Jun 7, 2023 - Food and Drink

Exclusive: Michelin-starred chef to Union Market

Chef Matt Baker at Gravitas in Ivy City, DC

Chef Matt Baker at Gravitas. Photograph: Leading DC

Michelin-starred chef Matt Baker will open a rustic Mediterranean wine bar, Non Se, near Union Market early next year.

Why it matters: Baker is the rising star talent behind Gravitas in Ivy City and Michele’s downtown — and this next project promises to be fun with tons of coastal wines, an antipasti bar, and a large open-fire grill.

The big picture: Local and national talents are making the Union Market District one of D.C.’s hottest dining destinations. Fellow D.C. star Michael Rafidi is planning a Levantine culinary powerhouse. El Presidente, Stephen Starr’s Mexican restaurant, is coming soon. And Keith McNally is peeping a secret bar at Minetta Tavern nearby, slated for December.

The look: Pulled from seaside villages — think natural woods, colorful tiles, and a large indoor/outdoor bar for sipping Etna Bianco with dips and marinated octopus.

  • The 150-seat restaurant will open onto a large terrace ringed by colorful, group-friendly cabanas.

The wine: Bountiful, with around 25 pours by the glass in a variety of sizes, from half-goblet to carafes. Baker plans to showcase wines from Sicily, Spain, Corsica, and Greece with an eye for approachable pricing.

  • Also: spritzy cocktails.

The spread: Boards of antipasti and dips pulled from a display as you’d find in Italy, plus fresh-baked breads. The menu, designed for grazing and sharing, will also have rustic platters of porchetta, whole fish, or lamb ribs roasted in the hearth.

What they’re saying: “This is the food I like to cook and eat on my days off — light and vibrant,” says Baker, who lives above the restaurant.

Also in the mix: A branch of Baker’s daytime cafe, coffee shop, and market, Baker’s Daughter, at the same address as the wine bar (300 Morse St. NE).

What’s in a name: Baker says he couldn’t find one he liked. So, he went with Non Se, Italian slang for “I don’t know.” Also, a carefree attitude: “You don’t always know what you’ll get, but you know it will be good.”

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