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TRUE TALES OF AN IVY LEAGUE CALLGIRL SUPER SIZE ME, TOO: LIFE ON THE DUNKIN' DONUTS DIET HARVARD'S FOLLY: WHY THE KENNEDY SCHOOL DOESN'T MATTER
Edited by ALEXANDRA HALL
I l l u s t r a t i o n by EBOY
EXPECTATIONS ARE FUNNYTHINGS. Conventional wisdom has it that people and places r i s e to the level of expectations set before them, but as we scoured the landscape f o r the Best of Boston this year, our e x p e r i ence was the opposite. We found that we w e r e forced to set o u r expectations higher, because the city had r i s e n past them. 11 As always, we went looking f o r the best of everything, anonymously and at the magazine's expense. For 10 months we t e s t e d , watched, and ate o u r ways t h r o u g h t o w n . 1 Soon enough, we noticed changes in the city: I t has gotten better. A lot better. Longstanding i n s t i t u t i o n s t h a t once lived off t h e i r r e p u t a t i o n s have revitalized, and new ones have f l o u r ished. Even r e s t a u r a n t and r e t a i l service, long Boston's soft spot, has improved. And those high standards are s p r e a d i n g : There are mare impressive e n t e r p r i s e s in the s u b u r b s than ever. So we r e t u r n e d there , but also went f u r t h e r — t o j u d g e , f o r the f i r s t time, the fines t of the Cape and islands. II We've made o t h e r changes, tou, adding sections on the best spots f o r dating, repairs, even where to find the best outfits, so that while you enjoy the best the city has to offer, you can look your best. 1 Not t h a t we'd expect anything less. FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 3 34.
13G.BOSTON. AUGUST 3 00 4
The promising 30-year-old Frasca's bright-flavored food soars at Spire.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KATHLEEN DOOHER
*BESTCHEF, Up and Coming
Best of Bastan 2004 «««««<
CHEESE WHOLE FOODS MARKET When it's
BREAD Í. BUTTER BAKING CO. The golden glow, faintly sweet aroma, and heavenly texture of the freshly bakei! loaves at this cute shop in a still-grungy .stretch of J.P. could make even the most ardent Atkins disciples recognize the folly of their ways. Along with staples such as multi-grain and white breads and crusty baguettes, Bread & Butter features daily specials—the cinnamonswirl offered on the weekends is especially tasty—and a selection of pastries Including a twice-baked croissant, stuffed with almond paste and dusted with sugar, that will put you back on carbs for good. 3346 WASHINGTON ST.,
JAMAICA PLAIN, 617-983-B68B. BRUNCH
EL PELÓN TAQUERÍA Pictures of Mexican wrestlers. Day of the Dead skeletons, and photos of Pancho Villa bolster the authenticity of this Mexican outpost in the Fenway. Unlike at other assembly-line burrito joints, the burros here don't mush together into a single taste on the palate. Each ingredient—Mexican rice, succulent, homemade guacamole, and grilled steak, chicken, or fishbursts with its own spicy flavor inside the symphonic whole of the roll. A word of warning: If you ask for extra hot sauce, you better mean it. 92 PETERBOROUGH ST.. BOSTON, 617-262-9090.
world-class cheese yon crave, head straight to the River Street branch of this ubiquitous natural-foods chain for the most consistently ripe, reasonably priced frontage around. The store stocks several hundred different kinds of cheese—from imported and esoteric cave-aged BrillatSavarin and aged asiago to the common but elegant cheddar. What's more, the staff is happy to special-order anything, dole out samples and serving advice, or wax poetic about the unsung glories of raw (versus heated) milk cheeses.
340 RIVER ST., CAMBRIDGE, 617-676-6990.
TR EMONT 647 What better way to spend a morning than in your pajamas sipping coffee with your neighbors? Tremont b'47's Saturday and Sunday pajama brunch combines comfort food and a cozy space for the perfect weekend winddown. Everything on the menu here is worth getting out of bed for. For a late breakfast, try chef Andy Husbands's huevos rancheros over beans and rice, or move on to lunch with a plate of stinky cheeses and a juicy burger. Can't shake the hangover? tío with the cureall combination: Matty's V8 bloody mary and the skillet-baked eggs and hash. 647 TREMONT ST., BOSTON, 617-266-4600.
TIM'S BAR & GRILL Narrow, dark, and , dingy, Tim's is hardly where you'd expect to come across one of this city's gastronomic standouts. But the kitchen here grills up the biggest, tastiest burgers you can imagine—no-frills, halfpound, juicy char-grilled numbers served on puffy bulky rolls. Throw in a good selection of affordable brews on lap, and it's easy to see what makes this honest man's oasis so popular with rcRuUvs and newcomers alike. 329
COLUMBUS AVE., BOSTON, 617-247-7BG4. FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX. SEE PAGE 334.
if Duckconfit is but one of chef Ken Oringer's artful masterpieces, PHOTOGRAPH B HEATH BOBBINS Y
AUGUST 2 D 0 4 . B O S T O N . 139
The liest of Boston 20011 /•:. I TINl • I
*Best of the South
BEACH HORSENECK BEACH When it comes to kicking back in the dunes, the f i r s t o r d e r of business is to make sure you f i n d enough room to s t r e t c h out. Horseneck has all the b r e a t h i n g room you need to relax, w i t h almost 600 acre s of b a r r i e r beach and salt m a r s h , plus t w o miles of soft sand at the w e s t e r n end of Buzzards Bay. What could be b e t t e r than that? Ample p a r k i n g , of c o u r s e — a n d you'll f i n d t h a t h e r e , too. RTE. SB, WESTPORT, 50B-636-8B16. BRUNCH ARTHUR & PAT'S I t simply isn't summer in B r a n t Rock w i t h o u t the smell of c r a b cakes and eggs —and the epic b r u n c h l i n e s it a t t r a c t s — p o u r i n g f r o m A r t h u r Í. Pat's. And it isn't A r t h u r &. Pat's w i t h o u t A e r o s m i t h b l a r i n g t h r o u g h the salty air, w a i t r e s s e s i n t i e - d y e d s h i r t s slamming g r o a n i n g plates onto the g r a n i t e t a b l e s , or r i d i c u l o u s c a r t o o n s i l l u s t r a t i n g the killer daily specials: s h r i m p f l o r e n t i n e omelettes, gloriously c r i s p y f r i e d clams, and the aptly named " A r t i e ' s Orgasmic L o h s t e r Roll." 239 OCEAN ST., MARSHF1EL0, 7B1-834-9755. [continued on page 202J
MICH AELSCHLOW Being a great chef isn't just about respecting good ingredients or cooking with passion. It's also about being a good manager and building relationships with the guests you serve. Michael Schlow is all of the above, and more. Willi three restaurants in his expanding stable (Radius, Via Malta, and Great Bay), Schlow may not be the man who personally prepares your dinner, but he juggles each of his top-notch kitchens with aplomb. Schlow understands the culinary parameters of his ventures better than anyone—he knows, for example, that at Radius, less is more; that at Via Matta, cooking pasta is an art; and that at Great Bay, it's all about the bounty of our local
waters, RAOIUS, a HIGH ST. BOSTON, 617426-1234; GREAT BAY. 500 COMMONWEALTH AVE., BOSTON, 617-532-5300; VIA MATTA, 79 PARK PLAZA, BOSTON, 617-422-D00B.
CHEF, UP AND COMING GABRIEL FRASCA, SPIRE After years of working with some of this city's best (Gordon llamersley, Michael Schlow, Seth Woods), it's Frasca's turn to soar at Spire, the restaurant at the Nine Zero hotel. And soar he does, with entrees like his fresh pea soup, an earthy ode to summer with a tinge of sautéed pea shoots for brightness and a sweet, nutiy crab dumpling for contrast. We hope more young chefs will follow Frasca's lead.
90 TREMONT ST, BOSTON, E17-772-0202. CLAM CHOWDER
TURNER FISHERIES Chowder, that most traditional of New England foods, could never be invented today. Leaving aside the Manhattanite abomination, a good chowder, with its base of sail pork and heavy cream, is a lest of will to modernday dielers. Turner Fisheries serves the most testing chowder of all. The broth is aromatic and Quid, not gagged with flour. Instead, it's dense with clams that taste freshly shucked anil even sport the odd peppering of sand, while the seasoning is delicate enough to let the flavor of the shellfish come through. This is soup for a New Knglandcr's soul. 10 HUNTING-
Best Ico Crea
Lifo!« sweet in Du*bury. thanks ta sno and peenut butter-fHOTOQX A Pit BY MAR LA SIVEENEY
TON AVE., BOSTON, 617-424-7425.
GROUP D I N I N G
OLIVES It wasn't long ago that even parties of two were forced to wait in the long
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEEPAGE 334.
1 4 0 . B O S T O N . A U G U S T 2Q04
BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, Affordable
fith or without a name, i t ' s easily the freshest affordable fish shanty in town.
• ' / * BDCDI BRUNCH ^ E S T DKUI\ILI1
PHOTOGRAPH BY DANA SMITH
The weekend pajama brunch is a highenergy South End institution.
