Washington, DC New Menu Report: 10/14/15


Fill up on Balkan food with Ambar’s $59 Bottomless Balkan Dinner.

This week’s menu report highlights a few menus we think deserve closer inspection and some serious time devoted to savoring both food and drink. If you have a big appetite a bottomless dinner may be the thing, you could be in a boozy mood and want to try a range of new fall cocktails, or maybe you feel like a jerk — goats, this is? Whatever your mood, you can sip mezcal or go Bulgarian and find plenty of tasty options in the DMV.

For fun, fabulous food, and friendly service, Ambar is tops and we just discovered another reason to visit: the Bottomless Balkan Dinner. It’s available every day of the week, and for $49 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) you can enjoy unlimited Balkan food and drink. Just don’t order the mezze platter, country style steak tartare, sausage platter, and mixed meats, those can only be included if you order the $59 Bottomless Balkan Dinner. We recommend you pair your meal with the lineup of superb Bulgarian wines on the list for an authentically Balkan dining experience.

Macon Bistro & Larder
Macon Bistro & Larder has been creating a buzz with its beverage program and the person behind it all is AJ Johnson, the restaurant’s general manager and beverage director. Her love of history, culture, and intriguing ingredients are why imbibers are heading there in droves. Her new autumn cocktails are a little bit French, a blast from the past and Mexico’s revolution from France, and include a sexy, spicy cocktail that will have you begging for a second round. Here are a few highlights to tempt your palate, like the Delgres made with Damoiseau French Rum, Emilio Lustau Sherry, Velvet Falernum, cardamom bitters, an orange twist, and a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne; the Blue Sky, with Sobieski vodka, lemon, St. Germain,  and a stunning layer of Crème de Violette; Sang et Fumé with mezcal, Bittermens Amère Nouvelle and Elemakule Tiki Bitters, Alsatian style bitter orange liqueur, Campari, lime juice, agave and Elemakule Tiki Bitters, served with a smoked espelette rim; and the Juarez Fights Back made with Partida Reposado Tequila, grapefruit, Cointreau, agave nectar, rhubarb bitters, and topping of ginger beer.

Sally’s Middle Name
It takes a lot of guts, talent, and hard work to run a restaurant that only serves a full, rotating, daily menu, and Sally’s Middle Name really seals the deal by confidently publishing the menu on their website each day. You can’t fudge any last minute hiccups or changes in supplies with that approach, can you? And they’ve also included gluten-free and vegan options to widen their fan base. Today’s (October 14) menu includes jerk goat with cabbage, rice, and peach chutney; spaghetti squash puttanesca; smoked duck breast with rhubarb honey and brioche; marinated ember roasted eggplant; and grape semi-freddo with almond brittle. Sounds appetizing, right?


Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.