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May 28, 2013 01:30 PM

Good news about Branzino

We have been going to Branzino for a long time. It is one of the places for a good, reliable dinner before attending a concert at the Kimmel Center.
This last weekend we were there for the first time since Mike Stollenwerk, previously of Fish and Little Fish, took over as chef. Everything has gone up a notch!
The menu has changed; you can see it online. We all enjoyed every course, but I really loved the special of skate wings, one of the specialties that was a favorite at Fish. If you've never tried this - and they have it as a special - do.
Service was excellent, as always. byob.

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  1. Sylvia how do you find the new expanded seating? Is the restaurant still very loud?

    1 Reply
    1. re: cwdonald

      We ask for the upstairs room, where the noise is moderate.
      The night we were there, a very large wedding party was in the new back room - someone said over 100 people.
      But we tend to eat early, so we don't have a problem.
      We did eat once in the back room, and it did get noisy.
      Unfortunately, that's true of too many places.

    2. Thank you Sylvia. I have been wanting to get there since Mike Stollenwerk took over.

      1. Sylvia: You did it again! Thanks for the heads up.
        I can't wait to try the new chef.

        1. This is so odd. I usually agree with all four previous posters, but we went last night to Branzino (partyly in response to the Good News post). The place was virtually empty pre-theatre (6 pm res). Two tables in the front room, three in the side room, and no one in the back or outside.

          The bread was stale, the Branzino that I tried was almost certainly not from that day, although it was credibly cooked and boned. But nowhere close to the quality of fish that I remember from Fish.

          Pastas and starters were fine, but pretty average. The advertised ricotta pie seemed more like the cheesecake you could buy at any grocery store, and the Pana Cotta was more of a pudding.

          The prices were moderate, and the service was fine, but we came out very disappointed after having looked forward to trying this place for so long.

          5 Replies
          1. re: FrancisdeR

            Sorry to hear that. I wonder if the new chef is there full time.
            Or what could be going on in the kitchen . . .
            I hope your experience was just an "off night" and that this isn't the future. That would be sad.

            1. re: sylviag

              My feelings exactly Sylvia. I'm wondering if Stollenwerk wasn't there that night. Also (based on the comment about the Branzino not being Fish quality), I'm also wondering if Mike is not being given a free hand there. I hope that's not the case, because he certainly served the freshest fish at Little Fish and Fish. I want to get down there and would love to hear from others about their experience.

            2. re: FrancisdeR

              My husband and I ate at Branzino last night and found it to be very middle of the road. Octopus special appetizer seemed to be reheated. Everything was a little off. Disappointing.

              1. re: Feeble

                I don't know who is cooking there now. Mike Stollenwerk left long ago, and now has a casual place on South St.

            3. This report was from last May.
              Unfortunately, restaurant quality doesn't always stay the same.
              One recent visits, we found that while nothing was really bad, nothing was really great.
              We'll try again sometime, but Branzino isn't on our "regular" list these days. Too many other good choices!

              1 Reply
              1. re: sylviag

                What is on your regular list?