4 • •'!,
The Best of Boston 2004 (EATING)
town mainstay is open until J a.m. on Hie weekends, luring hungry night owls with plentiful portions and a frenetic table-hopping scene. Behind the sushi bar. chefs meticulously hand roll caterpillar and scorpion nuiki, while petite waitresses glide around in decorative black robes. The extensive menu lists sashimi, rice soups, noodles, and tempuras along with a well-chosen selection of beer and wine. For the ultimate Japanese sampler, try the Ginza Cruise.
1G HUDSON ST., BOSTON, E17-33B-2261.
PIZZA, GOURMET EMMA'S The super-thin crust that flies out of Emmas kitchen is addictive in its own right. Add to that such innovative combinations as Canadian bacon, caramelized onions, and rosemary sauce, or a seallion, garlic, and gorgonzola mix. The restaurant may have just changed hands, but nearly everything else about it has stayed the same—right down to the ä la carte toppings (three kinds of tomatoes, sweet and gold potatoes, capers, even dried cranberries). Friendly service (the waiters offer detailed reheating instructions) rounds out the experience. 40 HAMPSHIRE ST., CAMBRIDGE, 617-B64-B534. PIZZA, TRADITIONAL PIZZA 06GI Let the gourmets pile on their trendy precious toppings; the best serious classic pizza is the kind that gets the basics right. This barely decorated brick storefront in Jamaica Plain has its thin, simple pizzas down to a science: They're doused with herbed olive oil and scattered with cornuieal, then slathered in a tomato sauce that's tangy and slightly smoky. The crowning mozzarella starts out blistering hot, then cools to a smooth, gooey sweetness. If you really want it, you can get a version decked out with spicy sausage and such, but with flavor as pure as this, why bother? B PERKINS ST., JAMAICA PLAIN, E17-971-9797. RESTAURANT, AL FRESCO OLEANA Boston has no shortage of outdoor dining options, but for our money, none is as transporting as the backyard terrace at Oleana. It's a fairyland of flora and fauna—swags of crawling green draped over wooden trellises, fruit trees burgeoning with ripe fruit, flowers of every variety waving in the summer
AUGUST 2 0 G 4 . B O S T O N . 143
Our special tonight: unlimited
line that formed nightly outside Olives. These days, with a new reservations policy, getting in is a snap; even large groups can be accommodated—at either the communal table in the main dining room or in the private room out back. The notoriously hearty dishes make for easy sharing. And the affable servers, who know the food and wine menus inside and out. can help your group navigate from lorte/li of butternut squash pasta to crispy duck I'orange to vanilla bean souffle. 10 CITY
SQUARE, CHARLESTOWN, 617-242-1999.
cool. With colorfully ironic splashes of Asian pop culture, delightful retro tinges, and plenty of room for lounging, this hidden Downtown Crossing destination with its highly competent service is perfect for parties of 2,12, or 20. The menu relies on a perfect balance of sweet and sour, fried and juicy, meaty and delicate. Just remember—don't overload on kumquat majitos before digging into the crispy sweet-chili squid or orange and tamarind-glazed spareribs.
25 KINGSTON ST., BOSTON, 617-482-6282.
GROUP DINING, AFFORDABLE PEKINGTOM'S LONGTANG LOUNGE It may sound tacky on paper, but in person. Peking Tom's is deliciotisly campy and
FORTHEBEST OF BOSTON INDEX. SEE PAGE 334.
LATE-NIGHT DINING GINZA RESTAURANT Bright lights, big sushi. These are Ginza's trademarkseven after Boston's bedtime. This China-
'///<• Best of Boston 2004( (¡AT1NG)
BAKERY, SWEETS CAFÉ VANILLE Most bakeries aim f o r
breeze. That's more than most of us need to set the scene for a relaxing mealso when chef Ana Sortun tosses in her soothing and exotic Mediterranean menu, it's just glorious gravy. 134 HAMPSHIRE ST., CAMBRIOGE, 617-661-0505.
RESTAURANT, AL FRESCO, AFFORDABLE
streets, savory baked goods, homemade hummus, inventive salads, and daily cheese plates. Plus, the steady stream of passing pedestrian and dog traffic makes for endless tableside entertainment.
571 TREMONT ST., BOSTON, 617-247-8377.
French authenticity , but f e w t h i s side of the A t l a n t i c succeed as completely as Cafe Vanille. Choosing between the flaky, airy, and flawlessly t e x t u r e d chocolate c r o i s s a n t s and blissful f r e s h - f r u i t c u s t a r d t a r t s is an exercise in f u t i l i t y : J u s t take one of each. The s e t t i n g , an almost impossibly c h a r m i n g l i t t l e Charles S t r e e t s t o r e f r o n t , also s p o r t s a sunny brick patio, the ideal p e r c h f o r tucking i n t o a decadent mocha c r é m e - f i l l e d páté a choux whil e w a t c h i n g all of Beacon Hill s t r o l l past. Now you know w h a t Proust was fussing about. 70 CHARLES ST., BOSTON, 617-523-9200. CHEF, PASTRY KRISTEN D. MURRAY, NO. 9 PARK Some d e s s e r t s a r e among life's sweetest r e w a r d s precisely because they a r e n ' t too sweet. Kristen D. M u r r a y understands this. Consider her walnut pain perdu, a soft and almost custardy bread laden w i t h t a r t red c u r r a n t s , r i c h , nutty c r u n c h , and tangy w a t e r buffalo-milk y o g u r t sorbet. Or feast your eyes—and stomach—on her black pepper cheesecake, a masterpiece of smooth cheese jolted w i t h black pepper and cut w i t h the soothing sweetness of caramelized pineapple and t a r t - a s can-be green apple compote. 9 PARK ST., BOSTON, 617-742-9991. ICECREAM TOSCANINI There a r e plenty of Boston ice c r e a m shops w o r t h y of c a l o r i c i n d u l g e n c e , but none as e n t i c ing as this one. The selection may not be the biggest in t o w n , but i t ' s v a r i e d enough f o r even t h e pickiest of palates, w i t h about a dozen i n c r e d i b l y smooth a n d r i c h flavors i n c l u d i n g Hydrox cookie, Vienna Finger, b u r n t c a r a m e l, and g i n g e r - s n a p molasses. The real draw, though, is the s u p e r ligh t t e x t u r e , which especially comes t h r o u g h in the richly f l a v o r e d nocciota (hazelnut) a n d Belgian chocolate v a r i e t i e s . 899 MAIN ST.. CAMBRIDGE.
GARDEN OF EDEN lew summertime pleasures are greeted as enthusiastically in this town as the chance to dine outdoors. But even considering the growing abundance of patio cafés. Garden of Eden Stands out for its exceptional basic ingredients: fresh and creative dishes, an unpretentious staff, and umbrellas to provide some shade. The menu includes light, refreshing dishes like crusty, overstuffed sandwiches named for nearby
RESTAURANT, BARBECUE UNCLE PETE'S HICKORY RIBS Nestled in East Boston's Day Square, Uncle Pete's is the kind of barbecue place locals keep to themselves. And, really, we'd never have suspected that this lopsided setting, a former Dairy Queen, could produce the most mouthwatering flavor-packed pork, beef, chicken, and ribs we've gnawed this far north. Pete himself makes everything daily, using special combinations of dry7 rubs and marinades and smoking the meats for five hours or more with a result
Creative and modern Greek cuUtne stacked full of flavor, P H O T O G R A P H B V C H R I S T O P H E R O R E E N
617-491-5877; 1310 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., CAMBRIDGE, 617-354-9350. B
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
144.BOSTON.AUGUS T 2 0 0 4
* BEST CHEF, pastry / - » * itt-, Pastry
Dess.erts by Kristen D. Murrav I Fristen D. Murray are a bold balance of sweet and savory
PHOTOGRAPH BY H E A T H ROBBINS
no. 9 park
Juicy, tender, and addictive, Tim's burgers have patrons fire d up.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JASON GROW
tirrf s-bar & d
The Best of Boston 2004 (EATING)
NEIGHBORHOO D RESTAURANT. ALLSTON BIG CITY If a neighborhoo d r e s t a u r a n t ' s f i r s t o b l i g a t i on is to genuinely r e f l e c t i t s s e t t i n g , Big City i s a h i g h - s h i n e m i r r o r , t a k i n g A l l s t o n ' s c o l l e g i a t e c u l t u r e a n d r e f i n i n g i t by a notch o r t w o . S u r e , t h e r e ' s plenty of beer —one of t h e city's best s e l e c t i o n s, in f a c t — b u t i t ' s h a n d c r a f t e d and f r o m every c o r n e r of the globe. A n d whil e pizza and f i n g e r foods r e i g n s u p r e m e , they come in such n e o - g o u r m e t r e n d i tions as s p i n a c h - a r t i c h o k e dip and M e d i t e r r a n e a n nachos w i t h balsamic t o m a t o e s . 133 BRIGHTON AVE., ALLSTON, 617-7B2-2020. BACK BAY STEPHANIE'S ON NEWBURY When b r o w s i n g t h e shops on N e w b u r y S t r e e t leaves you peckish, pop i n t o this Back Bay mainstay, s t i l l s e r v i n g reliably tasty d r e s s e d up c o m f o r t food a f t e r ID y e a r s in b u s i n e s s . Snag a seat at a sidewalk table a n d w a t c h the w o r l d amble by as you dig i n t o t h e s a t i s f y i n g l y messy Cuban s a n d w i c h ( r o a s t e d p o r k , ham, pickles, a n d S w i s s ) o r t h e simple a n d c l a s s ic l o b s t e r r o l l . At b r u n c h , the creamy c r a b cake B e n e d i c t w i t h j a l a p e ñ o h o l l a n d a i s e is r e a s o n enough to linger. 190 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, E17-236-0990. [continued on page 20H\
so succulent that extra sauce and garnishes are superfluous. Equally noteworthy is the care taken here with side dishes, including frosted sweet-potato biscuits, homemade baked beans, and
hand-cut fries. 309 BENNINGTON ST„ EAST
RESTAURANT, CHINESE PEACH FARM Cheek the specials before ordering at Peach Kann—the seafood is always right from the tank, the clams in black bean sauce taste fresh from the sea, and the lobster with ginger and scallions is the stuff Cantonese dreams are made of. If you don't like seafood, the braised chicken hotpot, at once complex and soothing, is a gem. The atmosphere is bustling, and the service keeps pace nicely. 4TYLER ST., BOSTON, 617-482-1116. RESTAURANT, FRENCH SEL DE LATERRE Afineehareuterie may not he the only mark of just how French a restaurant is, but sampling its goods is without a doubt one of the most magnifique ways to kick off a meal. Chef Geoff Gardner's meats are outstanding—complex and intensely flavorful—as are his petit goñter of imported olives and luscious vegetable spreads and Ins baked goat cheese. The rest of Sel de la 'Ierre sports a thick French accent, loo. from the modern Provencal decor to the dense wine list to the fragrant bouillabaisse to the attached boulangerie—a must-stop for take-away treats from Michael Rhoads's bakery.
