Best. Party. EVER.

When you work at a magazine, your friends tend to view you as a walking Wikipedia of where to shop/eat/play. Not that I mind—I’ve been known to have a few opinions on the matter—but the responses come much faster in October, after we’ve launched our annual Best of the Cities issue. It’s my favorite feature of the year, because in it I can finally, formally, shout from the rooftops the local businesses that I think are really, really great. There’s never enough room to include them all, so here are a few more places I can’t stop talking about:

Best Beauty Freebie
Blow-dry boot camp at Jon Charles Salon, now open in both Uptown and downtown Wayzata. If you’ve never had 15 round brushes in your hair at the same time, you haven’t had a blow out. Seriously Texas-sized hair that, once it simmers down, looks like a Salon Selectives commercial and lasts for days.

Best Sample Sale
I have a few prized possessions in my wardrobe: an old pair of broken-in Seven jeans, a new pair of brown riding boots that go with everything, and the statement necklaces I’ve scooped up at Sequin’s annual sample sale—coming Dec. 3–5. You can thank me later!

Best New Restaurant
Bar la Grassa opened after the Best Of issue went to press, but I hope to see it on next year’s list. It’s as if someone (specifically 112’s Isaac Becker and wife Nancy, with restauraneur extraordinaire Josh Toma) knew what I wanted in a restaurant, and then created it. Fresh pasta, lobster bruschetta, and prosecco in a cozy urban setting? Gah.

Best Party
This Thursday, October 22, we’ll be celebrating all of the winners at our Best of the Cities Party. Everyone is invited, but I can promise you this: Only fun people come out. There will be food, cocktails, and a fashion show featuring a few of our favorite boutiques. It’s a great excuse to put on your favorite frock and a little lipstick on a school night, grab your friends/spouse, and revel in the what the Cities have to offer. Cheers!