|Silo Burger with Coleslaw and Fries|
D.C.'s Penn Quarter and Chinatown are bustling neighborhoods full of an expanding lineup of interesting lunch options catering to both the office workers and tourists that fill sidewalks at midday. It can be fun, but for a quieter lunchtime outing I find myself headed instead to Mount Vernon Triangle, the up-and-coming neighborhood of expanding restaurant options just north of Chinatown.
Silo is a great addition to the area. It's a beautiful, open space of exposed brick, patches of plaster, concrete floor and exposed air ducts with dark wooden furniture. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the street side and skylights in the back keep natural light filtering throughout the whole restaurant, preventing it from feeling cavern-like. If you like restaurant design that's simple and minimal, this is a nice example.
|Silo's cool minimal-industrial interior; photo courtesy of BadWolf DC, a blog about D.C. news, restaurants, events and more.|
The minimalism extends to the lunch menu. It's a short selection of starters, salads and sandwiches, but one that shows some good thought as well. Finding something I'm in the mood for has never been a problem at Silo, and I've enjoyed everything I've sampled, although, as I'll point out there are little tweaks I think would make some of the dishes even stronger.
|Vegan Carrot-Butternut Squash Curry Soup|
|Kohlrabi Soup with Bacon|
|Mâche Salad with Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts and Quail Egg|
|Spinach-Arugula Salad with Apples, Beets and Grapefruit|
Silo is closed on Monday but open for lunch the rest of the week and does a brunch on weekends, as well as dinner nightly from Tuesday through Sunday. I haven't been to Silo for dinner, and Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema's First Bite wasn't particularly positive. But expectations for lunch can be different than for dinner, and I wouldn't hesitate to return to Silo, especially if they change the menu soon for spring. Chef George Vetsch, formerly of C.F. Folks, had been working the kitchen when Silo opened but departed recently, leaving sous chef Calvin Di Giovanni at the helm. With the Swiss Vetsch out, it will be interesting to see if Silo retains its "modern American cuisine with a Swiss/French twist" or changes course a bit.
Silo, 919 5th Street NW (between I and K Streets), Washington, D.C. (Mount Vernon Triangle). (202) 290-2233. Reservations: City Eats.