Summer happy hours are a thing of beauty, especially at Ambar Balkan Cuisine on Barracks Row. It’s a crime that it took me so long to stop by and take advantage of their beautiful space and excellent specials.
Happy hour at Ambar is served Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at both of their bars. I’m partial to the gorgeous rooftop bar, an oasis amid the bustle of Capitol Hill.
I started out with a refreshing mojito while Tom had a beer and later we tried both the house red and white wines, all delicious and a steal at four bucks.
The food, however, is the real bargain. If you wanted to, you could have a full and well-balanced meal during Ambar’s happy hour and be completely satisfied. We had groceries at that needed to be used, but we couldn’t help but have a couple of snacks anyway. Next time, we’ll stay awhile and really fill up.
Everything we sampled was fresh and flavorful and relatively healthy, not exactly common for happy hour food. The Balkan salad was light and set off by a delicious tangy dressing.
The portion sizes of both the beef and pork kebab and the drunken mussels were impressive. Each item was cooked well and to order, again all for $4.
If you’re not that hungry but feeling snacky, the urnebes dip and hummus both with homemade bread seemed like popular choices among fellow diners.
I also appreciated that the happy hour menu was clearly displayed when we walked in and we didn’t get any attitude for our frugal ways. I won’t name names, but we actually wound up at Ambar after trying a place across the street with a decidedly snootier atmosphere that, while advertising a happy hour online, did not provide us with a happy hour menu or any information about the specials.
Service at Ambar, by comparison, was excellent and very friendly, even though it was clear the bartender and all servers were slammed. They even did a last call right before seven to give patrons a chance for one more discounted drink or dish.
There are several amazing happy hours in the DC area, but Ambar might just be the best deal in town.
Ambar’s happy hour runs Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. They also offer healthy weekday lunches, an incredibly diverse dinner menu and an unlimited brunch on weekends.