Ambar - Arlington
The food was hit or miss. The meats on the Mezze Board were just ok, and the creamed corn tasted like a can of corn was blended and heated up. The spreads were delicious though, with the best being the beet Tzatziki. I was disappointed that the brunch menu was limited in terms of the Balkan food you could order. I didn't come to Ambar for waffles so, wish the full lunch menu was available to try.
Been many time to both locations. Was somewhat disappointing this time:
-Food seemed rushed. Rice in mushroom pilaf was under-cooked, you could chew uncooked rice. Ustipci (deep fried sour dough) were doughy inside-under-fried.
-Size of the portions was a shocker-they shrieked since last time to a one bite size. Been several months since was here last night, but that was very noticeable difference.
Sean, our waiter, was very good.
Hostess at the door should dress nicer, sneakers and tight jeans looked unpresentable for the restaurant.
I don't know was it because it was restaurant week, or because it is holiday, but experience was below what I am used to.
Food was good. Service was awful. Manager stepped in to help and fixed most of the issues. Changed from a great server when were seated to a new server who either was not interested or simply incapable.
Excellent food and atmosphere!
Amazing food & wonderful restaurant!
Beware that you need to order 2-3 dishes to get a meals’ worth of food. Definitely better for a group dinner than a date. Overall wonderful!
Our restaurant week meal was incredible. Favorite dishes: Bouyiourdi (eggplant/tomatoes/cheese/olive); sausage; veal soup; Balkan kebab; brussels sprouts with bacon.
We will be back!
It was an adventure in tastes. We had been in Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Slovenia in October and ours had gone two years ago. We had a delightful time with foods bringing back memories of our time in those countries.
Fantastic food, service and vibe! Our waitperson was very helpful with suggestions as this was our first visit! The cocktail options for the table was smooth, tasty and complimented the food. Dessert did not disappoint, as with everything else it was fantastic! We look forward to our next visit!
Food flavors were mediocre. Nothing worth ordering twice except the shrimp. Plates came out like 7 minutes apart. Waiter forgot an order of over 5 plates so we had to put it in 2 times. I never got to try the Brussels sprouts despite ordering it 2 times.
This was an unforgettable dining experience. The Forest Gnocchi is the most incredibly complex and satisfying dessert that I've ever experienced. Our waiter Valentin made our dining experience even more incredible!! His knowledge of this regional cuisine and friendly disposition only added to this great evening!!
Nice small plates menu, great drinks. If you’re lucky to get a good server (which we didn’t this time around), then it makes for a fantastic evening.
It was a great first time experience and the food was flavorful. I will definitely be returning. I recommend also ordering the drunken Mussels, my favorite dish of the night.
Group of five met during Restaurant Week.
Very happy with the experience.
Every course was good, as was the dessert.
It was busy, but service did well, given that.
One of us who spent some time in the Balkans said only part of it was authentic, but still a good choice.
My wife and I went on Friday of Restaurant Week. The place was busy but there were still some tables open. We were seated at a small table for two near the middle of the room and the noise was such that we had to almost shout to hear one another. We were early arrivers and even before the place started to fill there was annoyingly loud music being played.
They had a reserved table for us since we used this app, we were seated immediately. Waitress was very nice and knowledgeable. Noise level wasn’t too loud, considering it was restaurant week. The menu is very large, there is something for everyone! Pricing is great for the quality of the food. The ambience really sets the tone.
Friends and I went to Ambar for happy hour. Service, drinks, appetizers and price were great.
Very unique creative food. The ability to smaple so many dishes is very special and made my night exciting.
I come to Ambar frequently. It never lets me down.
The food was not that good. The small plates are WAY TOO SMALL. I get that you can get unlimited ones but it's still ridiculous how small they are. Too expensive for what it is.
