Ambar Now Offering “Bottomless Dinner Menu” for 2 Hours if Everyone at your Table Orders It

by Prince Of Petworth January 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm 24 Comments

528 8th Street, SE

From a press release:

Ambar, the nation’s capital’s first Balkan restaurant, owned by Serbian-born Ivan Iricanin and chef/restaurateur Richard Sandoval, is pleased to announce the introduction of a new Bottomless Dinner Menu, featuring unlimited small plates, Balkan specialties and a free-flowing beverage menu. Available all evening, seven days a week, the menu offers two package options; unlimited small plates and Balkan specialties with bottomless drinks for $59 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), or unlimited small plates and bottomless drinks for $49 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). The entire table must order the same package level of the Bottomless Dinner Menu, and guests will have a two-hour window to enjoy their food and cocktails or wine with this special offer. Ambar’s full a-la-carte menu is also available nightly.

Guests enjoying the Bottomless Dinner Menu will choose from a large selection of small plate options. For starters there is the Spicy Crab Spread – made with ajvar, crab, cilantro, pickled chiles and served with crispy lavash chips, or traditional Hummus Dip – with paprika, olive oil and served with lavash chips, to name a couple. The menu also has two flatbreads: Grilled Chicken & Sausage – made with ajvar, kajmak, pickled onion and homemade sausage, andthe White flatbread – made with kajmak, cured aged cow’s cheese, fresh herbs, truffle paste and olive oil. Diners will have various mezze, soup and salad options to choose from as well, including Veal & Vegetable Soup – made with sour cream and fresh chive; the Roasted Squash Salad – with mixed greens, panko-crusted mozzarella, crispy bacon and a pomegranate dressing, andthe Mezze Platter For Two – including sliced meats, aged cheese, bacon-wrapped prunes, red pepper spread and fresh lepinja. There are also delicious vegetable, seafood, and meat & poultry options, such as Baby Red & Yellow Beets – served with pork “cracklins”, goat cheese mousse, toasted walnut and fresh chive; Sesame Crusted Salmon – served with horseradish sauce, spicy eggplant and arugula, andthe Ambar Burger – served with urnebes, cucumber yogurt and cabbage slaw.

Those looking for Balkan specialties will want to consider the Marinated Crusted Trout – servedwith ajvar “zarandeado”, marinated fennel and arugula; the Veal Schnitzel – with bread crust, kajmak, cucumber tartar and Yukon potato mash; Mixed Grilled Meats – served with pork loin, sausage, Balkan kebab, chicken, Balkan burger, potato wedges and a pepper spread, and the Rib Eye Steak – a grass-fed rib eye steak with cognac jus, kajmak mashed potato and a Balkan salad.

To complement the dinner menu, various craft cocktails, wine, and beer options will be offered. Cocktails include Mango Lemonade – made with vodka, fresh mango puree, fresh lemon and simple syrup; the Mojito Traditional – with Bacardi Castillo, fresh lime, fresh mint and simple syrup; the Margarita Traditional – with tequila, agave nectar and fresh lime, and a Sarajevo Old Fashion – with Voivoda plum brandy, rye whiskey, bitters and cane syrup. Ambar will offer the House Red and House White wines with the Bottomless Dinner Menu, as well as Tecate Lager, Dos Equis Lager and Dos Equis Amber for beer options. Due to the free-flowing Bottomless Dinner and Drink Menu, Ambar will partner with Uber (https://www.uber.com) so diners have the option of taking a cab home.”

  • ledroittiger

    Great food and service, and this is a very enticing offer. Cheers to Ambar!

  • E

    I can’t tell if this is innovative or just a stunt because they are not doing well or something. Either way, I have been here twice and, while the service is good (if somewhat brusque), the food is just kind of meh. It’s not a place I dislike, but not one I actively choose to go to. For the same price point, there are other places I would rather eat. I’m interested to see what this does for their business, though. And, if it is just an innovative idea, do other places like this catch on. Also, what happens after your 2 hours is over? Do you get the boot?

