My friend Lindsay and I decided to check out Ambar’s happy hour one day last week. Ambar is a new (and really new at that – they have been open for about 3 weeks) Balkan restaurant on 8th St. SE A.K.A. Barracks Row. It is the brainchild of  Serbian restaurateur Ivan Iricanin of Masa 14 and El Centro D.F. fame.



While Lindsay and I are always thrilled when a new restaurant or bar pops up in our ‘hood’, what drew us to Ambar was the happy hour special seemed too good to be true, so we thought we’d investigate!

Monday thru Friday, from 5pm to 7pm, diners can enjoy three specially-crafted cocktails, select wines and beers, and a selection of appetizers, all for just $4 each. Click here for the happy hour menu.

Ambar didn’t disappoint! We took full advantage of the happy hour (we even arrived early, but had to wait until exactly 5pm to get served) by ordering several drinks and four different appetizers between us. At least this week, there were six appetizers in total that diners could order for happy hour.

For a 5pm cocktail I tried the mango lemonade.

Mango Lemonade | vodka | mango puree | simple syrup | lemon

Mango Lemonade | vodka | mango puree | simple syrup | lemon

It was delicious. If I hadn’t been feeling a little off from my run earlier in the day I could have easily had one more of these. Lindsay also ordered a Mojito Classic and a Margarita Classic and I heard no complaints!

For our appetizers (read: dinner) we chose to order the bread basket, which had a mix of cornbread and fried sourdough bread served with three traditional spreads.

Ambar 5

The middle sauce was my favorite.

Then we ordered the Leek Croquettes. This was my most favorite dish out of the four. I could eat these all day. They were so creamy and tasty.

Followed by the Balkan Kebab dish.

Balkan kebabbeef & pork | roasted peppers | aged cheese

Balkan kebab
beef & pork | roasted peppers | aged cheese

And then we ended with the Grilled Bacon-wrapped Prunes. This dish was interesting. It was good, but definitely had an eclectic taste and as you can see an interesting presentation!

grilled bacon-wrapped prunesgoat cheese | blueberry balsamic reduction

grilled bacon-wrapped prunes
goat cheese | blueberry balsamic reduction

I really liked the decor of the restaurant. Ambar is two floors, with bars on each floor.

The downstairs bar.

The downstairs bar.

We decided to sit at the upstairs bar because a server told us it was more “loungy”.

The upstairs bar.

The upstairs bar.

If on the off-chance I can make the happy hour again after work, I will definitely go back. I also wouldn’t mind going back there for dinner. I perused the dinner menu and everything sounded delicious and interesting. The mushrooms crepes and grilled asparagus and cheese pie stood out to me!

For more information on Ambar, check out their website!


1 Comment

Filed under Eating out in DC, Life in DC

One response to “Ambar

  1. Pingback: Busy Weekend | Bee in DC

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