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Summer has officially arrived! And with it, new summer menus at all your favorite spots. Here is a look at several of the new dishes at Ambar, D.C.’s best Balkan restaurant, all of which are created by Ambar’s charming head Chef, Ivan Zivkovic.


The small plates menu at Ambar is geared towards sharing, so when you head over be sure to grab your friends for a tasty, rakia-fueled meal. (For those less familiar with the Balkans, rakia is an Eastern European brandy that will get you warm and fuzzy in a hot second.)


Eastern European food is quite diverse; some of the most tempting dishes include creamy spreads, fresh salads, fried dough, and crispy croquettes. Popular ingredients include roasted red pepper, cabbage, mushrooms, feta cheese, and eggplant. The menu at Ambar showcases all of these delicious dishes and flavorful ingredients: sample a bright red pepper spread, hummus (perfect for dunking their fried sourdough bread in), a fresh green salad smothered in a creamy dressing, a beautiful, summery cabbage, carrot, and radish salad, a potato salad with crunchy red onion, hearty mushroom crepes, and crunchy leek croquettes.


For dessert, the chocolate forest gnocchi is the most famous, with its luscious chocolate mousse and bitter orange cake, but I am impartial to the chocolate three ways, because, well, chocolate rules.