Ambar is a Balkan restaurant in DC’s Capitol Hill; it is a surprising place to dine. Surprising, because it’s a Balkan restaurant. The food is, as you would expect, not your usual restaurant fare. The wines are from places like Macedonia, Bulgaria and other countries in Eastern Europe. What’s that like you ask? Well, it turns out very nice.
It is one of those restaurants where the food is so beautifully presented that messing up the beauty of the food by eating it seems a shame. The staff is multicultural. The tables are highly polished wood. The whole experience of Ambar is delightful.
I went with a date who had one of the Bulgarian wines and she said that it was dry, kind of oak-like and tart. All in all she said it was delightful. Before the meal we had a selection of breads, one was fried sourdough along with something called lepina. This was baked into small shapes looking like stones and had a delicious flavor.
The menu is set up so that you are supposed to have a series of small plates, which come in rapid succession. The salad was fabulous. It was roasted, crushed squash, caramelized onions, panko crusted mozzarella, red peppers and pomegranate dressing with a lemon an garlic yogurt. This was delicious.
Next we had brussel sprouts fried and wrapped bacon, which was a sharp tasting delight. Next we had Shrimp in tomato sauce, which was fabulous.
The whole dinner was a first time experience for my table. I would give this restaurant high marks for originality, food and atmosphere. I would definitely go back.
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