255 STATE ST., BOSTON, 617-720-1300.
RESTAURANT, FRENCH, AFFORDABLE CRAIGIE STREET BISTROT Midden in the quiet, tweedy folds of residential Cambridge, this neighborhood restaurant is part exquisite cuisine, part delicious local fare, and all parts homage to true French bistro culture. Entering the intimate, family-owned spot, with its cozy furniture and warm colors, is like walking into a well-loved (and well-populated) living room. Hut the extremely wellpriced menu is anything but predictable. Chef Tony Maws keeps it fluid with his improvisations (Exhibit A: the red chile-marinated prime hangar steak with sultry roasted bone marrow) and an ebb and How of local produce so fresh, all Montmartre would be impressed. 5
CRAIGIE CIRCLE, CAMBRIDGE, 617-497-5511. FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334. AUGUST 20Q4.BOSTON.147
The Best of Boston 2004
(EATING) RESTAURANT, GENERAL EXCELLENCE CLIO For those times in life when you have been very, very good, there's Clioproof that fine dining doesn't have to be stuffy, and luxury doesn't have to be predictable. Credit goes foremost to chef Ken Oringer. who flies in his ingredients from every corner of the earth for palate-challenging dishes like cassolette of lobster and sea urchin with yu~u and Japanese pepper. Ori tiger's graceful, gutsy cuisine may tend toward the erudite, but it always goes down easy. Equally captivating is Clio's dining room, a mix of finery (gleaming crystal) and fabulousness (the leopard print rug). With great service and a superlative wine list. Clio is the truest kind of reward: not an experience you have often, but one worth waiting for. 370 COMMONWEALTH AVE., BOSTON, 617-536-7200. RESTAURANT, GREEK MEZÉ ESTIATORIO For a taste of Greece that goes beyond gyros and souvlaki, hike over to the Charlestown restaurant that brings new elegance to local Greek dining. Mezé's vertically stacked hariatiki, for example, creates a new form for the classic Greek salad with fresh feta, sweet peppers, and crunchy cucumber. The kukavia, a smoky saffronlomato-lobster broth, is a bounty of seafood topped with a croustade to sop up any remaining soup. And Mezé's namesakes—small dishes of tasty appetizers alongside incredibly fresh bread and hummus—are so hearty they're practically main dishes in themselves. 100 CITY SQUARE, CHARLESTOWN, 617-242-6393. RESTAURANT, IRISH MATT MURPHY'S PUB We're constantly amazed at the lack of authentic Irish cuisine in this most Irish of cities—and constantly grateful for the fare at this lirookline expat oasis. We're talking steaming fish and chips accompanied byspicy homemade ketchup and shepherd's pie with stewed lamb. Come early, since nightly jazz and rock bands and a contentious trivia night draw crowds.
14 HARVARDST., BROOKLINE. 617-232-0188.
BRUNCH JOHNNY'S LUNCHEONETTE Long a local f a v o r i t e , b r u n c h a t Johnny's i s w o r t h the w a i t on the weekends —especially w i t h kids i n tow. The b o i s t e r o u s a t m o s p h e r e , c h i l d - f r i e n d l y menu, a n d v i b r a n t r e t r o d e c o r w o u l d be w o r t h a s t o p even w i t h o u t the i n c r e d i b l e food. Our f a v o r i t e s : the o u t s t a n d i n g c r u n c h y French toast, g e n e r ously sized omelets, and J o h n n y 's p o r r i d g e , a creamy concoction topped w i t h d r i e d c r a n b e r r i e s . P r o m p t s e r v i c e — a n d , if you s t i l l have r o o m , the f r a p p e s — e n s u r e t h a t no one leaves u n s a t i s f i e d . 30 LANGLEY RD., NEWTON CENTRE, 617-527-3223. CLOTHING,CHILDREN'S PETIT PATAPON Petit Patapon clothes look g r e a t , feel even b e t t e r , and are b u i l t to last. From summery b a t i k s u n d r e s s e s f o r t o d d l e r s to cool, s p o r t y b e a c h w e a r f o r f i v e - y e a r - o l d s , P e t i t Pata pon 's c o l l e c t i o ns a r e j u s t the kind of f r i p p e r i e s a kid needs: playful, but not p r e t e n t i o u s . 25 CENTRAL ST.. WELLESLEY, 781-235-8909. CLOTHING, M E N ' S MR. S I D Some men say they hate to shop. They'd change t h e i r minds at Mr. Sid, w h e r e
an exceptional selection of fine menswearfrom around the
[continuedon page 213]
Clever, delicious, and incredibly f r o t h daily
noke O i s h i i a g r e a t r a w d e a l , P H O T O a R A P H S I C H A R L E S S A U T H I E R
RESTAURANT. ITALIAN TEATRO Beautiful people and authentic Italian food—a combination for the ages, and a constant at [conti/medon page 1f)2|
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INOEX, SEE PAGE 334.
1 4 8 . B O S T O N . AUGUST 2 0 0 4
'A-BEST BAKERY, Bread
Even ardent Atkins disciples love this bakery's crusty baguettes and m u l t i - g r a in loaves.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOSHUA OAI
bread &. butter baking co.
>»»»»» The Best ofBoston 2004
LOUIS BOSTON Whoever made the word "accessory" synonymous with secondliddle status never saw the way a strapless clutch can transform a dull getup into a .sharp ensemble. It's no small consideration, then, that Louis Boston stocks the most exquisite selection of top-ranking accessories in town. Here you'll find rare vintage 1940s purses, exotic Marni key chains, hip-slung Dries Van Noten leather belts—in short, everything you need to make first-place style second nature.
234 BERKELEY ST., BOSTON, 617-262-6100. ACCESSORIES, BABY
where moms in the know pad their kids' closets with such finery as Lilly Pulitzer polo shirts, miniature grosgrain-ribbon belts, and lobster-motif sweaters that bear the store's own label. And just past the ladybug rain boots and wide selection of French-label shoes, you'll find a selection of embroidered onesies, booties, and blankets. 69 CHARLES ST,
BOSTON, 617-523-9402. ART S U P P L I E S
der through wide aisles neatly packed with everything from standard paints, brushes, canvases, frames, journals, gifts, scrapbooks, and wrapping paper. Whether you're in the market for professional art supplies, a photo album, or rainy day children's games, the Art Store is the place to find your inner Degas.
