Diet & Health

Gravitas Chef Opens French-American Brasserie Michele’s Downtown DC

Michele’s opens in downtown DC from Michelin starred chef Matt Baker. Images by LeadingDC

Chef Matt Baker of Ivy Town tasting space Gravitas will quickly debut his next cafe, Michele’s. The playful French-American brasserie and uncooked bar will open up on Wednesday, November 3 within downtown DC’s trendy Eaton hotel. The 132-seat eating place and heated out of doors patio will be joined by a department of Baker’s all-working day cafe Baker’s Daughter. An personal omakase tasting bar will debut in the coming weeks.

A riff on a lobster roll with a creamy salad, micro celery, and toasty brioche. Photograph by LeadingDC

Named following Baker’s late mother, Michele’s draws from three massive culinary forces: her indigenous New Orleans, Baker’s indigenous Houston, and the chef’s traditional French schooling, which he says is often “the backbone of the kitchen area.” So what does that look like on the desk? Not your regular brasserie fare.

Hamachi crudo is impressed by tacos al pastor. Photograph by LeadingDC

Some of the nods to Baker’s most loved food items towns are additional apparent than others. A hamachi crudo—with Tajin spice, pineapple, guajillo-chili dressing, avocado mousse, and cilantro—is encouraged by Houston’s al pastor taquerias. A fried entire fish with nuoc cham, herb salad, and crispy garlic pays tribute to his hometown’s large Vietnamese populace and eating scene.

New Orleans arrives to intellect in dishes like oyster gratinee, which is served with grilled bread for mopping up the creamy Creole-spiced sauce. There are also a lot of greens on the menu, these as barbecued carrots dressed in a Worcestershire-heavy sauce with cornbread croutons. 

“I imagine Dauphine’s has the best BBQ shrimp in the metropolis,” claims Baker of his downtown New Orleans-impressed neighbor. “We fundamentally shoved out the shrimp and plugged in carrots.”

Vegetarian dishes include things like this celery root “tatin” with miso-apple cream and agave glaze. Photograph by LeadingDC

For dessert, pastry chef Aisha Momaney is prepared with soufflés sauced tableside with creme anglaise, and a decadent bananas Foster sundae. Baker also tapped former Bourbon chef Andrew Cleverdon as chef de cuisine.

Uni-brioche toasts accompany a Maryland crab salad with grapefruit sabayon. Photograph by LeadingDC

The warmly lit area, intended by Natalie Park (also powering Dupont Circle’s Anju), supplies plenty of opportunity to splurge. Seafood towers—small and grand—will parade from a customized, walnut-and-brass raw bar. Diners can indulge in selfmade breads, composed charcuterie plates, and cheeses to start out. Or opt for caviar service—either traditional or a more playful (and fewer high priced) “chips and dip” version with trout roe, a creamy ranch-type custard, and butter-fried potato chips. Currently being a cheffy brasserie, of program there is a $70 extravagant hen for the desk: a brined, spice-rubbed chicken served toes-on with wooden fire-roasted breasts, a pot of confit thighs in loaded hen-unwanted fat sabayon, and crispy fried legs.

An early variation of the roast hen dish with wood-roasted breasts, confit thighs, and crispy legs. Photograph by LeadingDC

Evening meal will launch the restaurant, with lunch and brunch to stick to. A ticketed omakase counter is also slated to open in the coming week. It will provide a seafood-centric menu of 18-to-20 bites (pricing is TBD but Baker says it’ll be similar to the chef’s counter at Gravitas, and in the $150-plus vary). Seafood gueridon (cart service) will also start out rolling shortly for tableside presentations.

A raw bar provides tartares, crudos, dressed oysters, and much more. Photograph by LeadingDC.

Baker says he’s figured out a great deal in the 6 yrs he’s operate Gravitas, which he calls a “small mom-and-pop high-quality eating Michelin [starred] restaurant.” Does he have stars in his eyes for Michele’s?

“When we opened Gravitas we’d in no way talk about the accolades like Michelin or Washingtonian prime 100,” says Baker. “If we do our position, the accolades will appear, and that is how we have constantly handled our business enterprise.”

Michele’s. 1201 K St., NW

Deviled eggs. Photograph by LeadingDC

Foodstuff Editor

Anna Spiegel handles the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA plan in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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