Photo Credit: Gretchen Devine
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
photo credit: Gretchen Devine
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.
Photo credit: Jeffrey Engel
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.
Photo credit: FayFoto
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.”
Photo credit: Brian Babineau / Boston Celtics
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?
Photo Credit: Nicole Popma
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
Photo Credit: Holly Rike
Local Designer, Jewelry
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
Photo Credit: Bojan Mandaric/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.
Photo Credit: 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)