We LOVE Ambar!We're neighborhood residents and thrilled to have Ambar to add to the list. Its quickly become our top pick for a night out. Food is excellent - love the small plates. Service is a perfect comination of attentive, friendly, but not over bearing. We also are hooked on some of the Serbian wine seletions. The staff has been great about talking us through them.
One suggestion - Ambar should promote its small, but unique back deck with a nice view of the Capitol dome. We spent some time there when its was Jordans 8. Its a real hidden treasure. I'm not sure how many people know its back there. Its a great spot for a night cap, especially now that the weather is warm.5/14/2013 12:00:00 AMPersonal Service and Great FoodI joined Ambar for their Mothers Day Brunch and opted for the $35 prix fixe option (bottomless brunch drinks and all you can eat options). The service was fantastic and truly personal - I brought my mother (a Macedonian, very familiar with fare) and she was genuinely impressed with the authenticity of the food - right down to the texture and the spices. This was my second visit and I will definitely be returning.5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMWho knew?I walked past this place more than often. I decided to go in and give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised, our server was very cordial. The choices were ecclectic and delicious the Mange Tea drink I was was refreshing.5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat experienceNothing like it anywhere in DC! Very unique. The food was great and very affordable.5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat Small PlatesGreat small plates at reasonable prices ---- we especially enjoyed the "starter" style small plates (although one can order the plates in any order) --- mushroom crepes and calamari were very good. Also enjoyed trying some Serbian wines, since we had never had them before. Loved the atmosphere, but all the hard surfaces contributed to a noise level that made talking difficult.5/9/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat new (only?) Balkan restaurantThe service was excellent, servers were very helpful in explaining the dishes and the wine list. Our server, correctly, suggested that we only have one order of the butternut squash soup (and offered to split it into two bowls) as we would have been overfull with two orders and everything else we ordered after. I appreciated the tapas-sized portions -- Balkan food can be heavy -- this gave us the chance to sample several, very excellent dishes. Everything was outstanding with two exceptions: the cevapcici were a little dry (I would suggest giving the option of the traditional bed of chopped onions in addition to the kajmak and red peppers) Also, the corn bread was a little greasy. Otherwise: "odlichno!" I will definitely come again.5/7/2013 12:00:00 AMNice addition to neighborhoodService was great. Design of space was rustic with a modern edge - very inviting. Loud and lively atmosphere. Wouldn't recommend children going for dinner there (maybe lunch is more laid back - but only had dinner there). Great for dinner but also just great for a drink with friends. This place feels like it could be located in Chinatown or DuPont...nice chance of pace to other Hill establishments.
Wine list was interesting since most were from Eastern Europe. Menu was large tapas style - which I enjoy since I like to eat a little of everything. Somethings I would recommend from the dinner menu are 1) Balkan kebab 2) grilled bacon-wrapped prunes 3) leek croquettes and 4) roasted mushroom crepes.
Highly recommend.5/2/2013 12:00:00 AMFood was very good, interesting,Food was very good, interesting, well-prepared. Enjoyed trying some new and unique wines. Service was very friendly and cordial.4/28/2013 12:00:00 AMNew restaurant already oneNew restaurant already one of the best in DC. Can pay twice as much for restaurants that are not as good.4/28/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat service, good size platesService was great. Our server was Serbian and was very knowledgeable about the menu and the ingredients. He was able to point us in the direction of the most "traditional" foods. The small plates were also a good size. You get a lot for your money. We were two girls and my friend and I were able to fill up on 4 items. I recommend the butternut squash salad and the leek croquettes. I recommend.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMConsistently good food and serviceOnce again our group consumed most of menu, and no poor choices. Standouts are still the basics such as the Mushroom salad, the Forrest Gnocchi (dessert), the nut crusted chicken, stuffed cabbage and quite a few more. Don't be shy of tryiong the Serbian wines, ask the staff for help choosing - the barmaid is particularly good at this.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMAwesome place! They say BalkanAwesome place! They say Balkan cuisine, but everything is "safe" enough for the casual American eater. Loved the bacon wrapped prunes.4/25/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent food and service.Excellent food and service. The staff were helpful and explained each dish with enthusiasm. The dishes were all small plates like tapas. Very nice flavors made with fresh ingredients. The Serbian wine that we had was like a pinot noir.4/25/2013 12:00:00 AMBalkan-style tapas. Yum. IfBalkan-style tapas. Yum.
