Last Thursday, mother nature dropped another load of snow and ice on the DC area. As I’ve explained before, this city just does not have infrastructure to deal with snow so more likely than not, the federal government will shut down and most DC offices follow suit. After a day full of working from home, I was sufficiently stir crazy and needed to get out of house. Luckily, two of my best girl friends, Jenna and Ariel, live right down the street and were equally down for a night out.
Mount Vernon Square is experiencing a solid restaurant revival. Silo, one of a handful of new haunts in my neighborhood, opened up on 5th street in January. We had each been there for drinks (hello lemon and rosemary old fashioned), but never sat down for a meal. This French-Swiss joint did not let us down!Lending to its name, Silo has a very industrial feel with exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and tables made out of metal tubing. In fact, 80% of the restaurant is composed of reclaimed materials. Despite the alternative design, Silo’s warm, casual, and inviting atmosphere makes it feel like a true neighborhood spot. George Vetsch, the executive chef, hails from Switzerland and was trained in classic French cuisine. Chef Vetsch definitely pays homage to his heritage in many of the items on the menu. We each began our meal with Silo’s OldFashioned. When I’m not enjoying wine, I’m definitely a whiskey girl and can’t resist a good Old Fashioned. Silo puts an interesting twist on the classic with an infusion of rosemary and lemon. These drinks are divine but the cocktail glass this was served in is just too small for my liking.
To start her meal, Jenna enjoyed a fresh mâche salad.
Ariel and I feasted on a pan of mussels saffron atop a piece of toast and drenched in a vermouth, leek, and sun-dried tomato sauce.
I’ve never had mussels served out of the shell but this did not deter me from wolfing down my share. The decadent sauce swept me off my feet. I had to ask for more bread to mop it all up. At $8 a pan, this appetizer is not only a steal but a must have!
For the entree course, Jenna and Ariel both ordered the chicken breast, served with a mango-chutney coconut sauce, pineapple salsa, and a generous helping of fried spinach. I tend to avoid ordering chicken at most restaurants (bore factor) but I had a taste of this plate and almost had a change of heart. The coconut sauce served with the chicken had such complex flavors with strong notes of curry, I felt as though I was eating a dish straight from India. The fried spinach also reminded me of palak chaat, an Indian specialty you can find at Rasika.
For my meal, I chose the potato-crusted branzino, which came highly recommended by our server. This delicate fish was served atop a bed of sauteed spinach and tomato-olive-caper concassé all over a pool of rich fennel soubise. The spinach tasted a bit too salty, but that aside, I licked my plate clean.
As we enjoyed our dinner, I spotted a waiter delivering two giant hamburgers to a couple sitting in a corner. I found out that these burgers are only $7 at the bar during happy hour. I will surely head back to Silo to give that burger the ultimate taste test! Silo offers a few more intriguing bar items such as the mac and cheese, spirited with kirsch and white wine, and the fried lobster roll, with basil aioli.
And if my review doesn’t intrigue you enough, there is a rumor that Silo plans to open up a rooftop deck this spring. This would be one of the only rooftop restaurants in the Mount Vernon Square area.
Silo is located at 919 5th Street NW just above Mass Ave and below K Street. Check out their full menu here.