As Adams Morgan gentrifies into a neighborhood of expensive condos and lofts instead of group houses and cheap apartments, the nightlife is following suit. Recent additions Meze and Soussi, for example, favor candles, chilled music and eclectic tapas over pounding dance music and cheap pitchers of beer. The latest addition to the scene is Bossa, which has dimmed lights and couches, canvases on the walls, and a menu of small plates and dinner entrees.
Up in the second-story lounge, for example, candlelight flickers on the nicotine-colored walls and dark wood ceiling. It's a cozy, intimate place, with tables surrounded by couches, burlap benches and two-foot-high leather blocks, and a half-dozen seats at a small bar. Another room in the back has a DJ booth and more seating. The music - house, Latin and downtempo - isn't too loud to preclude conversation with the person across from you or at the next barstool. Atmosphere is more important than shaking your rump.
The first floor is designed for eating, with long banquettes and tables under high ceilings, although there's a long bar with plenty of seating in the back. A small stage is set up in the window, and "We'll have live music on a periodic basis, but there won't be a set schedule," says owner Rachid Abdallah. Instead, they'll focus on the food, which they say will rely on organic ingredients from local suppliers. For a small bite, try the tuna mignon - tiny pieces of tender tuna riding on tomato confit and topped with sesame oil. The spaghetti, tossed with sauteed shrimp and feta cheese, is also worth a look. The organic aesthetic even applies to drinks - Bossa features Wolaver's certified organic Pale Ale and Brown Ale.
Both floors will host rotating art exhibits. The idea, explains Abdallah, is to feature one photographer and one painter every six weeks. Bossa serves food until 2 a.m. on weekends, so there's plenty of time to sit in the candlelight, sip a cocktail and look at the current display.
-- Fritz Hahn (Updated Oct. 2002)