Teal, purple, and pink lights wash the club in a festive atmosphere, encouraging up to 175 celebrants to drink and dance as a DJ spins tunes in an elevated booth. Depending on the night, visitors to Modern might shimmy to house, hip-hop, rock, or funk as the dance floor fills up. A sunken circular bar winds around a column of bottles, and ottomans provide seating so revelers can catch their breath between dance moves or impassioned speeches about their perfectly mixed drinks. A look around shows chainmail-style curtains that separate the main floor from ivory-hued VIP booths, lending an air of semiprivacy. After getting on the guest list or uttering the entry password, friends can catch up and party until 2:45 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights; other evenings wind down at 1:45 a.m.
Maté specializes in creating original sushi rolls with a Latin twist ($8–$15). The restaurant's novel nibbles include the Buenos Aires roll, a combination of jumbo lump crab, torched salmon, and tempura crunch; the Tamalito roll, a sweet and spicy mélange of yellowtail jalapeno, avocado, plantain, and corn masa wrapped in daikon skin; and the Mar del Plata roll, a cornucopia of lobster, cucumber, soy nori, chives, and avocado. Maté boasts a selection of seven ceviches, cooked with citric acid to heat-free perfection ($10–$17). For Asian-influenced Asian fare, select one of the restaurant's traditional sashimi, maki, or nigiri options. While relishing rolls or sipping sake from the sleek aluminum bar, diners can luxuriate in Maté's elegant atmosphere or try to blend in with the crimson décor by sharing embarrassing stories about email typos.
Charcoal-heated grills sear hearty kebabs of halal meats at Afghan Kabob House, flooding the restaurant with the scents of roasting chicken, lamb, and beef. To accompany the skewers, cooks toss together leafy salads, bake pillowy naan in a tandoor-style oven, and unite seasoned rice with saffron or carrots and raisins. The menu also boasts 20 different flavors of shisha for its hookahs, which encourage diners to lounge around after their meal and practice forming the perfect ring or Möbius strip out of smoke.
Though they hail from different corners of the world, business partners Aaron McGovern and Arturas Vorobjovas and their shared passion for food begat Russia House, a tribute to the czarist-era dinner table. Raised in Lithuania on his father’s traditional Russian recipes, Arturas works with executive chef Andrew LaPorta to pack Russia House’s bill of fare with authentic offerings such as line-caught sturgeon, plump pelmini dumplings, and a selection of caviar. These rich Russian staples grace white tablecloths and elegant place settings inside Russia House's stately interior. Here, mirrors reflect light that bursts through large windows to reveal which guests have packed their cheeks with leftovers. In the upstairs lounges, plush booths cradle diners and occasional live piano music permeates the airwaves.
Named one of Northern Virginia's 25 Best Restaurants of 2007 by Northern Virginia Magazine, Eleventh Street Lounge impresses palates with a streamlined menu of small plates and innovative entrees suffused with organic ingredients. Dining duos can begin with the marcona almonds (a $6 value), plate of artisan cheeses (a $15 value), or pan-seared petite kalamata steak (a $14 value) served alongside a skewer of vegetables and nestled into a pillow of jasmine rice to dream of Kalamata's olive-oil rivers. Entrees expand dish diameters with succulent selections such as the peppery tuna steak anointed in five spices (a $17 value) and the petite tenderloin medallions, grilled and served with fried potatoes and mixed greens (a $15–$20 value).
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.