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BACK BAY

Back Bay/Fenway Take the sprawling grandeur of a Parisian boulevard, add a dash of Rome's passion for food and fashion, then glaze it all with a little British gardening know-how, and you've got an inkling of what Back Bay and Fenway are all about. But worldly influences notwithstanding, these elegant, abutting neighborhoods are creations that could only exist in Boston; their flavor may hail from Europe, but the icons and energy are truly of local making.

Take, for example, the area's epicenter of style: Newbury Street. Here, eating is a foil to shopping, and vice versa. Meals are often a respite from retail exhaustion, but are as carefully considered as the purchases made along the way. And with so many dining options, why shouldn’t they be? Will it be luscious coq au vin at the gleaming new brasserie Bouchée, first-rate Italian at Davio's, or cutting-edge Zensai at the boîte in the foundation? Meanwhile, the homegrown shops are every bit as eclectic — from high-end, modern cookware at Kitchen Arts to gothic statues at Gargoyles, Grotesques & Chimeras to innovative duds and accessories
at Stel's.

With people watching opportunities that are as first-rate as the food, the neighborhood all but demands a post-prandial stroll. Follow the march of humanity up and down Newbury Street, or commune with the dog walkers one street over on the Commonwealth Mall, which is lined with some of the best-kept Victorian residences in America and spills out graciously into the beautifully manicured Public Garden. Still haven't had enough shopping? The wares in Kenmore Square and Copley Place mall — the likes of international designers at Fanny and Delphine and chic up-and-coming labels at the new Barneys New York — put the "up" in upscale. Cap it off with a bite of superb seafood at Atlantic Fish, or make your way to Copley Square, where everyone from skateboarders to lawyers-on-lunch-breaks congregate. The eye of the neighborhood’s storm, it sits directly in the center of such architectural marvels as Trinity Church, the historic Boston Public Library (noted for its perfect proportions), and the sleek façade of the I.M. Pei-designed Hancock Tower. Grab a seat on one of its benches, then look up, and drink in a 360-degree view that could only be
distinctly Boston.


CHOOSE A RESTAURANT

Abe & Louie's

Atlantic Fish

Asana

Bistro du Midi

Brasserie Jo

Bravo

The Bristol Lounge

Davio's

Deuxave

Douzo

Eastern Standard

Grill 23 & Bar

Haru

Jasper White's
Summer Shack

Joe's American Bar & Grill

La Voile

L'Espalier

Lucca Back Bay

Papa Razzi

Petit Robert

Post 390

Smith & Wollensky

Sorellina

Stanhope Grille

Stephanie's on Newbury

Taj Bar

Taj Cafe

Taj Lounge

Via Matta

Vlora

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