The Dave behind Dave’s Fresh Pasta has spent more than 20 years perfecting the art of pasta making, so it’s no surprise that he doesn’t mind having an audience as he works. He and his staff cut fresh fettuccine, spaghetti, and handmade ravioli right in front of customers. From there, diners take their meal's conception into their own hands, choosing from any of Dave's fresh, house-made sauces––puttanesca, vodka cream, and basil pesto are just a few of the choices available on any given day. But despite the name, pasta isn’t the only draw at Dave's. The grocery store brings together a tantalizing spread of homemade items—croutons, crostini, pestos, dressings—with a curated selection of cheeses, chocolates, olives, cured meats, oils, vinegars, craft beers, and wines. Customers looking to try something new will find plenty of samples to enjoy as they browse, while grilled paninis, fresh soups, and ready-to-eat pasta dishes await anyone in desperate need of a quick meal or ammunition for an office food fight.
Servicing Boston-area families for the more than 20 years, First Nick Painting Company tackles home decoration with professional panache. Supply the paint for First Nick professionals who will dutifully slather color onto the house skin of rooms up to 12’x15’ in size. Room upgrades are available for an additional fee, as is ceiling color ($125) or trim tinting, such as door frames, baseboards, window casings, and moldings, all priced depending on size and type. Enlist the team of friendly and experienced professionals to resurface master bedrooms with the subtle elegance of soft paint or turn the halls of the basement wax museum into a slightly less unnerving exhibit space.
The laundering experts at Skyline have extensive experience in the de-smudging of suits ($12.75), pants ($6.25), skirts ($6), and blouses ($6.85). Keep your torso warm and well swaddled with a refreshingly clean sweater ($6), sport jacket ($6.95), or winter coat ($13.25; all prices are approximate). Clients who opt into the VIP program will enjoy the refreshing perks of receiving 24-hour drop-off box access, speedy same-day service, and unlimited high fives at no additional cost. And, for guests with finer, more particular garment needs, Skyline happily extends a range of professional tailoring services.
Blue Cloud Gallery has a focus on local art. That’s the principle laid out by owner Betsy Lenora, an art aficionado and photographer who has been curating New England’s best local art for some time. She currently oversees the influx of art from more than 100 local artists at Blue Cloud Gallery. The walls, shelves, and tables are covered with unique crafts including ceramics, jewelry, glass, woodwork, fiber, and graphics. Resident artist Marshall injects some modern art methods into the gallery, as well. Using digital techniques to add depth, color, and tone to original photographs, Marshall produces digital paintings that are collected by clients from all over the world.
The Book Shop maintains a bounty of used titles as well as a smattering of CDs and DVDs. Visitors wander among packed shelves while browsing for fiction, sci-fi, romance, classic lit, or any of the other genres occupying the store. Regular book and poetry readings generate a sense of community and dusty podiums a sense of purpose.
Although it offers drinks and café fare to go, Fortissimo Coffeehouse is no drive-thru pit stop. Instead, the coffeehouse cultivates a welcoming charm with record players spinning classic vinyl and small, intimate tables perfect for a lunch date or an afternoon of getting work done. The team behind the counter helps further either of these pursuits by mixing up steaming cups of coffee, lattes flavored with Monin syrups, and smoothies filled with more fruit than the Chiquita Banana lady’s headshots. Alongside the drinks, baristas make and serve a select menu of breakfast dishes, veggie-filled wraps, and a range of paninis that can be converted into salads. The menu incorporates a variety of flavors, creating unique options like the popular Uncle Toni, which combines jerk turkey with chipotle-smoked gouda, colorful peppers, and guava spread on a choice of panini or atop a bed of salad.