401 PARK DR., BOSTON, 617-247-3322. BIKES
THE RED WAGON A favorite with Beacon Hill pram-pushers, the Red Wagon is
THE ART STORE From its creative workshops and tattooed employees to the epic collection of papers, every inch of the Art Store inspires creativity. The meticulously organized setting is the perfect place to lose track of time as you mean-
A A CYCLE The expert bicyclists who douT ble as the sales staff of ATA not only love to riile, they love to ride what they sell: a wide selection of bikes, accessories, and parts ranging from recreational hybrids to top-of-tlie line racing models. A family business, the full-service store will
*Best Dressed: Him
CLOTHING, M E N ' S CASUAL ALLSTON BEAT Alloton Beat's salesmen are as serious about denim as jewelers a r e about diamonds, eagerly schooling customers in the subtleties of cut, color, and defects (in this case intentional, and likely to cost extra) in its extensive inventory of c u l t - b r a n d jeans. That, plus unique r e t r o button-downs, T-shirts, and s n e a k e r s it's enough to make even the mast hardened hipster forgive the place f o r stocking so many Von Dutch trucker hats. 348 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-421-9555. CLOTHING, M E N ' S SOPHISTICATED SEAN The i n v e n t o ry a t this new outpost of the tiny, much-hyped Sean chain consists exclusively of items c r e a t e d by u p - a n d - c o m i n g Parisia n designer Emile L a f a u r i e , whose fans have d r a w n c o m p a r i s o n s to Paul Smith and a young Ralph Lauren. His line has also been likened to the Gap's, but that r e f e r e n c e p e r t a i n s mostly to the s u r p r i s i n g l y modest p r i c e s on Lafaurie's chic p a i n t e r ' s coats, v i b r a n t poplin s h i r t s , and s l i m - c u t suits, which a r e sold as separates to make f i n d i n g the r i g h t size e a s i e r — w h a t a concept! — and all come i n u n d e r S500. 154 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON. 617-399-3993. SHOES, M E N ' S LOUIS BOSTON Louis c a r r i e s a selection of p r a c t i c a l f o o t w e a r s u i t a b le f o r a l m o s t anything — p r o p p i n g on the c o r n e r of a mahogany desk, pump ing the clutch of a spanking new Maybach, or skippin g off to Ibiz a f a r a weekend of clubbing . Some af the b r a n d s , like Prada and Puma, you'll r e c o g n i z e; o t h e r s , like Kiton and Vass ( t h e y ' r e handmade in Budapest), you probably won't. Every style will t u r n heads as surely as a bespoke I t a l i a n s u i t o r comely companion. 234 BERKELEY ST.,
BOSTON, 6 1 7 - 2 6 2 - D 1 D 0 . B PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN WILDER
FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
BEST FURNITURE, Contemporary uontemporary
A sleekinternational collection +*J makes Montagethe pinnacle of interiorshops
PHOTOGRAPH BY K E L L E R A N D K E L L E R
Find yourinner Degas in the aisles of protractors, paints, papers, and pencils.
P H O T O G R A P H BY CHRISTOPHER CHURCHILL
the act stori
The r a r e combination of cult products * and personal attention is a thing of t r u e beauty.
the beauty mark
The ¡lest of Boston 2004
instant photo for you to share with friends. That level of service may be why musicians known for their eyewear—Kay Hanley of Letters to Geo, for instance, and Aaron I'errino of the Sheila Divine—are loyal customers. New glasses won't make you into a rock star, but the attention lavished on you here might make you feel like one. 12 ELIOT
ST., CAMBRIDGE, 617-354-3303; 59 CLARENDON ST., BOSTON, 617-542-9600.
everything from Oscar de la lienta candles and Tusk wallets to Lauren Merkin leather clutches and high-heeled flipflops. There's also a special section with presents for brides-to-be. The only catch is a welcome one: You'll likely walk away with a gift for yourself, too. BOCHARLES
ST., BOSTON, 617-619-9977.
there's a healthy selection of robes, pajamas, and bridal lingerie. And for more everyday underlhings, the well-edited inventory sports everything from lacy purple underwear sets and silky nightgowns to the perfect T-shirt bra—all as practical as they are feminine. 264 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-437-0700. MAKEUP
FLAT OF THE HlLLSearehing for the perfect gift can be a chore—unless you're at Flat of the Hill. This cute shop stocks only things that are in style (providing, of course, that they're also tasteful), so buyers can rest assured their money will be well spent. The place is filled with
LINGERIE STUDIO Drop into this lightfilled, low-key Newbury Street lingerie shop, and you'll find women sifting through the hangers with two hands, both arms full of merchandise. Tobe sure, it's difficult not to touch the smooth, fine cotton, and intricate lace from lines includingCosabella, Hanro, Arianne, Eberjey, Pjama, and Aubade. In addition to the standard undergarments.
THE BEAUTY MARK This sunny shop has hit the mark by assembling a rare collection of cult favorites (Molton Brown, Wink, T. Ledere, TINle). all in a rainbow of colors and shades. What's more, the outgoing staff helps guide you to goods that match your skin tone and type exactly, which is a thing of true beauty.
33 CHARLES ST., BOSTON, 617-720-1555.
NEWBURY COMICS When was the last time you saw a CI) for under $10? Newbury Comics regularly prices select new releases under 10 bucks and dozens more under $12. Add that to a terrific selection of music by local artists, regular in-store appearances by bands, and hard-to-find imports and singles, and it's easy to see why this is the music store of choice for area aficionados. The newly expanded Newbury Street flagship now has even more Space for DVDs, T-shirts, kitschy action figures, and (of course) comics.
332 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-236-4930.
LOONEY TUNES The reduced production costs of the digital age and the concurrent scouring of record-company vaults have given fledgling artists new opportunities and unearthed many a treasure. But they have also left the shelves of used-CD stores flooded with old Hammer CDs. Not the bins at Looney Tunes. What this store lacks in quantity it makes up for with a collection that could only have been assembled by cognoscenti. The prices are great, and the store holds onto just the right degree of funkiness—old vinyl, posters, and cassettes are everywhere— to make sure you'll find a gem.
1106 BOYLSTON ST., BOSTON, 617-247-2238.
WISH Call it Wish fulfillment: When the occasion calls for cocktail attire, this shop has the answers. Wish stocks Shoshanna
1 5 4 . B O S T O N . AUGUST 2 0 0 4 FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
do tune-ups or dole out maintenance advice just as happily as it will sell you
a new set of wheels. 1773 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., CAMBRIDGE, 617-354-0907.
The Best of Boston 2001 (SHOPPING)
BOOKS BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH Everything from the aroma of newly bound books down to the creaky wooden floor makes Brookline Uooksmith a cherished local institution. Its extensive selection ranges from bestsellers to children's books and even greeting cards and funky gifts. It has a friendly, approachable staff and hosts great author readings in its used-book basement and across the street at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. I t's a stomping ground for academies, aisle browsers, and researchers and (full—and proud—disclosure) a partner with this magazine's book club.
279 HARVARD ST., BROOKLINE, 617-566-6660.
ever-groovy libertarianism. it has underpinnings of discipline, education, and enviable creativity. Thai's the story behind the stories on the shelves of Barefoot Books, the internationally recognized publishing company and retailer, where you'll lind We At! Went on Safari and Thesaurus Rex. Good luck finding any book here that isn't smart, funny, and gorgeously illustrated. Barefoot Books targets kids' imaginations with texts that open their minds to the world—no tie-dye required. 1771 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., CAMBRIDGE, 617-349-1610. CLOTHING, CONSIGNMENT THE CLOSETYou'll need to work to unearth the gems at this tightly packed consignment store. But it's worth the effort. The Closet has racks of cashmere sweaters, leather jackets. Lilly Pulitzer pants, and Gucci blousons. along with an excellent selection of designer shoes from Chanel, I'rada, and Stuart Weitznian. That, plus the substantial men's section and well-organized collection . of quality handbags and belts, make the
Closet an effective nexus between the previous owners' closet and your own.
175 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-536-1919.
CLOTHING, VINTAGE OONA'S Given fashion's current obsession with the past, the vintage store is at the forefront of style. Oona's, just outside Harvard Square, has us swooning over vintage leather jackets, dresses from the 1960s, and unique jewelry and bags. With reasonable prices, a large men's selection, and an ample inventory, Oona's has the vintage pieces you need to create a limeless style all your own. 1210 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., CAMBRIDGE, 617-491 -2654.
BOOKS, CHILDREN'S BAREFOOT BOOKS Imagine, if you will, a philosophy built of peace, love, and understanding—but instead of obsolete,
EYE 0 OPTICAL It's always the question when buying glasses—stick to the triedand-true or dare for a new look? Kye Q not only has some of the trendiest new frames, they'll make it easier to take chances with a one-month, no-questionsasked exchange policy. To help you choose, the members of the sales staff will offer their opinions and lake an
*Best Dressed: Her
CLOTHING, W O M E N ' S CASUAL HOLIDAY How f i t t i n g t h a t t h e name of t h i s j e w e l - b o x boutique b r i n g s to mind something you a n t i c i p a t e all year. A t r i p to Holiday indeed o f f e r s exciting t r e a t s : r u f f l e d s k i r t s , s a t i n s k i r t s , and b u t t e r y knits f r o m top d e s i g n e rs such as Tracy Reese and Mint. Step inside and you feel like you're peeking i n t o a fashion e d i t o r ' s closet; the c a r e f u l ly culled selection always stays one step ahead of the style pack. 127 CHARLES ST., BOSTON. 617-973-9730. CLOTHING, W O M E N ' S SOPHISTICATED SERENELLA No one knows how to dress a woman w i t h more sophistication than the Italians. That's why this Newbury S t r e e t boutique, which stocks the best of Italy's labels f r o m Moschino to Blumarine, is the f i r s t stop for women who w a n t to w e a r t h e i r clothes w i t h style. The c o l o r f u l dresses, expertly t a i l o r e d suits, and o n e - o f - a - k i n d blouses a r e , in the t r u e I t a l i a n sense, investment pieces, and the g r a c e f u l staff knows j u s t how to select the p e r f e c t g a r m e n t to begin—or e n h a n c e - a wardrobe. 134 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-262-5566. SHOES, W O M E N ' S SAKS FIFTH AVENUE Finding the perfect sole mate can be tough, but the selection at Saks will keep you on sure footing. Like works of a r t displayed on pedestals, the range of couture styles makes this destination a regular stop among fashion addicts f o r delicate Jimmy Choos. tropical-hued Prada slings, and Tods flats . 900 BOYLSTON ST., BOSTON. 617-262-8500. B
PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN WILDER
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX. SEE PAGE 334.
