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High-Priced Tasting Menu Destination Gravitas Adds an a La Carte Lounge

Eater logo Eater 2/18/2020 Tierney Plumb
a living room filled with furniture and a large window © Leading DC/Gravitas

Michelin-starred Gravitas is introducing an la carte option to its menu tonight, making splurge dinners at the celebrated Ivy City restaurant known a little more affordable.

Chef Matt Baker typically serves American meals full of pristine produce and seafood that start at $90 for five customizable courses. But individual dishes can now be ordered within a new 55-seat bar and lounge located next to the main dining room.

Starters ($12 to $28) include yellowfin tuna sashimi and foie gras terrine. Entrees like slow-roasted chicken breast in fennel cream or roasted lamb loin in blood orange jus are all under $37. A short list of desserts ($14 each) include a grapefruit parfait with earl grey tapioca, carbonated lychee, and vanilla shortbread.

For customers still looking to spend big, there’s caviar service with warm black truffle brioche (starting at $60) and an assortment of mix-and-match cheeses,

The a la carte option is available across Gravitas’s newly enclosed, 30-seat patio entrance and a 25-seat vestibule adorned with the same lush greenery and industrial-chic vibes found inside Baker’s self-styled warehouse in Northeast. The new no-reservation option is available on a first come, first served basis.

a dining room table in front of a window © Leading DC/Gravitas
The new plant-filled a la carte setup at Gravitas.

The new option is similar to the al fresco, a la carte move at fellow Michelin-rated Pineapple & Pearls.

Baker’s fancy cooking reached a broader audience last summer with the opening of the Conservatory cocktail bar on the roof. The glass-enclosed offshoot’s tight menu of raw seafood, charcuterie, cheeses, and tartines also gets bigger tonight.

On the bar menu upstairs, there will now be crispy saffron arancini and wagyu beef chili alongside a section of “handhelds” featuring a Cuban sandwich and lobster roll. There’s also Alpine fondue.

a cup of coffee on a table © Leading DC/Gravitas
Gooey fondue and accoutrements is now on the menu at The Conservatory.

New tonic and absinthe-based cocktails served in vintage glassware include “The Return of the 80s”, adorned with Smurf cartoons, and “Big in Japan” comes in an oversized sake cup.

A small, uncovered adjacent rooftop garden will continue to supply seasonal produce like herbs and microgreens to the kitchen. The space will eventually host winemaker happy hours and live music.

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