The $35 deal is really great value for money! You can eat as much as you want and the quality of the food is fantastic! My favorites were the meat pie and the goulash! Mouthwatering. Beautiful restaurant and the service was brilliant! We'll be back :)
The ambiance of the restaurant is great. The decor is vibrant and chic. Despite being at a small table located in the middle of the restaurant, we did not feel too close or crowded to other guests. The food was amazing (we did the all you can eat small plates for brunch). It is definitely worth the money, especially if you are going to drink, because with the special, all brunch drinks are $0.25. Everything came out in a timely manner and was served fresh. Our server gave great recommendations and was very friendly. Will be returning!
If you are hoping to stay sober, you’ve come to the right place!
We loved the vibe at Ambar and finally understand why all of our friends who had come here were loving it. We did the all you can eat for $35 and were stuffed by the end. Some of the dishes were just okay but others were fantastic. Desert is not included in he all you can eat but we ordered it separately anyway and enjoyed it. We ordered the chocolate brownie (which is not a brownie at all but very good) but we were very curious about the gnocchi (no not the pasta) and asked the waiter about it. Even though we did not end up choosing that for our desert, the waiter brought it for us to try, which was really kind. We also enjoyed our drinks very much and want to try more cocktails from the signature menu. We will be back to try the brunch!
The food is reliably excellent. Very very good. My only real hesitation to dining at Ambar is the parking, or rather the lack of parking. This time, I got lucky, but I have on other occasions had to circle and circle and circle. It would be very helpful if Ambar could work out a parking situation, any parking please.
A terrific meal. Well done - we’ll look forward to returning.
Great food! The service was exceptional.
Brunch was fabulous!
The food was great, location was convenient (I took a lyft so I'm not sure how parking is), and the servers and managers are friendly.
Strong service, nice decor, but man....the food was so salty. We had approx 10 small plates (between the 2 of us) and had to drink a lot of water after the meal and through the night.
I love Ambar and frequent both the Arlington and DC locations. The food is amazing and ambience is nice. However, the Arlington location can be quite noisy when there’s a full-house. It can be difficult hearing your guests conversations even with close proximity. It’s an open concept with an elevated bar/table-top area. Also, seating in the open area can be tight, in general. It can be difficult ordering multiple items and having enough room to navigate. This is also true for the DC location. Besides the noise levels and space issues, the food is absolutely delicious and worth the visit every time.
Fantastic food and great service. Truly enjoyed the evening!
Delicious food at an amazing value! The noise level is a bit off-putting. Great to have an option for free parking behind the building.
Tried Ambar after hearing all the hype around it. The food wasn't fantastic, and fairly overpriced. My dining companion had enjoyed Balkan cuisine while he was in the Balkans, and didn't enjoy the food at Ambar. We were disappointed, and I wouldn't recommend Ambar. The only positive part was the atmosphere in the restaurant.
Here for a wedding. Have made many trips and lived in DC but have not tried Ambar. Lovely eastern euro/Belgrade cuisine. Great collection of wines to accompany. The small plate experience is affordable, diverse, and delicious. For a full scale bustling operation, service on point and amazingly efficient.
We have been to Ambar many times before; this was the only bad experience we have had. But it was really bad. It had been almost a year since our last visit, and we decided to take Family who were in town for our 30th anniversary. The food portions seemed to be smaller than we had experienced in the past. In fact, they were laughably small. For instance, the Brussels sprouts small plate included four brussels sprouts cut in half, so there were eight pieces on the plate. The pitcher of Mojitos was weak and disappointing. The service was impersonal and the waiters raced by and dropped plates on our table, with little or no interaction to tell us what was being delivered. With so many good restaurant options in the region, I’m not sure if I will return to Ambar again.
As always, superior attention and service is key mark. Food from the Balkan region is especially tasty and the variety overwhelms. Absolutely go for the unlimited sampling and be willing to try foods you may not be familiar with. You will not be disappointed.
Good - but not the right place for larger parties - the tables are too small for parties of 5 or more. Also the noise level is such that with a larger table you really can't hear each other. Otherwise great if you want a taste of ex-Yugoslavia with an American twist !
Ámbar proves to be a favorite time and time again. Love this place!
Our entire party agreed that this meal was one of the best of our lives.