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Gravitas, Chef Matt Baker's Modern American at 1401 Okie St NE, Ivy City - Tasting Menus Only

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I'm surprised there's no thread for this place yet. It's a very pretty warehouse in Ivy City across the street from Dock FC. Like Masseria, it's tasting menu only, with a variety of dishes of all styles to choose from. You choose 4 5 or 6 courses, with the last one having to be dessert. Each person much also choose the same number of courses.  We noticed that there were exactly 20 dishes on the menu, so the four of us decided to go 5-dish ($87) and share everything on the menu.

We all loved our cocktails, which were creative and well balanced.  Instead, I got two mocktails which were nice, bubbly and gingery, as mocktails often seem to be.

The food had some great hits and some bad misses. The bread and herb butter were nice to start, and they brought us seconds.  The best dishes included sashimi style tuna, phenomenal scallops with caviar ($21 upcharge), a beautiful summer veggie salad with tiny carrots and radishes, chicken that tasted like Convivials poulet rouge, an egg a anson mill grains soup/porridge and an outstanding braised beet dish that was so creative and delicious. We liked the duck a fair bit too.

The duds included halibut that was as dense as a brick and just as dry. The tomato salad, while still tasty and pretty (I love tomatoes) had too much basalmic.  I dont eat pork, but my tablemates didnt even finish it and even had to spit out a chewy piece.  Sweetbreads were decent but a tad salty.

Everything was exceptionally pretty to look at and instagrammable.  

The most notable parts of the meal, I think, were a few odd service quirks.  My friend was getting dripped on by the air conditioner far above him on the roof. Upon politely bringing this to the attention of the young manager,  the manager could not have been less sympathetic. It was shocking really. He said they had no spare tables and that's just condensation from a new air conditioner being used in the summer. He gruffly suggested he could help move our table a few feet, but didn't seem to agree it was a big concern.  He also suggested that they had no plans on fixing this apparently recurring problem before fall. So bizarre!

Unsatisfied, my friend then raised the issue with another blazered floorman, who happened to be the sommelier.  He was a bit more sympathetic but also said that's kind of just how it is, though at least he apologized and brought us some cardamaro. 

When the bill came, we noticed that they charged us for 5 four course meals instead of 4 5 course meals, which cost $45 more total. We brought it to the attention of the sommelier, who joked "that fifth one was for me!" and went off to fix it without apologizing for the error equal to the cost of 4 extra cocktails.  When the manager came by with the revised bill, he was confused about what correction had been made and did not offer an apology. Not the kind of attitude that lead us to want to come back, even if the cooking is creative and has lots of potential. 

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On 8/13/2018 at 1:25 PM, funkyfood said:

some good photos of the food here:

"Salads Take Center Stage at This New Fine-Dining Restaurant" by Missy Frederick on dc.eater.com

They are very nice-looking pictures; I would not assume that's what you'll be receiving as a diner - I'm pretty sure these are professional photos. I'll be curious to see people's actual platings in comparison.

PS - Is "angolotti" a regional spelling? It may well be.

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Sorry to read about the experience funkyfood had at Gravitas. I ate here recently and wrote about it on my blog. My food was just as good looking as what was photographed for Eater, and nearly everything I ate was exceptional.  My only quibble had to do with the fact that I ordered two similar dishes.  My bad, but maybe the server could have mentioned it.  But overall, I love what Matt Baker and his team is doing at Gravitas.

I'm sharing my blog post here for anyone who is interested. 

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Hmmmmm - not too much input on Gravitas. FWIW we ate there several times in 2019 and loved it. Wondering if anyone has tried the Chefs Tasting Counter menu and if its worth it (to the extent that any meal priced at $210pp before drinks tax and tip can be "worth it")

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