Within Bossa Bistro & Lounge’s dining room, organic cuisine and grass-fed beef embellish authentic Brazilian small plates. Soft lighting and music wash over diners as they swap bites of the mandioca frita’s crispy yucca fries and cilantro sauce for morsels of beef tenderloin, testing out their water wings in a kalamata olive sauce atop the Xadrezinho plate. Spinach collard greens and mozzarella flood mouths that bite into bolinho de arroz rice croquettes drizzled with marinara sauce. While patrons nosh, they clink mojito and caipirinha cocktails in celebration of first anniversaries or second successful interactions with curmudgeonly neighbors.
Jordans 8's ingredient mixers grill hearty American favorites and roll an eclectic lineup of sushi. Flip through the grill menu to pinpoint an appetizer, such as the fried calamari, which sails to the gullet through a river of pineapple-coriander sauce on a hull of mixed greens ($8). Then elect an entree, such as the 14-ounce boneless rib-eye steak ($18), or one of 24 maki and nigiri sushi selections, one for every hour of sleep humans need in a week. The lava roll, one of many specialty rolls, juxtaposes shrimp tempura and shredded crab with aioli sauce ($11), and the roster of sushi and sashimi rolls amalgamate spices, vegetables, and raw fish ($9–$19), infusing the sushi menu with a wide range of flavors.
Nestled in the U Street Corridor and surrounded by restaurants that serve small plates, the owners of Lost Society prefer to think big with respect to both their eatery’s dishes and ambience. They commissioned Joseph Evans—formerly the executive chef of Smith & Wollensky’s DC location—to bring his expertise in creating a set of steak-centric menus that rely on local produce, dry-aged and certified-Angus beef, and regional seafood. To start, the richness of Wagyu beef carpaccio is cut by grapefruit and pea tendrils, and fried oysters get an upscale twist with a worcestershire beurre blanc and smoked maple hot sauce. Ten-ounce filets and 12-ounce sirloins come topped with herb butter, and blackened catfish is accentuated by a scallion cream sauce.
But the artfully plated dishes comprise only half the appeal that lures Lost Society’s trendy clientele. Design consultants Olvia Demetriou and Melinda Nettelbeck of hapstak demetriou + transformed the restaurant’s two stories into a space that balances modern elements with nods to the Victorian-era underground. The dining room lives on the first level, where studio lighting bounces off brocade banquettes, framed spy mirrors, and wallpaper patterned with the faces of ladies in elegant hats. Diners lounge on the purple and yellow couches lining exposed-brick walls before retreating upstairs to see the chandeliers hanging above the neutral-toned bar and roof deck. To seal in the supper-club experience, they sample signature cocktails—such as a lychee martini or jalapeno margarita—some of which are created by recipes that are more than 100 years old.
Culinarily speaking, it’s hard to find anything more classic New York City than a thick, juicy steak. Bobby Van knows that well. He opened his first restaurant in the Hamptons during the summer of ’69, and, though his storyline was nixed from the Bryan Adams hit, the brand eventually found fame as a family of grills and steak houses now renowned throughout NYC and the East Coast.
The menu at each eatery opens with a selection of salads and seafood appetizers, which may include delicate crab cakes or chilled-lobster cocktails. Entrees may prove to be the hardest course to decide on, with a selection that spans lamb chops, fish, and a steak selection of filets, sirloin, and marbled porterhouses that can feed two, three, or four. Each space also holds a full bar stocked with spirits and wines handpicked by the sommelier.
With plates of curried lamb and pad-thai noodles, the menu isn't the only place where fusion is found at Asian Fusion College Park—the eatery itself is one part restaurant, one part lounge, and one part banquet hall. The restaurant tempts taste buds with a mix of fast-food dishes made from Chinese, Thai, and Indian recipes, including pineapple fried rice, black-pepper calamari, and paneer cheese in a brown sauce. At Varsity Lounge, another culture is thrown into the melting pot in the form of American staples, such as wings and new york strip steaks. After devouring these bites, guests can listen to live music, belt out karaoke, giggle through a comedy show, or shoot billiards. Private events, such as weddings and preschool reunions, unfold in the ballroom, and an Indian catering menu dishes out handi goat masala and vegetable jalfraize.
The chefs at each Copper Canyon Grill, a mid-Atlantic favorite, craft their regional American dishes from scratch every day. Their kitchens fill with flames and savory aromas as they roast meats and vegetables over hardwood fires, making customers happy, but leaving behind bare earth at local basketball arenas.
The kitchen yields hearty servings of grilled prime rib and filet mignon, ahi tuna and Atlantic salmon, and Delmarva-style crab dip and Eastern Shore jumbo lump crab cakes. It also tempts with a signature rotisserie chicken and jalapeño- and serrano-pepper cornbread baked in an iron skillet.