A U G U S T 2 0 0 4 . B O S T O N . 153
The Best of Boston 2004
*Home Sweet Home
A C C E S S O R I E S, HOME GOOD From the moment you walk up t h e n a r r o w s t a i r w a y , you sense s o m e t h i n g uniqu e a b o u t this chic i n t e r i o r design boutique . The collect i o n is define d by r a r e vintage glass vases f r o m Denmark, r i c h Belgium l i n e n s , and cashmer e t h r o w s f r o m Scandinavia. Each piece feels h a n d picked w i t h d e l i b e r a t i o n , r a t h e r t h a n p a r t of a c l u t t e r e d c o n s o r t i u m of ideas. And l i t t l e s u r p r i s e s , like a linen dres s o r a l e a t h e r handbag , make each visit a Good reason to s p l u r g e . 8B CHARLES ST., BOSTON. 617-722-9200. BATH S U P P L I E S WATERWORKS Essentially o s h r i ne to all things b a t h - r e l a t e d . W a t e r w o r k s stocks handcut c r y s t al sink accessories, r e f r e s h i n g g r a p e f r u i t and g i n ger soaps, seductively quilted robes, and chrome faucet spouts so shiny you can see yourself in the r e f l e c t i o n . With everythin g f r o m c a s t - i r o n c l a w foot tubs to matte nickel t o i l e t - p a p e r holders, i t ' s l i t t l e wonder this temple of clean calls i t s tempting contents " j e w e l r y f o r the b a t h . " 103 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-267-2511; BOSTON DESIGN CENTER, ONE DESIGN CENTER PLACE, BOSTON, 617-951-2496. FURNITURE, ANTIQUE ROOM WITH A VIEUXThe b r i g h t e s t s t a r i n the constellation of Charles S t r e e t antique dealers, Room With A Vieux specializes in French pieces picked by owner Jeff Diamond on monthly pilgrimages to France. The pieces themselves, while wholly i n t e r national in style, are finely tuned to the demands of Boston buyers. 20 CHARLES ST., BOSTON, 617-973-6600. FURNITURE, CONTEMPORARY MONTAGE If couture decor is fashion for the home, then Montage is the Gucci of i n t e r i o r shops. S t o r e owners Chris and Liz [continued on page 224]
seersucker A-line dresses, Tibi strapless threads, llirty Rebecca Taylor frocks, and Milly minis, plus an exquisite selection of accessories, including clutches, jewels, and earrings. Which means your outfit can be complete from head to loe by the time you walk out of the store.
49 CHARLES ST., BOSTON, 617-227-4441.
length, and information on local races, and you have everything you need to get
m o v i n g . 671 BOYLSTON ST., BOSTON, 617267-4774; 1654 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., CAMBRIDGE, 617-354-4161; 1638 BEACON ST., BROOKUNE, 617-735-9373; 255 WASHINGTON ST., WELLESLEY, 7B1 -237-0771. SKIS
MARATHON SPORTS From the crowds who cheer on marathoners to the citydwellers who do bridge loops along the Charles, Boston is a runner's city. And no place helps locals log the miles like Marathon Sports. Marathon has the largest selection of shoes from Adidas, New Balance, and Nike, and an all-star staff that will pick out just the pair you need. Throw in a great selection of sports bras, wickingshirts, shorts in any
BOB SMITH'S WILDERNESS HOUSE For many Bostonians, summer is a savored moment wedged between the brutal bookends of the New England winter. For skiers, it's an Interruption. They're already dreaming of the first snowstorm. Bob Smith's Wilderness House caters to these people—novices and experts alike—because the staff feels their pain. Völkl, Salomon, Rossignol: The employees here know them all and can discuss \ continued on page 222\
Best Books, Children's: BAREFOOT BOOKS. Where imagination and personal expression are the real story, PHOTOGRAPH BY JöRG METER
FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
A U G U S T 2 0 0 4 . B O S T O N . 157
The Best of Boston 2004 (SHOPPlNl M
CAR SERVICE, B U S I N E S S COMMONWEALTH WORLDWIDE CHAUFFEUREDTRANSPORTATION Three r i n g s . That's the l o n g e s t you'll w a i t f o r an a n s w e r w h e n you call Commonwealth f o r a c a r . I t may seem like a small t h i n g , but i t ' s a p r o m i s e t h a t ' s symbolic of this company's u n p a r a l l e l e d service, w h i c h extends to i t s w e l l - d r e s s e d , a t t e n t i v e , and polite d r i v e r s as well as i t s s h o w r o o m - n e w Lincoln Town Cars and o t h e r I m m a c u l a t e vehicles. 250 EVERETT ST., BRIGHTON, 617-787-5575. COURIER MARATHON MESSENGER F o r g e t t a x i s . M a r a t h o n ' s bike m e s s e n g e r s c r o s s t h i s city f a s t e s t . Z i p p i n g t h r o u g h t h e s t r e e t s i n a b l u r of c o l o r f u l t a t t o o s , t h e s e w h e e l e r s w e a v e t h r o u g h the metropolis in s t e a l t h mode. I n f a c t , the s e r v i c e is so s e a m l e s s , some say t h e s e m e s s e n g e r s a r e j u s t an u r b a n l e g e n d . Next t i m e a package m a t e r i a l i z e s in f r o n t of you a t an a p p a r e n t l y i m p o s s i ble speed, y o u ' l l know o t h e r w i s e . 101 TREMONT ST., BOSTON, 617-747-3700. POWER BREAKFAST CAFÉ F L E U R I B e f o r e i t reopened a f t e r renovations and s t a r t e d serving only d i n ner, Aujourd'hui at the Four Seasons had a seemingly unshakable hold on the title of best power breakfast. Now that honor has been decisively usurped by Café Fleuri — a sunny, cushy space at the Langham Hotel where every weekday morning the elite now meet to eat. Financiers, lawyers, politicos, and every bigwig in between file in to carve up the universe while they're c a r v i n g up t h e i r f r u i t - c o v e r e d w a f f l e s and Maine l o b s t e r and sof t scramble d eggs. B r e a k f a s t of champions, indeed. 25D FRANKLIN ST., BOSTON, 617-451-1900. POWER LUNCH NO. 9 PARK B a r b a r a Lynch's famous p r u n e - s t u f f e d gnocchi w i t h seared foie gras is generally evening f a r e , but the city's power corps increasingly f i n d s i t s way to her door f o r l u n c h . S t a t e House politicians and lobbyists led the way, and others have followed, t r a c i n g the scent of
*A11 that Glitters
JEWELRY, C L A S S I C 5HREVE, CRUMP t. LOW Not f o r nothing has this Boston i n s t i t u t i o n been a favorit e among other Boston i n s t i t u t i o n s (Isabella S t e w a r t G a r d n e r and Ted Williams, f o r s t a r t e r s ) since i t opened i n 17SS. The s t o r e i s packed w i t h sapphire r i n g s and ruby and diamond necklaces t h a t shine w i t h all the quiet w a t t a g e of a chandelier. Want to cut back on the bling? Go f o r any of the elegant diamond-encrusted pearl p e n d a n t s heirlooms in the making, every last one. 330 BOYLSTON ST., BOSTON. 617-267-9100. JEWELRY, DESIGNER LUX BOND & GREEN When your getup calls f o r jewels that are more red carpet than r e d - t a g sale, Lux Bond & Green has the fix. Anthony Nak's breathtakingly beautiful, delicate c h a n d e l i e r e a r r i n g s , necklaces, and b r a c e l e t s a r e the s t a r s here , but the store's buyers a r e c o n s t a n t ly scouting f o r new d e s i g n e r s yet to a p p e a r in fashion magazines. M o d e r n gemstone necklaces and o t h e r pieces by David Yurman and Marco Bicego round out the collection. 416 BOYLSTON ST., BOSTON, 617-266-4747. B
Intricate gems by the likes of Anthony flak fill the cases at Lux Bond & Green, PHOTOGRAPH BY VITO ALUIA
deals in the making—and No. 9's totally irresistible [continued on page 226]
158. BOSTON. AUGUST 2 0 0 4
FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
Ultra-speedy anc polite service mean always seamless delivery. : PHOTOGRAPH BY M A R K OSTOW
-• f 7 ?
^^ I From sunlit blondes tolustrous reds, Plourde's colors are spot on.
