Finer dining takes root in Ivy City with Gravitas

Matt Baker figures he looked at more than 50 sites for his maiden restaurant before settling on the former Pappas Tomato Factory in Ivy City. The setting was basically his wish list, says the 31-year-old chef: a “perfect rectangle” of an old building in a “developing neighborhood” he felt he could help mold.

The light-filled Gravitas looks nothing like any of its nearby competitors, restaurants including Ivy City SmokehouseAri’s Diner and La Puerta Verde. The new kid on the block benefits from the good bones it inherited and a few contemporary flourishes, the sum of which finds visitors sitting in a dining room with poured concrete floors, expansive brick walls awash in white paint, steel beams and pops of green. Succulents suspended in glass globes, for example, keep the setting from appearing overly industrial.

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PressAustin Polasky