Ambar Opens Today
Long-anticipated Balkan restaurant Ambar, opens today from Masa 14 and El Centro DF partner Ivan Iricanin. A welcome addition to the Barracks Row neighborhood, Ambar spans almost 4,000 square feet across two floors and an outdoor patio.
Though the menu will be heavily influenced by Mediterranean flavors, we’re particularly excited about the concept as there are no Balkan restaurants in DC at this time. Partner and chef Richard Sandoval helped develop the menu, to be executed by a visiting Serbian chef.
Ambar is the Serbian name for a storehouse for drying and storing corn, just in case you were wondering. Featuring the best dishes from different regions throughout the Balkans, look forward to hearty yet sophisticated dishes of melt-in-your-mouth lamb and pork, grilled goat cheese, cheese pie and potatoes. There will be stuffed turkey with ajvar, cheese, bacon and mashed potatoes, which sounds way more fun than those potato skins headed towards your mouth right now. (Put those down.)
There will be imported Balkan wines and beer to try, but come here for the rakija, which you’ll find only here (and inside my toilet tank). This fermented fruit brandy is an essential part of life in Serbia, and it’s sipped with every meal, everywhere, on every occasion. Iricanin says he’s tapped a local distiller to start making rakija exclusively for Ambar.
Ambar opens tonight for dinner, with lunch and weekend brunch planned soon.
Photo: Daniel Swartz for Revamp.com, and Ambar Restaurant
523 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003