If you love Sljivovitz, this is your place.4/19/2013 12:00:00 AMAwesome food! And tapas portions..Awesome food! And tapas portions.. so, it's great to share and try a lot of different menu items.4/13/2013 12:00:00 AMThe best restaurant we haveThe best restaurant we have found in the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market area. Unusual and very tasty choices. We will return.4/7/2013 12:00:00 AMUnusual and deliciousMy partner and I enjoyed a drinks at rooftop bar, then dinner downstairs. Tried one of the Balkan wines, which was excellent. Shared 6 small plates between us and left well- fed. Butternut squash salad, cheese pie, and veal schnitzel were especially good, and are specialties. We also shared a very unusual "gnocchi" dessert. Fabulous! Only slight criticism is that decaf coffee was not served hot, and even when we sent it back for a warm up was not as hot as it should have been. But, very attentive and friendly service. Try this place!4/6/2013 12:00:00 AMA go to placeNot sure what to expect, but we were blown away by the food. Each dish was better then the last. We will be back to check out the rest of the menu.4/5/2013 12:00:00 AMSmall plate Balkan foods,Small plate Balkan foods, sort of like Tapas or Mezze. New to DC and a great addition to Barracks row. Other than the cornbread, everything was great, especially the balkan forest desert.4/4/2013 12:00:00 AMNew 8th Street Gem...New place on 8th street. Very vibrant with great food and super friendly staff. Food is tapas style and very good. The Apple dessert was AMAZING!! Will definitely go for after work happy hour and or lunch and dinner.4/3/2013 12:00:00 AMThis was one of the best mealsThis was one of the best meals I've had in DC in quite awhile. Like everyone else nowadays, Ambar does small plates. Three of us ordered 8 and it was probably too much, but there was so much we wanted to try. The risotto was a favorite and the chicken was surprisingly the tastiest of the meats we tried - incredibly tender and flavorful. Presentations are top rate. The server was attentive and knowledgable. Loved the Serbian wine she recommended. Only bad thing is you can't get it anywhere in DC but there. Guess I will have to go back. Oh, and forget the carbs - get the bread basket with spreads!4/2/2013 12:00:00 AMWe started with happy hourWe started with happy hour drinks at the bar, $4 for a decent wine or margarita. Dinner was delicious. Following our waiter's advice, we selected the squash salad, mushroom crepes, and sesame salmon. The four chocolate dessert was too tempting to pass up. Although the plates are indeed small, three choices was certainly enough for three of us, although next time I want to try additional offerings.3/29/2013 12:00:00 AMFantasticSuperb. From the pictures I saw of the food, I feared the food might be a bit too "precious" (i.e., overpriced and not filling) but it was across the board satisfying both in terms of unique flavors and decent portions. We'd never had Balkan wine before, and were pleasantly surprised by the quality. Would definitely go back. No real complaints about the ambiance, but the decor could have had a little more character. Really minor quibble, though - overall just a great experience.3/29/2013 12:00:00 AMAttentive, knowledgable, friendlyAttentive, knowledgable, friendly servers; varied choices served mezze. For sharing; interesting Baltic region wine selection.3/28/2013 12:00:00 AMAnbar is wunderbar!Unusual and memorable food. Second time there in a week and looking forward to returning3/28/2013 12:00:00 AMA Balkan DelightI lunched at Ambar recently with much anticipation, given all the good press the new Serbian restaurant enjoys! The acclaims are definitely warranted--I had an outstanding Balkan special luncheon of soup, salad, and kebabs. Having spent considerable time in Eastern and Southern Europe, the food brought back fond memories. A simple, but tasty soup, delicious salad with yummy tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a very satisfying plate of kebabs, spiced nicely in a sauce, accompanied by potatoes and cabbage. Not only was the meal exquisitely tasteful and true to my memories, but the presentation was contemporary and clean. Truly, the presentation was much more "with it" than anything I remembered from Belgrade or Sofia. A neighborhood gem indeed!3/27/2013 12:00:00 AMI've been trying to get intoI've been trying to get into the new neighborhood spot for some time, but it's always packed! Decided to grab a 5PM ressie on a Saturday. First people there and was able to score one of the two window seats.
