Ambar - Arlington

4.6
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2108 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Tapas / Small Plates
Our aim is to put together the finest products of the New World and Old World for your dining pleasure. Perennially on the edge of great empires, the Balkans owes much of its food culture to its history, geography, and climate. The term Balkan is generally believed to come from the Byzantine word meaning: “a chain of wooded mountains.” With a desire to introduce Virginia to cutting edge Balkan cuisine, we created a dining space that will delight and indulge the senses. Primarily featuring “small plates,” Ambar also offers wines and spirits from the Balkans not often experienced by the American diner. Ambar showcases the best dishes from the Balkan Peninsula with a modern twist. These dishes are presented artfully, with modern combinations that deliver the flavor profiles in a unique way. Serbian natives Ivan Iricanin and Uros Smiljanic developed the menu with the help of Executive Chef Dejan Pilovic .

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What 2108 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.4
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.5
Value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Went here for an anniversary dinner. The service was spectacular. We got the $35/per person for unlimited small plates and were not disappointed.

d
dianeinpa
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We enjoyed meeting the wait staff--VERY friendly and helpful. Every dish that was brought to us was fabulous! New flavors we'd never tried.
What a pleasant surprise!
We'll be back!

BM
BlankaM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always a great place to eat with great servers, service, people and food. Absolutely recommend Ambar!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2020
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

I made a reservation prior our arrival for 4 people and hostess try to put us on the bar table, when we had a very pregnant lady with us and restaurant was full and she was putting us on the middle of road where everyone is going through and many without masks .
Then they offer us a table outside on the sun without any cover. Very disrespectful and wrong behavior.
Management should really do more training on the staff.
We were so looking forward to try Serbian food, but instead we got cold shower with the way how are things organized in this facility.
I don’t think we would ever go back

DC
vipDCLiveWorkPlay
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on 27 June 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The staff at Ambar did a great job providing a clean and safe environment for my party to enjoy a nice night dining outdoors with them. They've added lots of seating in the parking lot behind their restaurant (in addition to the tables along the sidewalk in front and along the side of their restaurant). We had a nice table along the outside perimeter of the seating and were well taken care of by the staff and enjoyed a nice relaxing night. They served on all regular dishware but offered disposable flatware if you preferred and all staff were wearing masks and most (almost all) were also wearing gloves. Their setup is really quite nice and allowed you to almost forget about the current circumstances. The reservation was for 90 minutes technically, but there were open tables when we finished eating and there was no rush to move us along. We ended up staying for another round of drinks rather than trying to find another venue that we would be comfortable at. We had a great spot right there. Great hospitality provision during a difficult time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2020
Overall2Food1Service4Ambience2

Went here with my boyfriend. While we enjoyed our helpful/ very attentive waiter the experience was subpar. We tried the $35 all you can tapas menu which was a quite a disappointment. Received wrong orders twice and then did not receive one of our orders at all and at that point gave up. The “meatballs” were burnt, pressed, and dry to the point where we actually asked the waiter if it was steak or meatballs because we honestly thought we received the wrong order (again). The drinks were OK and many of the beers on the menu were not available. We may have set too high expectations but will not be returning regardless.

RS
RanjnaS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2020
Overall2Food2Service1Ambience1

They could have done better for COVID 19 in outdoor seating with customers. I served a spot and the table was in front of the restaurant. People were not wearing masks and serve was so poor!

m
vipmary
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on 26 June 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

So great to have them open again. Food was amazing as ever and the servers were so happy to be back. You are treated like family at mbar!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 24 June 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was amazing! We look forward to going again soon!

S
Surabaya
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 24 June 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was great lunch. Great food, staff great.

KS
KevinS
1 review
Dined on 23 June 2020
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience5

Excellent place to go for small plates and great value. Cheese pie, zucchini cakes, tzatziki, shrimp and meatballs were our favorites

SK
SarahK
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

The food is ok, but the plates are very tiny! This is a good place for a light bite and a drink. Do not come here with an empty stomach

PG
vipPeterG
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on 21 June 2020
Overall5Food4Service4Ambience4

Great to see Ambar open back up after the Covid19 shutdown. Outdoor seating was nice, on a beautiful Sunday. The service and food were good all things considered going on at the moment. We will be heading back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We were seated in the Baba section downstairs and it was everything, great ambience, great food, music. We had the best waiter too. We love this place. The cheese pie is incredible!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

A delivery truck parked next to our table and kept the engine running while we were dinning. Next time I visited the restaurant, I asked them not to sit me outside in the parking lot/tent area

BR
BlueRose24
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall2Food1Service4Ambience5

Ordered the Balkan Kebabs and the Mushroom Pilaf. The Kebabs looked And tasted like microwaved breakfast sausages. The mushroom pilaf was so salty it was almost inedible. All of the food comes in very small portions so be prepared to opt for the $35 per person all you can eat rather than the al la carte. The service was good and the ambience was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2020
Overall3Food4Service2Ambience4

Our reservation was at 1:45pm for brunch, and the server assured us they offered the bottomless food and drink options (drinks 25¢ each). However, she only came back to offer us more drinks twice in the 1 hour and 15 minutes that we sat there. Meanwhile, other servers were walking throughout the dining room with pitchers of mimosas making sure their tables’ drinks we’re being refilled. However, our server was nowhere to be found. At 2:55PM she came back to our table and told us that it was last call for any more food and drinks. I explained to her that we were disappointed that she only offered us refills on drinks twice in that 1 hour and 10 minutes we were sitting there, and she replied saying that she’s “sorry but I have all these other tables to serve as well”. She had also neglected to tell us that last call would be at 3pm until 2:55pm. If we had known this, we would’ve waved down ANY server around to ask for more drinks. Overall disappointed, but the ambiance was great and the food was tasty. However, I don’t think I would ever come back and order bottomless drinks.