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Chinatown Is Getting a Breakfast Sandwich Spot from a Michelin Star-Caliber Chef

Baker’s Daughter, the cafe from Gravitas chef Matt Baker, is opening a second location

An off-menu croque madame from Baker’s Daughter
An off-menu croque madame from Baker’s Daughter
Baker’s Daughter/Facebook

In the four months or so since he opened a companion cafe to his Michelin-starred, tasting menu-focused restaurant in Ivy City, Matt Baker thinks he’s developed one of the top breakfast sandwiches in D.C. The chef and restaurateur behind high-end, Chesapeake-sourcing Gravitas will bring that creation — with slices of homemade sourdough packing in a fried egg, Virginia ham, applewood-smoked bacon, gruyere cheese, arugula, and espelette pepper aioli — to Chinatown this spring when he opens a second location of Baker’s Daughter.

Compared to the first Baker’s Daughter, which opened in September near Gravitas in Ivy City, Baker says a Chinatown offshoot won’t have as much of a market component. The new location will be “more coffee oriented” with grab-and-go pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Pastry chef Aisha Momaney will expand the new brand’s lineup of baked goods, adding prepackaged single-serving custards and cakes.

“This is really just a calculated bet that we get COVID under control, and by next fall people are returning to offices,” Baker says.

Avocado toast from Baker’s Daughter
Avocado toast from Baker’s Daughter
Leading DC/For Baker’s Daughter
A lemon tarte from Baker’s Daughter
A lemon tarte from Baker’s Daughter
Leading DC/For Baker’s Daughter

Baker’s Daughter is taking over a 600-square-foot space at 675 Eye Street NW that previously held a Chinatown location of Killer E.S.P., an Alexandria-based coffee shop where employees have accused the owner of sexual harassment and disregarding public health protocols meant to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. There will be a small number of patio seats to augment an operation built around carryout and delivery.

In Ivy City, Baker’s Daughter also has a robust dinner service built around hearty comfort food with a personal connection to Gravitas cooks (matzo ball soup, beef lasagna with bechamel, bowls of Mexican pozole). In a recent review for the Washington Post, critic Tom Sietsema recommended Baker’s soups, jambon beurre, breakfast tacos, short ribs with polenta, and sesame oil- and orange-marinated salmon.

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