Our waiter Dmitri was AMAZING. So friendly, answered a barrage of questions and directed us to both tasty eats and drinks.
All of the food we tried was delicious - bread basket and spreads, squash salad, beef/pork kebabs, walnut crusted chicken, forest gnocchi dessert. The rakia was very good too - - the Belgrade Mule and Podgorica.
Will definitely be back and be sending others to try this new gem.3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMFabulous food that is notFabulous food that is not over priced. Only wish for greater variety of wines.3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMWe LOVED Ambar! The uniqueWe LOVED Ambar! The unique and extensive menu was so much fun to explore. The tapas-style plates allowed us to try a wide variety of dishes. One of the best parts of the meal (the cabbage-sausage dish) was recommended by our friendly and knowledgeable server who was originally from the region. The list of wine from the region was also a nice treat. We chose a Serbian red and it was fantastic! The bread basket comes with 3 spreads (red pepper and goat cheese?! Yes, please), which were highlights on their own. Oh, and the meat sampler platter for "two" could have fed a small army. The potato wedges were perfectly done. Writing this review has be hungry again! SO happy to have Ambar part of the Hill neighborhood. We will definitely be back!3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMamazingly excited wait staff,amazingly excited wait staff, many from the Serbian region. Efficient, fun, enthusiatic about sharing foods from home.3/22/2013 12:00:00 AMLove their happy hour! TheLove their happy hour! The place has obviously been discovered - because it is completely packed! Their happy hour is second to none. Even if not for happy hour, the food is incredible quality. Although the menu is unfamiliar to me, the food is amazing. Only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the kababs.. but, otherwise, have tried 5 or 6 other things and all were eamazing. Favorites are the bread (yep!), the leek croquettes, and mushroom crepes. Wow!3/20/2013 12:00:00 AMFood is consistently good,Food is consistently good, although as with many small-plates restaurants, it costs a lot to eat a full meal. The rakia is fun and interesting, and the Balkan wine list is solid. Be willing to put down some $, but it's a great addition to Barracks Row.3/19/2013 12:00:00 AMsuch a cool place! it's balkan,such a cool place! it's balkan, so the menu is really unique, loved the wine list with serbian and croatian wines, etc. the scene is rustic but with techno music, interesting combo for cap hill3/19/2013 12:00:00 AMEverything we tried was deliciousEverything we tried was delicious - inventive and different. Will definitely be heading back to Ambar for $4 Happy Hour at the bar!3/13/2013 12:00:00 AMSerbian gem on the HillFourth time at Ambar and it never disappoints. Sat at the bar this time, Mic took great care of us. Sampled 80% of the Happy Hour menu specials and had great wine and cocktails. The food here is really something special and the prices aren't outrageous like some new entries to the Hill dining scene. This is a "small plates" place but don't worry, you will fill up. DO NOT miss the Balkan salad. I could eat just that. Also try the bread basket w/the three spreads. The red cheese one is my fave. I hope Ambar continues to do well on the Hill.3/12/2013 12:00:00 AMNew Favority Place!I love Ambar! It's got a great vibe. Loved the mushroom crepes and the mushroom salad! Beet salad was okay, though seems all restaurants have a version. The spinach risotto was a bit salty, but the shrimp on top was good. I love the eclectic Balkan wine list. Our waiter was very enthusiastic, especially about the unique Forest Gnocchi dessert (we didn't have any).3/12/2013 12:00:00 AMThey got my potatoes!Great new Easter European food joint. Servings are small plates like tapas. Garlic potatoes that come with Balkan Kebab are the best find for fried potato lovers! Great food, service a bit slow.2/28/2013 12:00:00 AMAdds needed element to dining sceneThe refreshingly different Balkan menu and friendly service make this a great place to dine on Capitol Hill. The stuffed cabbage was the best of the small plates my girlfriend and I tried.2/13/2013 12:00:00 AMDelicious food from a uniqueDelicious food from a unique menu. We enjoyed our food and drinks (wine, rakia) and our service was excellent.1/1/0001 4:00:00 PM