Ivan Iricanin is bringing his Balkan restaurant Ambar to Clarendon, and the restaurant's second D.C.-area location will have more space and a wood-fired grill.
The restaurant is replacing the recently-shuttered Boulevard Woodgrill at 2901 Wilson Blvd. Iricanin searched for more than a year and a half before settling on the large corner location, which will have an open floor plan, an open kitchen, and plenty of outdoor seating. Iricanin's wife, Nya Gill, is designing the space, which has room for 100 in the dining room and 40-50 in the bar area.
One major addition to the restaurant: a wood-fired grill (the restaurant's location in Belgrade has one as well, and they've had a lot of success with grilled items there). That means they'll be able to cook everything from lamb to pig to octopus rotisserie-style. "Every meat tastes a little bit better charred," Iricanin said.
About 50 to 60 percent of the menu will be the same as Ambar's Barracks Row location. Ambar has become known for its deals, ranging from affordable happy hoursto all-you-can-eat feasts and bottomless brunches. Virginia laws prohibit unlimited alcoholic drink promotions, but discounts will still be a priority for the location, Iricanin said. "We'll see what works in the market," he said. Like the original Ambar, brunch, lunch, and dinner will be served, and they're toying with eventually offering breakfast as well. There will be 20 beers on tap, too.
The restaurant is still finalizing hires for mixologist and chef, but an October opening is the plan. A third Ambar is still bound for the Shaw neighborhood of D.C., and Iricanin said it likely will open about a year after the Virginia location. "Virginia is growing, and we're excited to be a part of that growth," he said.