Ambar’s Bottomless Dinner Menu – Endless Fun

What could be better than small plates? How about unlimited small plates? Ambar, D.C.’s first Balkan restaurant, is now offering a special menu option that is sure to please diners who like to sample and sip. Available all evening, seven days a week, diners can feast on unlimited small plates and bottomless drinks for $49 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). For $59 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), guests can add large plate selections.

IMG_2300Ambar, owned by Serbian-born Ivan Iricanin (above) and chef/restaurateur Richard Sandoval, is located in the lively Eastern Market area. We had the pleasure of sampling some of the dishes with a large group of food writers. Iricanin and his staff kept the dishes coming, telling us about ingredients and preparations as we went along. Conclusion: opting for the bottomless dinner (the entire table must order) allows for trying a greater variety of dishes while encouraging sharing of both the food and reviews. Tip: the larger the party, the greater the fun. There’s a two-hour window for this special menu, but that proved to be plenty of time to sample the offerings. Of course, the a la carte menu is also available nightly.

While some members of our party tried the creative and attractive cocktails, I enjoyed the Lambrusco, a sparkling Italian wine that doesn’t show up on many wine lists.

IMG_2289Our feast began with Ambar’s dips: hummus, urnebes ( aged cow cheese), and smoked trout, served with warm crusty bread. While this appetizer alone could make a meal with a drink, we held back. More to come.

IMG_2294Next was a selection of cured meats served with pickles, cheese, and olives.

IMG_2295The Balkan salad was a colorful combination of aged cheese, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions. Tasty and refreshing.

The parade of dishes continued. The fun thing about sharing these small plates is that participants can have one taste (or more) and move on to the next offering, passing the dish around the table.

IMG_2297Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

IMG_2299Grilled Calamari

IMG_2298Roasted Mushroom Crepes

IMG_2304Grilled Duck Breast

IMG_2305Baked Beans and Sausage

IMG_2308Chicken Kebab with Tomatoes

IMG_2309Almond Crusted Chicken

IMG_2311Amazingly enough, we had room for dessert. Four chocolates lived up to its name with a dark chocolate biscuit, dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate chantilly, along with almond crumble, passion fruit espuma, and a nice scoop of raspberry sorbet.

IMG_2312But the real surprise was something called forest gnocchi, that, truth be told, looked terrible but tasted so wonderful we couldn’t believe our eyes. The dish combined chocolate mousse, bitter orange cake, ground chocolate, orange gelee, tarragon gnocchi, passion fruit espuma with black tea sauce, all mixed together. The end result was delicious and something we would certainly order again.

523 8th Street, SE
The restaurant takes limited reservations and walk-ins are welcome.  Open for dinner Sunday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to midnight.
Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ambar is pleased to offer 20% off all meals, including the new Bottomless Dinner Menu, to all Military personnel who show Military Identification.

About Charlene Giannetti (839 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines including the New York Times. She is the author of 12 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her new book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.