Slideshow: First Look: Ambar Brings the Balkans to D.C.

Grilled Calamari ($10, Grilovane Lignje) and Grilled Asparagus ($7, Grilovane Špargle)
Grilled Calamari ($10, Grilovane Lignje) and Grilled Asparagus ($7, Grilovane Špargle)
The calamari is served with a Swiss chard, potatoes, and a Mediterranean salsa that lends a light balance of sweet, salt, and spice. The asparagus is served with a veloute sauce, pumpkin purple potatos, quail egg, and (get this) prosciutto chips. The prosciutto chips add a salty, savory crunch.
Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Prunes ($6, Grilovane Punjene Šljive)
Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Prunes ($6, Grilovane Punjene Šljive)
As previously mentioned, these little sweet, savory morsels are skewered and placed in a rock. It's interesting, to say the least. One thing you'll notice about Ambar's menu is that small amounts of bacon incorporated into many dishes. This is apparently an outcome of historical tension with the Turks during the 1600s. The Turks did not eat pork and indulging in it was a way for Serbians to claim something unique to their own culture. Not a bad thing to claim as your own.
Bread Basket ($6, Uštipci ili Proja)
Bread Basket ($6, Uštipci ili Proja)
A small, traditional basket of cornbread and fried sourdough served with three spreads, including two chili sauces and an aged cheese. The sourdough is essentially a sour beignet.
Balkan Kebab ($10, Ćevapi)
Balkan Kebab ($10, Ćevapi)
Beef and pork kebabs served on a bed of roasted peppers with aged cheese. It's a slight variation of the traditional proletariat meal of beef kebabs with bread and onions.
Veal Schnitzel
Veal Schnitzel
A dish not currently on the menu, but Iricanin plans on offering it soon. A panko crusted veal schnitzel served with a cucumber, yogurt, and mayo sauce.
Drinks
Drinks
Sofia ($11) and Skoplje ($11) cocktails. The Sofia is a rakia mix while the Skoplje adds mezcal, spiced pear puree, sour mix, and lime to a dose of pear rakia. On the right is the Serbian Lav (meaning lion) beer, which is a light lager; think Stella Artois.