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.
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.