Ambar - Arlington

4.6
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2057 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Our aim is to put together the finest products of the New World and Old World for your dining pleasure. Perennially on the edge of great empires, the Balkans owes much of its food culture to its history, geography, and climate. The term Balkan is generally believed to come from the Byzantine word meaning: “a chain of wooded mountains.” With a desire to introduce Virginia to cutting edge Balkan cuisine, we created a dining space that will delight and indulge the senses. Primarily featuring “small plates,” Ambar also offers wines and spirits from the Balkans not often experienced by the American diner. Ambar showcases the best dishes from the Balkan Peninsula with a modern twist. These dishes are presented artfully, with modern combinations that deliver the flavor profiles in a unique way. Serbian natives Ivan Iricanin and Uros Smiljanic developed the menu with the help of Executive Chef Dejan Pilovic .

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What 2057 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Unknown
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall4food3service2ambience5

Ambar is a great place to go for brunch, if you know the secret. Because there is normally a good size crowd you have to order several of the Tapas plates at once to keep food on your table. Orders can be slow to come out so keep ordering. This also goes for the drinks ...the bartenders offer generous pour.

MB
MBFairfax
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This was our second trip to Ambar. There are three things that are noteworthy about this restaurant.

1) The bartenders are outstanding. Amazing cocktails.
2) The food is really tasty and good. You will not leave hungry.
3) The service is top notch. So much so as to be noteworthy to me.

The only potential downside to this place is the noise level. It is high. I would prefer if they would mitigate that somewhat, but I obviously came back for a second time and will certainly again.

T
Tayoooo
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The small plates style allows for a make your own brunch with a variety of flavors, as well as a variety

SS
vipShaynahSimone
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband brought me here a few months ago and I have been wanting to come back to enjoy a daytime experience. Out waitress. Was amazing, our food was delicious and the staff was very welcoming and attentive. We definitely will be coming back soon. The environment is clean and comfortable

KN
KirilN
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very tasty. It's good to try something with flavor:)

CB
CaitB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this place!! This was our third year in a row celebrating a birthday here and it doesn't disappoint. The service is great, the food is amazing, everyone needs to experience this place. I wish there were more restaurants like this!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience3

The food is great and fresh. The drinks are fantastic. The wait staff is what we didn’t enjoy. They were short, curt, and barely polite. We have been there twice, and both times the wait staff were sub-par. They need to realize, they aren’t doing me a favor (which is what it seemed like), they are doing their job.

We will be back, we just won’t tolerate the poor attitude.

R
vipRunstoeat
Greensboro
7 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The experience is well worth it!! Great service! The food keeps coming and it was all delicious!

n
nsn21
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Attentive waitstaff (Valentin rocks!) Restaurant is lovely in ambiance too, well lit even during a late dinner. We went for the 35$ unlimited option, where you could order virtually anything you want off the menu for a flat rate. The variety of dishes here is incredible!! everything came out hot and was well paced given the long list of dishes we ordered at one go. Standouts for me were the chicken skewers, lamb patties, asparagus, and pepper croquettes. Happy that Ambar happened to be our first experience with Balkan cuisine! can’t wait to return for brunch at some point

A
vipAndy
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Ambar is a solid restaurant with attentive staff.

Pros: The food was cooked perfectly, the cocktails are very good, and the staff will do their best to recommend food and drinks. Also, the price point is wonderful (unlimited tapas for $35, you cannot beat that).

Cons: Some food items could have benefited from a little more depth of seasoning. I have never eaten at a Balkan restaurant previously, although I have had some Balkan food before. As such, I may be ignorant of the flavor profile of Balkan food, and the spice/ seasoning level may be spot on. However, I am used to more depth from flavors in foods that come from that region.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Berlin
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Food was good, but service was unfortunately very lacking. We ordered plates that never came, our server rushed us to pay leaving the check on the table while we were still eating desert. We asked for more bread and were ignored. If you are not celebrating anything it may be fine but if you want to enjoy yourself I don’t recommend it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

This was our second

I
Ilovefoodtoo
Houston
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Tapas style perfect for hanging out and portioned to where you have the option to try numerous dishes if you opt in the unlimited serving price. The service is fast paced which is good because dishes will come as they go versus all at once. Service was great depending who’s doing it but the server experience could be improved. It’s not a big deal really I was satisfied at the end. It’s a weekend so I came with no expectation other than to be fed with everything I ordered. I would return again. I am curious about their brunch menu.

g
vipgmert
Richmond
56 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We were first time visitors and thought the food and service were both very good however I should’ve talk my table mates into ordering à la cart rather than paying the $35 all you can eat feed. As it turns out we probably only averaged two or three plates each and would’ve been better off ordering à la cart. Some of the items were not much to our liking at many were new to us however we hated wasting the food so probably ended up eating more of things we didn’t like it would order more knowingly next time

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific food and service!

CG
CurtG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A wonderful dining experience. Great food and service is very good. Highly recommend.