All words by Elsie Yang
Fast, delicious, carbacious offerings are getting a major upgrade in the DC area thanks to a flurry of new cafes and bakeries that have opened in the recent weeks. We’ve chatted with the teams behind some of our favorite new spots to learn more about what has catalyzed this delightful new influx of eateries, and what can’t-miss options they’re offering.
The team behind fine dining establishment Gravitas has recently opened an all-day cafe with fabulous baked goods as well as larger prepared dishes. You can also look forward to an online cooking class and CSA boxes later in October. Chef Matt Baker will be live streaming these classes using the ingredients from the CSA boxes so home chefs can cook along with the award-winning Baker (no pun intended) from home. And if you’re already looking for Thanksgiving plans, Baker’s Daughter is offering turkey dinner packages come November.
BYT: There have been a slew of new cafes opening in the DC area (much to our delight)! Can you speak to what inspired you to open Baker’s Daughter, and why you chose this moment to open?
Chef Matt Baker: The decision to open Baker’s Daughter was spurred from the measured success that we had with to-go / delivery food during quarantine at Gravitas. We were taken back by the response from the public to support local restaurants with to-go orders and we have seen that trend continue throughout the year. I do want to mention that Baker’s Daughter is so much more than a café. Yes, we serve pastries and coffee. But really our strengths are in our prepared meals and cooked to order dishes. Additionally, our Fresh Pressed Juices are show stoppers.
BYT: Baker’s Daughter also features a fabulous market and offers CSA boxes — in what ways do you see the restaurant industry fundamentally changing in a post-COVID world to meet customer needs?
MB: I think the general consumer has been starved of being able to experience their favorite restaurants during quarantine and therefore restaurants have been looking for ways to bring the experience to the consumer. Whether that be through multi-course to-go menus, elevated take out food, to-go cocktail kits, etc. I see restaurants and chefs trying to think outside of the box to find ways to bring what makes their restaurant special to the consumer’s home.
BYT: What distinguishes Baker’s Daughter from other markets and cafes?
MB: A good number of things differentiate us from other markets and cafes. Most notably our prepared meals and our 4-course to-go tasting menus. We offer an eclectic menu with dishes that span the globe, with inspiration from places such as Spain, Mexico and France to name a few. We also have access to high-quality products that we actively use at Gravitas, that we then sell in our market.
BYT: What are the can’t miss items from your menu?
MB: Goat Cheese and Date Stuffed Piquillo Peppers over Romesco Sauce, classic Jambon Beurre, Lasagna and my favorite, Pozole.
Featured photo via Baker’s Daughter