DC has its fair share of diverse cuisine selections but the addition of Ambar added the much needed twist in this food town. Flavors that are unfamiliar to the typical American palate, Ambar truly takes you out of the District when you enter those doors. The decor offers the sleek, contemporary design that you will find at Ambar’s sister restaurant, Masa 14, but the dishes make you feel a tad jet lagged from the tailspin of unfamiliar selections. I like. A lot.
Ambar is for the true “foodie” (*Again, there is a difference between a “foodie” and someone who simply likes to eat “food”). The true foodie can appreciate the following, which I have come to adore, on the Ambar menu:
Suckling Pig Pita Sliders: Tender slices of slow roasted pork sandwiched between carmelized apple and horseradish dressing gives you a new appreciation for the versatility of pita bread.
Cheese Pie: Fluffy phyllo resembling a Southern style cheddar biscuit, Cheese Pie is deceiving in its name. Taking the form of a puffed biscuit and cautiously filled with the perfect amount of cheese, the cheese pie should make your list of small plates to try.
Vegetable Lasagne: I took a chance on this one. Good idea. The lasagna will seriously make you convert from your classic lasagna to one that’s brimming with gouda and eggplant aioli.
Grilled Tenderloin “Stroganoff”: A little deception in the title, where the stroganoff made the grilled tenderloin a third wheel on the date it had with creamy mashed potatoes. This is a hearty dish of exactly what the title suggests but deliberately separated. Before you order, make sure you request medium on the tenderloin.
Balkan Kebab: I love that these kabobs leave out the sticks, let me get right to it! Roasted red peppers never tickled my fancy until I saw how Ambar merged these together with grilled beef & pork. Match made!
If you can make it through the above five dishes and still have room for dessert, you should pass Go and collect your $200 (*Just kidding, hehehe!). Seriously, if you have room to eat more after this, I tilt my hat to you. Ambar boasts small plates but I left feeling stuffed and jet lagged from a road trip to 8th Street SE. Needless it was well worth the journey minus the TSA security check points…