What first drew me to Boston 13 years ago was its small-town feel and the love affair it had then-and still has-with its chefs, who are known on a first-name basis. Radius, which turns 10 this year, features modern Italian dishes (8 High St.; 617-426-1234 or radiusrestaurant.com).
Favorite Cultural Activity
I like live music at The Middle East in Cambridge (472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts; 617-492-9181 or mideastclub.com). You never know when someone like Peter Wolf, formerly of the J. Geils Band, might pop onstage and belt out a few tunes with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
Favorite Brunch Spot
Chef Ken Oringer’s Spanish-influenced Toro (1704 Washington St.; 617-536-4300 or toro-restaurant.com). Toro is great at night, but I like it more at brunch when it’s more laid-back (I get the chorizo and eggs).
Favorite Nightlife Spot
Pho Republique for its funky decor and dedicated bartenders. If you’re there with a group, order the superpotent Scorpion Bowl cocktail (1415 Washington St.; 617-262-0005 or phorepublique.net).
Oiishi, where Ting Yen makes some of the best sushi I’ve ever had (1166 Washington St.; 617-482-8868 or oishiiboston.com).
B&G Oysters, for the best lobster roll in the city (550 Tremont St.; 617-423-0550 or bandgoysters.com).
Grill 23, for perfectly cooked steaks. I sit at the quieter upstairs bar, where it’s a bit easier to talk (161 Berkeley St.; 617-542-2255 or grill23.com).
Blue Ginger in Wellesley. I’m addicted to chef Ming Tsai’s Bings (pot stickers) (583 Washington St., Wellesley, Massachusetts; 781-283-5790 or ming.com).
Pigalle, which has one of the top wine lists in the city (75 Charles St. S.; 617-423-4944 or pigalleboston.com).