    • Anonymous

      It’s probably just a way to get revenue on a slow night. Still, I can’t imagine dropping $50 on dinner on a Monday night, unless it happened to be a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary.

      • What’s wrong with Monday nights?

        • Anonymous

          I dunno, on the rare occasion my girlfriend and I go out to dinner it’s usually during the weekend when it’s more relaxing and we have more time. For us eating out is a luxury that’s best suited to the decadence of a Saturday. I guess if you’re going out to dinner multiple times a week it’s all the same though.

  • Anonymous

    Good to see that the restaurants on 8th St SE are being creative and trying to draw more people. Ambar was good, not great, but it definitely was unique. I’d go more often if I lived closer to Eastern Market. As an aside, what is up with Rose’s Luxury? We’ve tried to go there twice, and couldn’t get a table either time. Ended up at Ambar once and Lavagna the second time (Lavagna was great!).

    • Anonymous

      You’re making me feel lame. I’ve lived 1 block from Barrack’s Row for the past three years and still haven’t made it to Ambar, Lavagna, or Rose’s, let alone travel to another neighborhoods to try restaurants like you do.

    • I tried to go to Rose’s two weeks ago and was told there was a 4 1/2 hour wait.

    • Anonymous

      Rose’s Luxury is awesome – that’s why you can’t get a table. And I don’t think they take reservations a la Toki Underground. We showed up on the earlier side of dinner, maybe 6pm, and left our cell number with the host and told her to call/text when the table was ready. We just went to another bar and drank until it was time to go (about 2 hours later). It was worth the wait – food, service and crowd was great.

      • AG

        Since when does Toki take reservations? I thought it was still a leave your number, and we’ll call you when a table is ready. Ambar is decent. I might not go out of my way to go there, but it’s a nice addition to the neighborhood. Solid food and good service. Lavagna is a great neighborhood restaurant too. Food is way better and less expensive than Aqua al 2.

        • Anonymous

          Toki doesn’t take reservations, so Rose’s doesn’t take reservations “a la” Toki. Poster above is correct.

          • AG

            Aaaaaaaah, woops. I read it as “they don’t take reservations like Toki does.”

    • What do you mean what’s up with it? It’s incredibly popular because the food is outstanding, not much more to it than that.

  • Saruchan

    This is a common offer at restaurants in Japan. They call it a nomi- tabe-hodai. We always wondered why American restaurants didn’t do the same and assumed it was because American gluttony would make it cost-prohibitive :)
    It’s a nice way to enjoy a night out though, particularly with a large group, because everyone knows exactly how much they’ll be paying and can eat and drink as much as they like without thinking of prices.

    • Anonymous

      It wouldn’t be exactly fair or PC, but I wish they’d do it based on weight and gender. I love the idea but I’m a small woman and simply wouldn’t eat enough for it to be worth it.

      • AG

        Yeah, I generally don’t eat and drink enough to spend that much.

        • Anonymous

          Same deal with restaurant week. I’d rather spend half as much and get half as much food.

          • AG

            Yep, after two seasons of getting excited about restaurant week, I realized it just really isn’t that great a deal for me.

          • DF

            Just be glad you don’t work in the kitchens of restaurant week. I’ll never patronize one again. Feel so bad for those folks.

  • anon

    I keep picturing servers without pants.

  • I’m just curious when the clock starts. Is it from the time you walked in, the point you tell the waiter your order, or once the first batch of food arrives?

  • Anonymous

    i think the food and service at Ambar is stellar! they have a price fixed lunch (3 courses) that is amazing, and a great value. this sounds like a good deal, too, especially with drinks included. I’m going to have to check this out.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, anyone out there who can give an opinion on food quality at Ambar compared with what you get in the Balkans, or tell me what the best Balkan restaurant is in town? I visited the Balkans a while ago and loved the food, especially the kajmak and sausage on that yummy bread that they serve everywhere in Sarajevo. If this place is good I’d love to go.

    • Anonymous

      I’m pretty sure Ambar’s the only game in town when it comes to Balkan food.


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