Stollenwerk cooking in Center City

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Mike Stollenwerk (left) with Branzino owner Luan Tota.

Chef Mike Stollenwerk knows his way around a branzino or two.

Now he's executive chef at Branzino (261 S. 17th St.), the 10-year-old Italian-Euro BYOB that is four blocks from his  former home, Fish. (Lots of drama surrounded Stollenwerk's departure from Fish; the spot at 13th and Locust will be taken over by Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran.)

The new chef has a new kitchen: Branzino owner Luan Tota just finished work on a 2,500-square-foot subterranean behemoth that required the excavation of two properties' basements. 

Stollenwerk is rebuilding the menu - he says his signature skate will return after the summer - and he soon will start an in-house charcuterie program.

More immediately, Branzino starts weekend brunch on Mother’s Day.

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