The Washington Post

Chef George Vetsch surfaces at Mount Vernon Square’s forthcoming Silo

“The beauty of working days is over,” says George Vetsch, the former chef at the lunch-only C.F. Folks in Dupont Circle. “Back to reality!”

George Vetsch. (Photo by Allison Dinner) George Vetsch. (Photo by Allison Dinner)

That’s the veteran chef’s way of announcing his new gig, working for first-time restaurant owner Reza Akhavan at the forthcoming Silo at 919 Fifth St. NW. The name, says the former general manager of Shaw’s Tavern, is a nod both to the industrial interior he’s created and the facility used to store grain. Akhavan’s 60-seat dining room near Mount Vernon Square will be “modern American with Swiss and French influences.” (Vetsch hails from Switzerland.)

The chef left C.F. Folks in May, around the time the beloved shoebox was recognized as one of America’s Classics by the James Beard Foundation. Vetsch spent two months back home before returning to Washington, where he pitched in at restaurants including Pesce in Dupont Circle and subsequently turned down at least two offers to work for other employers. “I had the luxury of taking it a little bit easy till I found what I was really comfortable with,” says the chef.

Pending an inspection or two, Silo is expected to roll out around Christmas as a dinner-only destination, with chestnut fettuccine and frog legs with braised endive among the first courses. Entrees range from a $16 lemon-crusted chicken roulade with prosciutto and mozzarella, to a $24 grilled lamb loin with braised cabbage, barley risotto and raisin jus.

In a gesture to where he’s from, Vetsch's bar menu will include macaroni and cheese -- spirited with kirsch and white wine.

(Reza Akhavan)
Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.



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