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  • Food & Drink

    Alden & Harlow
    Photo Credit: Gretchen Devine

    New Restaurant

    Alden & Harlow

    After years as a mercenary chef, Michael Scelfo finally added “owner” to his title, and his overdue solo debut is a smash. Alden’s array of shareable plates leans heavily on bold flavors, especially smoke, and achieves stunning effects even with (gasp!) vegetables: Few chefs could make charred broccoli on winter-squash hummus feel like a revelation. A cozy redo of Harvard Square’s old Casablanca space and a first-rate beverage program nudge the year’s freshest debut ahead of a very competitive field.

    40 Brattle St., Cambridge (617-864-2100) aldenharlow.com
  • Bars & Clubs

    Cocktails and Wine on Tap
    photo credit: Gretchen Devine

    Trend

    Cocktails and Wine on Tap

    Here’s a bar trend we’ll toast to: draft lines devoted to cocktails and wine. Hip newcomers like Alden & Harlow, Fairsted Kitchen and Warehouse Bar and Grille made room for them straight out of the gate, and Fort Point-based company Richer Pour, a purveyor of wine-on-tap technology, is helping established spots like Stella and Sonsie ride the wave. Is the allure from more affordable pours or the promise of deeper or fresher flavor? Who cares—just go with the flow.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Elizabeth Alexander
    Photo credit: Jeffrey Engel

    Artist

    Elizabeth Alexander

    Creating lush yet delicate sculptures, installations and collages from found objects and meticulously cut paper, Elizabeth Alexander has shown her work everywhere from the Gardner Museum to France’s Pont-Aven Contemporary Gallery to South Korea’s Gallery Al. But we were particularly taken by the MassArt alum’s recent shows at Boston Sculptors Gallery and Newton’s New Art Center, featuring wonders made from deconstructed wallpaper and hand-cut porcelain chinaware befitting a mad hatter’s tea party.

  • Sports

    Meb Keflezighi
    Photo credit: FayFoto

    Male Athlete

    Meb Keflezighi

    Could there have been a better year for the Boston Marathon winner to hail from America? Keflezighi, who was born in Eritrea and became a U.S. citizen in 1998, has suffered injuries that sometimes looked career-ending, leading Nike to drop his sponsorship in 2011. Bet they’re sorry now! “I’ve been thinking about the Boston bombing for 365 days,” Keflezighi said after the race, adding that the writing on the street and the wildly cheering crowds helped provide that extra bit of motivation to get him to 2:08:37, his personal best. In a statement that was both earnest and entirely devoid of ego, Keflezighi summed it all up when he said: “Boston deserved this.”

  • People & Places

    Tupac at the Celtics Game
    Photo credit: Brian Babineau / Boston Celtics

    Doppelgänger

    Tupac at the Celtics Game

    The most interesting thing about the March 5 Celtics vs. Warriors game definitely didn’t have anything to do with the Celtics or the Warriors. In the third quarter, the crowd started chanting “Let’s go Tupac!” in reference to a guy in the stands who looked more like Tupac than the Tupac hologram. Of course, the Shakur stand-in obviously went for that look on purpose, rocking a bandana and white jacket to let everyone at TD Garden know who had the juice. The crowd was so delighted that maybe the Celtics should consider hiring celebrity impersonators on a regular basis. Hey, are the Celtics losing? Who cares—is that Philip Seymour Hoffman?

  • Goods & Services

    Montage
    Photo Credit: Nicole Popma

    Furniture, High-End

    Montage

    Boston’s architecture and green spaces are often credited with giving the city a distinctly European feel. Step into Montage’s showroom after a stroll around the Public Garden, and you’ll realize that this aesthetic isn’t limited to exterior locales. Handmade glass tables, Italian-made leather seating and furnishings from coveted lines such as B&B Italia and Liaigre strike a balance between sleek contemporary design and old-world craftsmanship.

    75 Arlington St., Boston (617-451-9400) montageweb.com
  • Fashion

    Sophie Hughes
    Photo Credit: Holly Rike

    Local Designer, Jewelry

    Sophie Hughes

    Sophie Hughes knows her way around a hammer and anvil. Working with recycled gold and silver, she shapes raw metal into rough-hewn yet sophisticated pieces, sometimes finished with reclaimed gems. The results are subtle enough for everyday wear, but special enough to qualify as statement jewelry—so it’s no surprise they’ve graced the runway at New York Fashion Week and gotten props from sources as far-flung as Elle China. Check out her handiwork, along with select pieces from other local talents, at Ore, her new South End atelier.

    Ore, 80 Dartmouth St., Boston, sophiehughes.com
  • Beauty & Health

    November Project
    Photo Credit: Bojan Mandaric/November Project

    Phenomenon

    November Project

    At these massive group workouts, everyone is welcome, “especially those who prefer to exercise outside, instead of with machines,” says co-founder Brogan Graham. The brainchild of two contagiously enthusiastic former Northeastern University rowers, November Project meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, either at Harvard Stadium or at tweeted locations citywide. Participants run, crunch, squat and plank as the sun rises, and while we won’t call them painless, the workouts are completely free—something that hasn’t changed, even as the Project has spread to 16 other cities and clinched the cover of Runner’s World.   

  • Bridal

    Hello Love
    Photo Credit: Hello Love

    Photographer

    Hello Love

    Casey Harrison prides herself on “eliminating cheesy wedding photography.” She believes that “your wedding is not a photo shoot,” which means no overedited pictures and few posed shots. Instead, she’s an expert at capturing a wedding’s natural flow—including guests’ moves on the dance floor—with unobtrusive, photojournalistic skill, both digitally and with toy-camera film.

    (616-953-2205) hellolovephoto.com

Contributing writers: Kara Baskin (Beauty & Health, Bridal), Alexandra Cavallo (Arts & Entertainment), Ezra Dyer (People & Places, Sports), Cheryl Fenton (Fashion), Dave Fletcher (Goods & Services), Scott Kearnan (Bars & Clubs), MC Slim JB (Food & Drink), Amanda Morrison (Food & Drink)

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