The Best of Boston 2004 <<<««««
BAKERY COTTAGE STREET BAKERY This tiny bakery makes breads, sandwiches, and European-style pastries w o r t h searching out—plus unbelievable muffins , pies, and w e d ding cakes. But what puts it over the top is i t s inelegant-sounding " d i r t bomb," a dense, indulgent breakfast pastry dusted w i t h cinnamon and sugar. I t ' s a sweet way to j u m p - s t a r t any Cape Cod morning. 5 COTTAGE ST., ORLEANS, 508-255-2B21. BEACH TRURO BEACH This gorgeously u n t a r n i s h e d w o r l d of s w e e p i n g dunes and f r e s h A t l a n t i c a i r is about as idyllic as n a t u r e g e t s . That may seem to be t r u e of many Cape s h o r e l i n e s , but t h i s one s t a n d s out f r o m o t h e r s f o r i t s s p e c t a c u l a r and e n d less s t r e t c h e s of p e r f e c t l y u n d i s t u r b e d w h i t e s a n d . With nary a touch of human a r c h i t e c t u r e f o r miles, this slip of coast also p r o v i d e s a view of the s u n r i s e t h a t a p p r o a c h e s the sublime. RTE. 6, TRURO, 50B-4B7-6903. [continuedon page 236]
DARYL CHRISTOPHER SALON AND DAY SPA Every once in a while, a spa comes along that hits an enviable note combining flawless service, a soothing environment, and extraordinary—and forwardthinking—treatments. That's the /.one in which Daryl Christopher finds itself right now, thanks to a perfectionist staff whose pedicures are legendary, whose massages are ethereal, and whose body polishes are
rejuvenation Incarnate, Above the frenzy
of the downstairs salon, the peaceful spa feels like it's nowhere near the city. For that matter, with organic treatments like an aromatherapy full-body wrap, it feels like it's nowhere near earth.
37 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-424-0250.
DAY SPA, SPECIAL OCCASION G SPA Is there anything worse than suffering through another boring bridal or baby shower? Spare yourself by throwing a spa party instead. C Spa's private lounge is perfect for showers, birthday parties, and girl-power get-togethers. The white couches make a stylish setting for muscle-soothing massages and skinbrightening facials. Bring in a party of six or more for two treatments apiece, and you'll get exclusive use of the lounge and the swift work of the well-trained staff. Because if you have to shower your friends with gifts, you might as well get something for yourself, too. 35 NEWBURY
ST., BOSTON. 617-267-4772. DRY CLEANER
M a c l n t y r e a n d R o b e r t A n d e r s o n . PHOTOGRAPH BY MIKE PERSsnN
ECOLUXE Name the stain (ketchup, dirt, car oil—we tried it all); F.coltixe can get it out. Quickly, flawlessly, without hurting a liber of the fabric, and without using medically and environmentally harmful cleaning products. With convenient home delivery and pickup service, plus tailoring and alterations, Ucoluxe is not only the next wave in clothing care; it's the ultimate in clean living. ONE HARVARD ST., BROOKUNE. 617-566-4407; ONE BEACON ST., BOSTON, 617-227-676(1; 195 D D E ST., BOSTON, 617-9B9-0003; 400 U LY BROOKLINE AVE., BOSTON, 617-566-2855.
AUGUST 2004.BOSTON. 161
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
The Best of Boston 2004
(SERVICE EYEBROW SHAPING JULIE MICHAUD, MICHAUD COSMEDIX Makeup artist Julie Michaud's devotees swear she can do more wonders for the face than all the Botox injections in the world. I ler emphasis: clean, graceful lines and a sense of subtle shape and natural coloring that can transform even the least defined brows into aesthetic ares of perfection. 297 NEWBURY
ST., SUITE 21, BOSTON, 617-262-1607. FACIAL
* Best of the Islands
CLAM SHACK, M A R T H A ' S VINEYARD GIORDANO'S RESTAURANT Oefore you board the f e r r y in Oak Bluffs, make time f o r one more taste of island living at its greasy, salty, satisfying best: a cardboard box full of Giordano's f r i e d clams. Housed in a n o - f r i l l s walk-u p stand (there are a couple of picnic tables outside) j u s t across from the Flying Horses carousel, Giordano's f r i e s the clams in a light batter until they're crispy and serves them w i t h fresh t a r t a r sauce and lemon wedges. You could o r d e r a side of crunchy, boardwalk-style f r i e s , but leave room instead to sample the superlative f r i e d oysters or a lobster roll. 107-109 CIRCUIT AVE., OAK BLUFFS, 508-693-0184. CLOTHING, W O M E N ' S , M A R T H A ' S VINEYARD NELL So many Vineyard boutiques are packed to the r a f t e r s with preppy island w e a r (pink and green polos, Palm B e a c h - p r i n t sundresses galore), [continued on page 2\3]
LAVINIA BORCAU No pore goes uncleared, no blemish unbanished, no wrinkle uneased in the capable (nay, magic) hands of l.avinia Borcau. Her serene European skin-care salon is a temple to all things epidermal, and her meticulous facials have become the stuff of legend. Here, science and beauty unite as technology (epidermabration and glycolic acid) meets old-world technique (from deep pore cleansing to serious moisturizing), making for skin as radiant as it is ravishing. 29 HARVARD ST.,
BROOKUNE, 617-734-5523. FLORIST
ILEX DESIGNS There are floral bouquets, and then there is floral art. Ilex is in the latter category, orchestrating fields full of fresh blooms—luminescent calla lilies with orchids and fluffy peonies with fnllpetalcd, butter-hued French tulips. liven the simplest of arrangements are minimalist treasures, such as one with mango-hued garden roses, glossy green anthuriuni, and pale apricot hypericum berries. The staff, talented as it is, couldn't be more helpful or down to earth. When you're handed your arrangement, you won't know whether to put it on the dining room lable or in an exhibit case.
73 BERKELEY ST., BOSTON, 617-422-0300. GYM
Best Brunch, Nantucket: BLACK-EYEO SUSAN'S. Fine dining meets fine diner—and even finer picante eggs. PHOTOQRAPH BY MIKE PERSSON
FITCORP Let's be clear: Gyms are not health clubs. They are not about watercooler anlies and needless amenities; they are about sweating. Period. And with its slew of state-of-the-art equipment (strength-training machines, free weights, treadmills, Stairmastcrs, bikes, and ellipticals), that's what l-'itcorp's Prudential Center flagship is about. There's also a diverse mix of fitness classes and programs, and a full-time fitness training
FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
1B2. BOSTON. AUGUST 2 0 0 4
• BEST FLORIST
•iU¡l¿Lf¿^*¡lM¿£lÍí|j^lÜlllij¿m PHOTOGRAPH BY K E L L E R A N D KELLER
No matterhowyou measureit, Jordan Tsavalakoglou has expert tailoring all sewn up.
PHUIUCiKAPH BY L E A H FASTEN
Jordan the tailor
• BEST TAILOR
*The Problem Solvers
ART REPAIR TREFLER t, SONS The 20-plus a r t i s t s employed by this l o w - p r o f i l e , 8 3 - y e a r old, f a m i l y - o w n e d company r e p a i r some 2 0 , 0 0 0 c r a c k e d , s h a t t e r e d , faded, w o r n , or b u r n e d objets d ' a r t per year f o r clients f r o m a r o u n d the w o r l d . The t a l e n t e d g r o u p can fix or r e s t o r e j u s t about a n y t h i n g , f r o m f u r n i t u r e and p a i n t i n g s , f r a m e s and glass, to ivory, jade, metals, and m a r ble. No job i s too challenging, no r e p a i r too t r i v i a l . And when your f a v o r i t e piece is ready, it will shine as b r i l liantl y as w h e n it was c r e a t e d . 29TOWER R0.. NEWTON, El 7-965-338B. SHOE REPAIR ARES SHOE REPAIR Ares has been r e s o l i n g , r e h e e l i n g , and r e p o l i s h i n g Boston' s f i n e s t l e a t h e r shoes f o r more t h a n 70 year s and will take extra special c a r e of yours. The e x p e r t cobblers in the cozy basement s t o r e f r o n t a r e a s e r i o u s but likeable bunch who each have years of t r a i n i n g behind t h e i r knowledge of the c r a f t . That e x p e r t i s e means they can resize, s t r e t c h out, clean up, or d e - s c u f f j u s t about a n y t h i ng you b r i n g in —fast, and at a reasonable price. B4 CHARLES ST., BOSTON, 617-720-1583. TAILOR J O R D A N T H E T A I L O R You can shop off the r a c k , but t h a t doesn't n e c e s s a r i l y mean your clothe s w i l l f i t off the rack. J o r d a n Tsavalakoglou can remedy t h a t s i t u a t i o n . Tsavalakoglou sizes you up in a glance, t a k i n g in p r o p o r t i o n s like a d o c t o r assessing a p a t i e n t d u r i n g t r i a g e . Then he probes you w i t h a b a r r a g e of meticulous questions about how you'd like the clothes to f i t before g e t t i n g to w o r k c u t t i n g and s e w i n g to precisely match your m e a s u r e m e n t s. Added bonus; The p r i c e s a r e j u s t as a t t r a c t i v e as the t a i l o r i n g will be. 133 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON. 617-536-2929 B HAIR COLORIST
The Best of Boston 2004 (SERVICE)
staff. All of that should be motivation enough for anyone. PRUDENTIAL CENTER,
BOO BOYLSTON ST., BOSTON, 617-262-2050.
