Stollenwerk with Branzino owner Luan Tota
Mike Stollenwerk’s run at Branzino is over at four months. Now the former star behind Little Fish and more Fish incarnations than we’d care to remember is heading to South Street. Michael Klein tells us Stollenwerk is going into business with David Ralic of Ralic’s on South. But Ralic’s itself is undergoing a rebranding. Within a few weeks the seafood eatery will be rebranded Headhouse Crab & Oyster Co.
Stollenwerk out of Branzino, headed to South St. [The Insider]
Editors Note: Once again, we’re introducing a new Foobooz writer to the world, so please welcome Camilla Brandfield-Harvey. For her first post, we presented her with an interesting task: to check out some of the Italian restaurants in and around Center City that we rarely talk about here–places that have just been quietly plugging along for years without creating the kind of
scandals disasters cronuts collaboration dinners news that makes for a compelling headline. This is what she came up with.
To pick a great Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, you might as well close your eyes, throw a dart, and make it a culinary adventure. It’s hard to get it wrong. And yet, some places remain under the radar. That doesn’t mean their rooms are any less full, their atmosphere any less charming, or their food any less exquisite. In an Italian-heavy restaurant scene, there’s Vetri, and then there’s also La Viola. So, in a city where it’s hard to mistake your Italian, here are six great places and six fantastic pasta dishes that you might be missing:
Spasso Italian Grill–Papardelle Porcini
With Spasso’s relatively large pasta selection, it may be difficult to separate your fusilli from your fettucine. Disregard both and have the papardelle porcini. A soft, wide pasta–the lasagna noodle’s younger brother–is paired with succulent and proportionate chicken slices in a porcini cognac sauce that doesn’t flood the dish but rather adds an appropriate thickness and savory flavor. With its riverfront location and kind service, Spasso will satiate your appetite for traditional Italian and Old City charm.
34 S Front Street, Old City
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It hasn’t been an easy time for Mike Stollenwerk. He once looked like he was heading for an empire with Little Fish, Fish and Fathom Seafood House. But today Little Fish has been sold and the other two have closed. Most recently, Stollenwerk has landed at Branzino, the Center City oldtimer that’s been solid but hardly revolutionary for a long while now. Brian Freedman discovers that there’s still talent in Stollenwerk and it is coming out at the Rittenhouse BYOB.
[H]he’s delivering on the promise of his talent. Branzino is the Rittenhouse stalwart that, if reliable, hadn’t been terribly exciting in some time. Stollenwerk arrived there a couple months ago, and the change is nothing short of astounding: The menu now reads like his own (minus desserts, which will be transitioned shortly), with line after line boasting dishes you really want to eat. And the flavors of the platings are excellent.
Chef Mike Stollenwerk is back, this time at Rittenhouse mainstay Branzino [Philadelphia Weekly]
Branzino [Official Site]
Mike Stollenwerk, last seen among the damp ruins of Rhino Bar and Fish (in its 3rd incarnation), has surfaced with a new gig. He’s now standing as exec at the Rittenhouse BYO Branzino. All we know right now is that he’s there, that owner Luan Tota (pictured above, with his new chef) is planning on building a brand new 2,500 square foot kitchen for Stollenwerk (which will include a space dedicated to house-made charcuterie) and that Branzino is planning on adding Sunday brunch service, starting on Mother’s Day–because rolling out a brand new menu on one of the busiest days on the food service calendar is just bound to go flawlessly, right?
Oh, and Branzino has a new dinner menu, too. Check it out after the jump.
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When thinking of love, the first thought that comes to people’s minds is usually far from lemons. Lemon Hill is challenging this notion, however, with the introduction of their Dinner for 2 Specials. Every weekend, couples can share a protein-packed entree that changes weekly. The dishes can be split between more than two people, so don’t turn down your neighbor’s double-date request just yet.
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