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Best of Arlington 2018

Ambar Clarendon

Best New Restaurant

Sour cabbage rolls at Ambar Clarendon. Photo by Jonathan Timmes

Bright and boisterous, this 130-seat Wilson Boulevard café has been a hot spot ever since it opened in October 2016—thanks, in part, to its friendly and efficient service, including a waitstaff that knows its way around the Eastern European menu. Sip on cocktails made with rakia (fruit brandy) and take a culinary tour of the Balkans via small plates such as sarma (sour cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and pork belly), braised veal soup with root vegetables, spinach-phyllo pies with garlic yogurt, chicken cutlet with walnuts and green apple, and roasted eggplant spread with sesame oil. For a nightcap, head downstairs to Baba, the sexy subterranean cocktail lounge Ambar’s owners opened last February, and try the Slivovitz Sidecar with jalapeno Triple Sec.


–David Hagedorn

Other top vote-getter: Barley Mac