Steeped in centuries of rich tradition, Italian cuisine relies on quality ingredients and simple preparations to yield beautifully bold flavors. Since 1983, the chefs of Nello’s Cafe have drawn on such traditions to fill their extensive menu with Old-World staples such as lasagna and seafood diavolo, which they serve alongside burgers and other American fare.
Armed with current techniques for properly maintaining noggin lawns, Regis Salon’s network of stores keeps clients’ hair in order as dictated by the latest trends. Within this caravan of hair bazaars, customers’ wild manes are tamed by skillful stylists. Use your Groupon toward a shampoo, cut, and style ($31–$38) and lean back and dream of break-dancing Stay Puft Marshmallow Men as a stylist carefully cleanses hair with shampoo and conditioner and then clips it into stylish head-hedges that beautifully complement scalp-garden pathways. Afterward, the hair that’s left behind will receive a loving condition for a style that gleams and glitters like a ruby-encrusted bowling ball. During the treatment, stylists offer helpful tips and tricks to help clients care for hair at home. If a shampoo and cut isn't your cup of sports drink, put your Groupon toward the cost of another service, such as hair coloring ($60–$70), highlights ($80–$90), or a perm ($75–$85). Prices vary by location.
A greenhouse is a place for things to thrive?plants, flowers, miniature golf courses. Perhaps the last item in that group isn't as conventional as the first two, but at Trombetta's Farm, it's perfectly normal. The Marlboro location's 18-hole course snakes players across bridges, through tunnels, and past a trickling, hand-built waterfall, all beneath the sun-splashed roof of a greenhouse. Sticking with its green theme, Trombetta's Farm doubles as a garden center, showcasing vibrant annuals, perennial shrubs and trees, and herb and vegetable plants from local growers. Hanging baskets and gift plants also brighten the space. During visits, guests can even cool off by snacking on homemade ice cream, which Trombetta's has been crafting since 1978. The shop's diary specialists churn out 10 flavors of soft serve and several varieties of frozen yogurt.
Helmed by owner and pastry chef Kristen Livoti, the skilled baking team at BellaCakes creates customized cakes and cupcakes to wow guests at weddings and other special occasions. Livoti opened the boutique shop in 2008, after graduating from cooking school in Edinburgh and working as a pastry chef in New England. Now, from within their flour-filled kitchen, she and her team transform nearly any idea into a frosting-covered creation, such as cakes designed as castles, complete with turrets and grumpy handmaidens locked inside, to wedding cakes topped with vintage roses or fondant hand-painted seashells. In addition to being a nut-free shop, BellaCakes also specializes in accommodating customers with dietary restrictions by making vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free cakes and cupcakes.
Stella of Stellas Custom Cakes grew up smelling the fresh baked scents of her mother?s pizzelles and her brother?s breads and pastries. After shifting from a career in the mortgage industry, she started baking her own cakes, frostings, fillings, and fondants from scratch in small batches. She can make individualized cakes with a variety of flavors and fillings. Customers take home flavors ranging from a strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and lemon curd filling to a marble cake with coconut buttercream.
Fresh out of college, Vince Petryk took a job as a dishwasher at an ice cream shop. It was just a temporary gig…or, so he thought. As Petryk climbed through the shop’s ranks—he rose from dishwasher, to scooper, to ice-cream maker, to manager—he was awe-struck by the way ice cream seemed to make people feel happy. From that point on, he knew that he wanted to continue to share that joy with others and that the best way to do it, was to own his own ice cream shop. He perfected his from-scratch ice cream recipe before opening J.P. Licks, named for Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood where he opened his first location. The flavors were immediately a hit and continue to win loyal fans for their intensity and ingenuity––at any given time, guests might find cake batter and chocolate peanut butter ripple on the menu, alongside unusual flavors like tomato basil or beer and pretzels. Since those early days, Vince has also added from-scratch hard and soft frozen yogurts, sherberts, and sorbets. He has even been known to develop flavors to suit the tastes of the area's different ethnic groups, and dairy-free ice creams to provide relief to the area's overworked cows. Beyond serving traditional cones, Petryk and his staff also pack chilly scoops into house-made cakes and pies, blend them into shakes, and transform them into decadent sundaes topped with homemade hot fudge or butterscotch. The icy treats have proved so popular, J.P. Licks now has 10 area stores, leaving them ample wall space for awards: readers of The Phoenix voted it the city’s best ice cream parlor in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.