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Published January 07, 2013

Balk Hard
Veal and Exotic Brandies on Capitol Hill

Time to channel your inner Anthony Bourdain. Yes, by embracing the culinary riches of far-flung lands. And then knocking back an exotic brandy or two.

First stop: Serbia. Or at least Capitol Hill’s first Serbian-owned restaurant.

Say hello to Ambar, a pan-Balkan spot that’s your next destination for out-of-the-ordinary meat preparations, opening next Monday.

Even if your last name doesn’t end with “ic,” this is the kind of place—all communal tables and long rows of banquettes—where you’ll want to lead a group of adventurous palates. (Yeah, so probably not a delegation from Oklahoma.)

The name refers to a Balkan building used to dry maize, so anywhere you look, it’s all clean lines, natural woods and copper bar tops. Unless you look down at your plate. Then it’s all slow-cooked meats and goat cheese.

We’re talking white veal soup, venison carpaccio and bacon-wrapped prunes stuffed with goat cheese.

And if veal soup isn’t social lubricant enough, look to the list of Balkan wines and beers, and especially slivovitz, the Serbian national drink made from fermented plums.

And the answer to a really tough trivia question.
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