ROGER PLOURDE, JAMES JOSEPH SALON Roger I'lourde gives humanity what nature didn't, from born-with-it blond highlights to look-at-me strawberry luster. Sure, he's up on the latest color trends and can certainly let fly if you want that. But foremost. I'lourde works to give you exactly what you ask for and does so with that rarest of quail ties: good taste. And. as the ultimate kicker to your fresh color, he happens to also be a superb stylist. 30 NEWBURY
ST., BOSTON, 617-266-7222.
HAIR COLORIST, CORRECTIVE LAUREL ELLIOT, VIDAL SASSOON SALON Hair color is like a fine w i n e richly layered and smooth. But unlike a delicious pinot noir. it doesn't get better with time (especially when it turns a shade too brassy, gray, or ashy). Laurel Elliot can take color that has soured and restore it to a resplendent radiance in under a couple of hours. Be warned that reserving a spot with her isn't easy. You may have to wait in line, but you'll do it with eager anticipation. 14 N W U Y ST., E BR
BOSTON, 617-536-5496. H A I R SALON
UMI Rarely is a salon so valued its devotees whisper its name like a password.
FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
A U G U S T 2 0 0 4 . B O S T O N . 165
Ttu Best of Boston 2001 (SER] ICE)
That's the case with Umi, and no wonder. Owner Jeffrey Dauksevich approaches the craft of the coiffure with a time-tested reverence for llawless precision and daring creativity. There's no air-kissing or fluffing up of egos here— just a seriously talented set of stylists who are shear experts at everything from five-point cuts to soothing scalp treatments. Every part of the experience delights, right down to the mini bottles of Italian soda served to thirsty clients.
75 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON, 617-247-0770. HAIRCUT, M E N ' S
best: cutting hair. And cut hair Xavier does, with an infallible eye, a practiced wrist, and an obvious love for his craft. He's an expert at deciphering the eonfused notions men sometimes offer up when asked what they want and transforming them into the most modern of styles without being condescending. Even better, while he snips, he entertains with tales gleaned from .30 years on Newbury.
105 NEWBURY ST., BOSTON. 617-536-1290.
*Best of the North
BEACH CRANE BEACH Seven miles of w h i t e sand edged w i t h rolling dunes make this o u r f a v o r i t e spot to plop down a beach chair, catch some rays, and read a trashy romance novel—all thanks to a 1945 bequest from the estate of Chicago bazillionaire Richard Crane of plumbing and f i r e hydrant fame. Parking fees a r e steep (S15 to $20), but a S40 yearly membership gets you a d i s count and helps the Trustees of Reservations w i t h an aggressive wildlife management p r o g r a m . I t also helps keep the shore f r e e of debri s and the bath houses clean. CRANE BEACH, ARGILLARD., IPSWICH. 970-356-4354. BIKE PATH LYNN WOODS Scenic and easy to f i n d , Lynn Woods covers 2,200 a c r e s w i t h a maze of s i n g l e - t r a c k and f i r e roads f o r bicyclists —all easy to i n t e r m e d i a t e — p l u s advanced t r a i l s such as Steel Tower, w h i c h has g r e a t views of Boston's skyline and the vast A t l a n t i c . For new v i s i t o r s , the park has e a s y - t o - r e a d g r i d - c o o r d i n a t e d t r a i l m a r k i n g s that match the map, making it a breeze to bike o f f - r o a d w i t h o u t f e a r of g e t t i n g t o s t . 106 PENNYBROOK RO.. LYNN. 7B1-477-7 123. BRUNCH LYCEUM BAR & GRIL L Smack dab in the middle of h i s t o r y - d r e n c h e d Salem, you'll find Lyceum Bar i . Grill—famous not only for a contemporary lunch and dinne r menu that mixes global cuisines, but as the very spot f r o m w h i c h Alexander Graham Bell made his f i r s t long-distance phone call. I f that's not enough to lur e you in, the Sunday brunch menu aught to be—for delicate l o b s t e r - f i l l e d crepes served w i t h leeks and s u n - d r i e d tomato c r e a m , maplec u r e d ham and cheese sandwiches w i t h onion marmalade, and classic
FRANK XAVIER, L'ELEGANCE ART ET COIFFURE He had it all—his own salon on Newbury Street, even his own line of hair-care products (which are still on offer here)—and gave it up so he could spend more time doing what he loves
HAIRCUT. WOMEN'S DIRK DIEGEL, VIDAL SASSOON It takes time for a hairstylist to earn your t r u s t time that is measured in inch-long increments. DirkDiegel instantly inspires confidence with his careful, studied, and razor-sharp cutting skills. Trained at Vidal Sassoon in Germany (which explains [continued on page 229]
I Thr'inidtit" nus AnilmilB »sy new llfn to ypar»-o1d leather, PHOIOBRACM UT UANA SMITH
eggs Benedict. 43 CHURCH ST., SALEM, 978-745-7665. [continued on page2l6]
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX. SEE PAGE 334.
PHOTOGRAPH BY C A M I
* P E T CARE, North
I Why should all the luxurious spas only be for humans?
Best of Boston 2004
OAK BAR There could be a raging nor'easter outside, but inside this legend in the Fairmont Copley Plaza, it's always 70 degrees, with the sun setting over the Indian Ocean and the whack of a distant cricket wicket audible over the veldt. Every detail here speaks civilization— from the golden elephant heads holding up the bar rail to the crisp service of the gold-vested bartenders. The generous martinis, on the other hand, whisper pure decadence. 138 ST. JAMES AVE.,
BOSTON, 617-267-5300. BAR, LOUNGE LUCKY'S LOUNGE I.ueky's easy-to-miss s u b t e r r a n e a n location in the Fort Point
area and its lack of signage do little to thin the crowds that pack the retro hangout, looking to swill cocktails and sway to live music on weekend nights. But unlike the college kids and middle managers on the make who populate many other Boston hot spots, the artists, young digerati, and stylish singles mingling under the signature red lighting here make for a scene you wont mind having to squeeze into. 355 CONGRESS
ST. SOUTH BOSTON, 617-357-5B25. BAR,SPORTS
their passions are readily apparent on the slew of television sets aimed at every nook and corner. If you don't have a ticket for a home game, this is the closest you can get to Fenway (literally—the ballpark is across the street). Little wonder it's also become a regular stop for visiting players. This loyalist stronghold wears its lack of pretense on a Bed Sox sleeve.
1306 BOYLSTON ST., BOSTON, 617-437-1644. BARTENDER
THE BASEBALL TAVERN A reverential silence descends on this spartan tap room whenever the Sox play. The patrons and bartenders alike are true fans, and
SHAWN AHERN, UNION BAR AND GRILLE Quick with the drink recommendation and the flourished bottle,.Shawn Ahem is a professional in a trade too full of aspirant talk-show hosts. He pours a finely tuned martini and is brisk and
1 6 8 . B O S T O N .A U G U S T 2 0 0 4
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX. SEE PAGE 334.
flat top johnny's
I ^ The notably cool * but attitude-free place to rack 'em up.
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHARLES 0
*BEST , POOLHALL
*It's a Date
BAR,PICKUP SILVERTONE BAR & GRILL Being single has i t s perks; getting hit on in a sweaty bar on a Friday night is not necessarily one of them. But before you resign yourself to that, seek out the friendly bunch that g a t h e r s at Silvertone. The dimly lit, mellow b a r is a haven f o r anti-picku p a r t i s t s : The subdued vibe encourages relaxed chatter, the greasy b u r g e r s erase any air of pretentiousness, and the indie rock tunes fend off rowdy f r a t boys and drunken pub c r a w l e r s . 69 BROMFIELD ST., BOSTON, 617-338-7BB7. RESTAURANT, FIRST DATE CHEZ HENRI Some restaurants j u s t make the people dining in them seem more attractive. That's precisely the case at Chez H e n r i , the French-meets-Cuban hybrid just outside Harvard Square. Within these colorful walls, the Left Bank café feel meshes perfectly w i t h chef Paul O'Connell's luscious food (the steak f r i t e s w i t h guava barbecue sauce and the Cuban sandwich are outstanding). I t all adds up to a r a r e balance of coolness and unpretentiousness—two of the best qualities in both a r e s t a u r a n t and a blossoming relationship. ONE SHEPARD ST., CAMBRIDGE, 617-354-B980. B BIKE PATH
The Best of Boston 20011 LEISURE)
responsive to eye contact, yet his friendliness never turns obtrusive. And unlike many barmen of fashion, he's utterly free of snootiness, so even the most fatuous of requests ("I'll take a chardonnay and a glass of ice") is met with elegant service, graciously delivered. 1357
WASHINGTON ST., BOSTON, 617-423-0555.
