Ares has been resoling, reheeling, and repolishing Boston's finest leather shoes for more than 70 years and will take extra special care of yours. The expert cobblers in the cozy basement storefront are a serious but likeable bunch who each have years of training behind their knowledge of the craft. That expertise means they can resize, stretch out, clean up, or de-scuff just about anything you bring in—fast, and at a reasonable price. 84 Charles St., Boston, MA .
Polly Lewis and Maribeth Brostowski are carefully guarded secrets among Boston's glitterati. The designers have incredible taste and restraint, and we adore their pluck. Just one example of their fine work: They recently outfitted a Beacon Hill townhouse's library with wainscoting, deep crown moldings, and predictable muted grays, but made it extraordinary by painting the walls a superslick (and completely awe-inspiring) candy-apple red. 31 Gloucester St., Boston, MA 2116, lewisinteriorsboston.com.
Let the newcomers show off their newfangled steakhouse specialties; people who really love steak will always return to Boston's exemplar of the genre. Here you'll find dry-aged, bone-in chops and tenderloins that drip with flavor in each juicy bite. The vibe—gold rails, leather banquettes, white-coated waiters—is classic without seeming clubby. 161 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 2116, grill23.com.
On any given afternoon, this sophisticated circular dining room is a discreet midday Who's Who of dealmakers and deal breakers. But it's not all business. Boston's power elite flock to be wowed by chef Michael Schlow's food, from steak tartare to smooth-as-silk soups and elegant entrées like roasted halibut with puréed cauliflower, giant lentils, and a Spanish paprika sauce. No matter how tempting the three-martini lunch might be, business discussions these days are brisk, and Schlow's speedily delivered cooking fills the bill. 8 High St., Boston, MA radiusrestaurant.com/.
With her jewel-like bonbons (exhibits A and B: dark chocolate filled with white chocolate and Chambord, and wafer-thin Viennese almond bark), Lee Napoli has brought a new level of artistry to Boston's confectionery scene. It's not just that the flavors are fresh as can be; Napoli's creations look gorgeous, too. Stop by the South End shop on a weekend morning for a trio of fried-to-order beignets oozing, naturally, with warm, luscious chocolate. 23 Dartmouth St., Boston, MA 2116, chocoleechocolates.com.
Most Boston hotel bars are party playgrounds for visiting movers and shakers. But for those jaded by the jet set, there's Cuffs at the Jurys Boston Hotel, where the scene is all seductive ambiance and ruby-red martinis. A superchic local clientele packs the joint every Saturday night, lured by the trickling waterfall, glowing fireplace, and hearty pints of Guinness. 350 Stuart St., Boston, MA .
For more than 16 years, Linda Varone has been boosting the chi of Greater Boston's living spaces with her personal blend of eastern feng shui and western architectural psychology. Taking a balanced approach to color, lighting, and organization, she aims to increase the flow of positive energy through homes, making studies more productive, for example, and bedrooms more romantic. PMB 196, 1337 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 2476, .
The South End has risen and fallen as Boston's jazz center, but 65 years after Joseph Walcott originally opened Wally's, the place still grooves. Every evening of the year, the tiny club crams in a diverse crowd of music lovers sipping whiskey Cokes and PBRs and craning their neck to see the bands. The music style changes nightly—Latin, Afro-Cuban, swing, straight-ahead, bebop, funk—but it's always jazz, and it's always great. 427 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 2118, wallyscafe.com.
Here's the setting: bright blue sky, bright blue water, handsome poolside staff, a full bar and lunch menu, and a 360-degree view of Boston's skyline. On weekdays, 40 bucks buys 12 suntastic hours more than 100 feet above the sweltering sidewalk (towels and an outdoor shower included). Cheapos can spend $20 for a late-afternoon poolside outing, but there's no guarantee of scoring a seat. 120 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 2116, colonnadehotel.com.
Guaranteed you will eye at least one article of clothing at Kodomo and wonder if there is any amount of tailoring that could make it adult size. The selection of apparel—think flowy striped jump suits for girls and oh-so-cool printed sweatshirts for boys—appeals to any age with relaxed, contemporary silhouettes and muted colors and patterns that feel more joyful than cutesy. Bonus: The shops' featured designers all practice ethical manufacturing. 579 Tremont St., Boston, 617-936-3808; 45 River St., Boston, 617-530-1140; kodomoboston.com. 579 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02118, kodomoboston.com.
Boston's sushi scene got an upgrade last year when Ken Oringer and Tony Messina expanded their tiny sashimi-only bar into a full-blown izakaya with new makimono and nigiri menus. Don't miss crazy-creative maki such as spicy tuna with aj_ amarillo and charred pineapple; salmon dotted with red curry; and a "White Castle burger" roll (exactly what it sounds like), available on occasion. More traditional nigiri—including the must-order fatty tuna dotted with uni powder and a nori reduction—pack just as much of a punch. 370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, uni-boston.com.
Unlike many Boston-area public course, Pembroke gives attentive strokes to course condition. Though located only 30 minutes south of Boston, the narrow fairways with tall pines and bushes (beware of poison ivy) make you feel as if you're deep in the Berkshires. The secluded par 71 course makes you work at three long, challenging par 5s. Either pay by the round ($27 weekdays, $50 weekends) or purchase a membership. A bonus: Use the phone at the 9th tee to call in your order for a hot dog at the 10th. West Elm St., Pembroke, MA .
Just because a restaurant's in the South End doesn't mean it's a South Ender's restaurant (ahem, Stephi's on Tremont). This place, however, is the real deal. The soul of Boston's now-crowded foodie enclave since opening 12 years ago, the Franklin fills with almost all regulars craving their specific comfort food—in our case, the garlic-grilled calamari and cornmeal-crusted catfish, with a glass of grüner, please!—every night of the week. And it doesn't hurt that the kitchen keeps on serving those calamari, and the rest of the menu, until 1:30 a.m. 278 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA 2118, franklincafe.com.
Lasers have—figuratively, of course—exploded onto the beauty scene in the last few years. That's especially true in the realm of hair removal. Alas, in the hands of neophytes, such powerful new weapons can leave clients with red marks, patches of untouched hair, and unjustifiably high bills. You'll find none of these at Beauty Therapies, where R.N. Claire McArdle relies not on big-talking promises, but on cutting-edge technologies, diligence, and skin-care expertise. One of Boston's first laser practitioners, she permanently removes hair from anywhere on the body—eyebrows to bikini lines—with a steady hand that zaps clients smooth faster than light speed. One Brookline Place, Suite 302, Brookline, MA .
When was the last time you pulled up to a spa, threw your keys to the valet, and were led into a private VIP suite? The answer, obviously: never. But now you can do just that at the four-story Emerge, Boston's new grande dame of day spas, which boasts a host of standard and medical services for both genders (men get their own area), two in-house doctors, a juice bar, and locker rooms stocked with posh Kerstin Florian products. Spend an afternoon here, and you needn't exit as discreetly as you arrived. 275 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, emergespasalon.com.