The Dance of Love

Bossa Nova at Eton makes all the right moves.

It's no substitute for that rehab program you so desperately need, but at least the next time you eat too much, drink too much, and stay out w-a-a-y too late, you can savor the small satisfaction of blaming it on Bossa Nova, the stunning new lounge opening in Woodmere in early May.

Chances are, you'll have lots of company: The artful upscale space, nestled between Mitchell's Fish Market and the new Stone Oven Bakery in Eton-Chagrin Boulevard (28601 Chagrin Boulevard), seems likely to attract Greater Cleveland's beautiful people the way Howard Stern attracts FCC fines.

When the tall Palladian doors finally swing open, hotshot chef Michael Herschman (who developed a fairly fanatical following at his previous restaurants, Mojo and Cena Copa) will be both Top Toque and GM. But this time around, he's not the owner. ("I've got a wife and two kids now," he muses. "It makes you think about how you want to use your time.") That job description belongs instead to Robin Fernandez and Ross Bianco, two Pittsburgh impresarios who opened the original Bossa Nova there, three years ago.

Like its Pittsburgh predecessor, Woodmere's Bossa Nova will sport posh appointments, with plum-and-silver walls, cushy upholstered seating, and plenty of intimate nooks and crannies: Herschman calls the layout "a comfort lounge, where you can come when you want to be seen or when you don't want to be seen!" A 67-seat bar top twists its way through the multilevel space, and a rear wall will serve as a gallery for an eye-popping collection of 30 original van Goghs, Mirós, Picassos, and Chagalls.

But while it may be unique and urbane, Bossa Nova is not your standard restaurant: The menu consists solely of tapas -- "small plates," such as tempura shrimp with coconut-peanut sauce ($6.50) or baked goat cheese with walnut oil and basil salad ($6). To go with, bar manager Dave Johnson (a veteran of Mojo and its Tremont neighbor, 806) has put together a large international wine list and a selection of top-shelf spirits; his beverage recommendations are listed right on the tapas menu, so you can't possibly miss out on the thrill of pairing a Tomatini (tomato juice, vodka, aqua vit, and fresh dill) with the potato gallette, say, or a glass of J.C. Cellars Viognier with the crab "egg-drop" soup. And for dessert, there will be ports, sherries, and French-press coffee, as well as a selection of artisanal cheeses and sweeties.

Bossa Nova will be open Monday through Saturday, from 3 p.m. until well past bedtime. Call them at 216-591-5995.