THE MINUTEMAN COMMUTER BIKEWAY In a lime of ever-increasing gas prices— and waistlines—the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway is a perfect alternative commute or exercise route. The U-mile path begins at the Alewife Bed Line station and runs all the way through to Bedford, with plenty of places to jump on. Families and individuals alike can bike, run, walk, Rollerblade, and, in winter, eross-counlry ski along the trail, which is broad enough to accommodate them all—no matter how ample their widths.
ALEWIFET STATION, CAMBR1DGE.T0 LOOMIS STREET AT RAILROAD AVENUE IN BEDFORD. B O W L I N G ALLEY
LANES & GAMES Bowling is enjoying an indubitable renaissance as of late, with funky alleys attracting a quasi-hipster bar crowd. But as much as we enjoy our fancy drinks, bowling is at heart a sport of beer in plastic cups and no-glani atmosphere. Lanes & Games in Cambridge has never had an identity crisis about what it is: a legitimately retro bowling alley (note the circa-1974 interior) with 54 lanes of candlepin and tenpin, a pro shop, and lots of leagues. From the "Grip it and Hip It" stickers to the bowling bag-sized lockers in the restrooms, this is the real deal. 195 CONC0RDTPKE. (RTE. 2
EAST), CAMBRIDGE, 617-876-5533. CLUB, DANCE
AVALON Even after all the new additions to the roster of Lansdowne Street clubs, Avalon remains the life of the dance party. It's consistently packed, spotlights an endless supply of internationally renowned DJs, and pours some of the city's most potent cocktails. Things heat up around midnight when some 2,000 elubgoers, ranging from the technohungry to the daytime professional, hit the dance floor. The incomparable sound system and light show will pound your senses, whether you're there for a wildly
FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
AUGUST 2004.BOSTON. 1 7 1
The Best of Boston 2004
themed Saturday night, Sunday gay night, or the VIP lounge. 15 LANSDOWNE
ST., BOSTON, 617-262-2424.
* Weddings Unveiled
ACCESSORIES, BRIDAL THE ALTERED BRIDE Looking f o r i r i d e s c e n t i v o r y gloves? They're here. Need a p e a r l - e n c r u s t e d purse to match? Bingo. Women of all ages and income b r a c k e t s f i n d themselves completely taken w i t h the p e r s o n a l , k n o w l e d g e a b le s e r v i ce of this e l e g a n t Back Bay b r i d a l b o u t i q u e and e c s t a t i c over the t r i m m i n g s f o r s a l e c u s t o m - m a d e veils and t a s t e f u l t i a r a s , d e l i c a t e s a t i n shoes, and lace and mink g a r t e r s . 376 BOYLSTON ST, BOSTON, 617-B59-8289. B R I D A L REGISTRY B L I S S HOME We all know the s t a n d a r d china and s i l v e r r e g i s t r i e s b a c k w a r d s and f o r w a r d s , but at Bliss Home, n e w l y w e d s l e a r n to expect the stylishly unexpected . This i s w h e r e they f i n d not only exquisite S p a n i s h h a n d c r a f t e d r u g s and French c r y s t a l Champagne g l a s s e s , but a v a n t - g a r d e c u r v i l i n e a r bookcases and n a t u r a l h o r n pate s p r e a d e r s . Bliss c o n s u l t a n t s can guide you t h r o u g h the r e g i s t r a t i o n p r o c e s s even if y o u ' r e a f l a t - , s e r v e - , b a r - , d i n n e r - , o r s t e m w a r e novice. And if you t h i n k it all looks good here , j u s t w a i t ' t i l you see i t in your house. 121 NEWBURY ST., B O S T O N , 617-421-5544. [continued on page 262]
CLUB, DANCE, GAY BUZZ You could go to Buz/, just for the bartenders—they're pure eye candy, completely unpretentious (nice, even), and they pour a stiff drink. Or, you could go for the DJs. who spin a hip-pulsing blend of pop, dance, and techno. You could even go for the shower of glitter, or the scores of cute boys on the prowl, donning muscle shirts and designer jeans. But we say go for all of the above on Saturday's gay night, when this Theater District hideaway becomes a two-story playground for dancers, gawkers, loungers, and anyone else looking for a fun night
o u t . 67 STUART ST., BOSTON, 617-267-8969.
CLUB, LIVE MUSIC, LARGE AVALON BALLROOM In Boston, the "mists of Avalon" refer not to the foggy shores hiding King Arthur's nasi resting place, but the dry ice curling around the feet of the club's performers. Whether your taste is for Aimee Mann or Franz Ferdinand, the light show and acoustics in this cavernous ballroom are fantásticas is its size, which is midway between nosebleed big and sell-out small.
15 LANSDOWNE ST., BOSTON, 617-22B-6000.
CLUB, LIVE MUSIC, SMALL THE PARADISE ROCK CLUB You wouldn't usually think of a rock club as the place for poetry. But the Paradise's regular habit of mixing literary readings with hard-rocking indie bands adds a welcome bit of boozy erudition to the local rock scene (not to mention one of the best singles scenes for literate twentyand thirtysomethings). Not everything at this long-standing rock club is so nambypamby, of course: The spacious back room where U2 once graced the stage still shakes with the bass and drips with the sweat of rock bands on the verge of hitting the big time. 967-969 COMMONW A T AVE., BOSTON, 617-562-8800. E LH
GEORGE WRIGHT GOLF COURSE Most municipal courses have recovered nicely
jiLTng Horsturinini.1 hlack and white image» capture the poignancy, elegance, and humor of the Big Day.
from the dastardly winter of 2002—
particularly Franklin Park, which is in great shape this [continued on page 251 ]
FOR THE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX. SEE PAGE 334.
1 7 2 . B O S T O N . AUGUST 2 0 0 4
Modern-day Adonises and their adoring haggerati pack the floor.
PHOTOGRAPH BV » D I E DAYTON
BEST COCKTAIL Classic Martini uassiciviartim
The drink that embodies—th •nn may not necessarily instill—true clari
KWi- ' M»
The Best ofBoston 2004 (LEISURE)
COCKTAIL CLASSIC M A R T I N I , OAK BAR A good m a r t i n i is like a s h o w g i r l ' s legs: smooth, lightly dressed, and possessing an agreeable kick. The Oak Bar's "Classic M a r t i n i " is all this, poured with reverence and aplomb. A personal carafe and ice bucket houses a v i b r a nt dose of Tanqueray No. TEN c u t w i t h Noilly Prat French vermout h and a dash of b i t t e r s , while t h r e e Spanish olives impaled on a swizzle stick keep the mix f r o m floatin g too high into the ether. FAIRMONT COPLEY PLAZA, 13B ST. JAMES AVE., BOSTON. 617-267-5300. WINE LIST EXCELSIOR Excelsior's wine director, Eric Buxton, is fortunate to serve a clientele ¡hat's worldly when it comes to wine. But that only adds to his challenge: finding wines special enough to continually impress them. Mission accomplished. Excelsior's famed glass wine t o w e r is packed with 7,000 bottles, fueling a list of nearly 600 wines f r o m all over the planet. Look f o r Excelsior's h a r d - t o - f i n d o f f e r i n g s , such as the fabulous 2 0 0 1 Rhönes Buxton has been giddily collecting. 272 BOYLSTON ST, BOSTON, 617-426-7878. W I N E LIST, AFFORDABLE LEGALSEA FOODS Even though wine d i r e c t o r David Alphonse has the buying power of a r e s t a u r a n t chain behind him, he could easily be a dan't-rock the-boat kind of wine buyer. Instead , he uses Legal's formidable capital to leverage wine purchases smaller r e s t a u r a n t s could only dream of—and to pass the bargains on to us. That's why we can sip h a r d - t o - f i n d wines by the flight o r a staggering 100 labels by the h a l f - b o t t l e . Most impressive is the fact that of the nearly 700 bottles, which range f r o m S14 to S600, almost half are under S50 Bravo. 26 PARK PLAZA. BOSTON. 617-426-4444. B A Southie band that proves punk rock at its purest is »till an extreme sport, PHOTOGRAPH BYMARKOSTOW ACTRESS ANDREA MARTIN Sometimes a w o n d e r f u l a c t r e s s swoops i n t o t o w n like a comet, blazing a t r a i l t h r o u g h the competition. That's the mighty t r a j e c t o r y of Andrea M a r t i n , who t h r e e years ago p o r t r a y e d a hilariously m a n i c - t o - t h e - m a x baby boomer in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of Setty's Summer [continuedon page 272] ACTOR VINCENT E.SIDERS I n Our Lady of IS 1st Street, S i d e r s played a s m o o t h - t a l k i n g DJ looking f o r God a l i t t l e too flamboyantly; in Jesus Hopped the A Train, he was a study of sly h i s t r i o n i c s as a condemned s e r i a l killer t u r n e d b o r n - a g a i n C h r i s t i a n . S i d e r s specialize s in a hypnoti c game of peekaboo: He's a t his best playing s e l f c o n s c i o u s p e r f o r m e r s — g r a s p e r s a f t e r t r a n s c e n d e n c e w h o c a n ' t help but emit w h i f f s of the bunco a r t i s t .
FORTHE BEST OF BOSTON INDEX, SEE PAGE 334.
AUGUST 2 0 0 4 . B O S T O N . 175