight local crowd. This small bar with a friendly clientele has recently become a trendy stop after a night on the town. 520 Tremont Street, Boston, MA .
The sensational Institute of Contemporary Art show of work by Nan Goldin, Jack Pierson, Mark Morrisroe, and other artists who all attended art school in Boston in the late '70s and early '80s, and turned their lives into lovely, lurid photographs.
A major reason for Boston's eminence in the world of early music.
The menu, revamped by the team behind Trina’s Starlite Lounge, ranges from grilled cheese to " corn husk flounder." 838 Beacon St., Fenway/Kenmore, MA 2215, audubonboston.com.
Overlook the corporate location at the Seaport’s Westin Boston Waterfront and instead enjoy the cleanliness and spaciousness (300 seats!), the roster (rising and acclaimed national acts), and a surprisingly delicious bar and cocktail menu, complete with a “Heckler” fishbowl to share. 425 Summer St., Boston, MA 02210, laughboston.com.
In its 53rd season, Boston Ballet has long since jetéd from unrivaled in New England to an internationally respected troupe. With veteran principal ballerinas such as Misa Kuranaga and Lia Cirio, who seem to be made of water, and brazen artistic director Mikko Nissinen, the company positively dazzles in both story and contemporary ballets. It’s aiming even higher next season, with the American premiere of William Forsythe’s Artifact and a revitalized Sleeping Beauty. Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111, bostonballet.org.
Those hoping to impress long-awaited houseguests with perfectly stirred martinis or mai-tai-filled ceramic tiki mugs need only visit this cozy boutique. With inventory ranging from highball glasses and stainless steel bar spoons to absinthe fountains and jugs shaped like shark heads, the shop’s whimsical wares are perfect for getting the party started — no matter your tastes or how many people you’re hosting. 69 Holland St., Somerville, MA 02144, thebostonshaker.com.
This venture from Deuxave's Chris Coombs and Brian Piccini is billed as an "urban steak bistro"—shorthand for "not your grandparents' steakhouse." Start with daring small plates like oxtail croquets with red pepper mostarda, then tuck into an order of steak frites, which combines your favorite cut with a house-made sauce and heaping piles of greens, as well as fries served tableside from large copper bowls. 1375 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118, bostonchops.com.