by Larry Janezich
Ambar will open on Monday, according to Sibila Hatala, the restaurant’s manager. Ambar will serve nouveau Balkan cuisine, focusing on dishes from the owner Ivan Iricanin’s native Serbia. The name “Ambar” refers to the bin where corn is stored after harvest in Serbia.
The menu (in Serbian and English) will offer items not usually available elsewhere on Capitol Hill, for example: roasted mushroom crepe, beef and goat cheese napoleon, grilled bacon wrapped prunes stuffed with goat cheese, and venison carpaccio.
The wine list is heavy on Eastern European and Adriatic countries and run from $31-$90 a bottle ($8-$10 by the glass). The wine list includes a helpful wine glossary, explaining the Balkan words describing the wines. Cocktails, many featuring sljivovic (old plum brandy), are $10.
Ambar is located at 523 8th Street, in space formerly occupied by Jordan’s 8. The restaurant will initially serve dinner and brunch, but eventually the owner hopes to serve all three meals. Iricanin, is one of acclaimed chef and international restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s partners in two 14th Street restaurants – El Centro and Masa 14.