Table Talk: Chef lands another Fish, in Astral Plane's old space

Mike Stollenwerk, owner/chef of the new Fish in the Graduate Hospital area as well as the well-regarded Little Fish in Bella Vista.
Mike Stollenwerk, owner/chef of the new Fish in the Graduate Hospital area as well as the well-regarded Little Fish in Bella Vista.
Posted: September 24, 2009

Mike Stollenwerk has a somewhat bigger fish to fry.

That would be Fish (1708 Lombard St., 215-545-9600), his larger, liquor-licensed follow-up to his critically acclaimed Little Fish, a BYOB in Bella Vista.

Stollenwerk hopes to open next week, licensing permitting.

Stollenwerk will be full time at Fish, a 50-or-so-seater that occupies the double storefront in the Graduate Hospital area that for decades was Astral Plane. Sous chef Chad Jenkins is running Little Fish; he's now a partner.

Unlike Astral Plane's over-the-top look, Fish's vibe is one of simplicity: wood-topped tables, muted walls, white linen napkins. There's a nine-seat bar for both drinking and dining; extensive list specializes in sparkling wines and other whites by the glass, and there will be 15 beers by the bottle.

Menu (nothing over $20) is divided into "raw" (oysters, fluke ceviche, black-bass crudo, smoked-salmon roe); "cold" (hiramasa prosciutto, octopus carpaccio, rock shrimp); and larger-portioned "hot" (skate wing, monkfish, scallops). Stollenwerk's mother, Karen Adams, is making desserts.

It's open daily from 4 p.m. to catch the pretheater crowd.

What's coming

Dave Magrogan of Kildare's and Doc Magrogan's has leased the former Gap store in Chadds Ford's Glen Eagle Square for Harvest, a yupscale American grill whose seasonal entrees and appetizers all will come in under 500 calories. He's aiming for a January debut.

Openings update

In this, one of the busiest years for new restaurants, openings are drawing near:

Tuesday is the debut night of Pizzeria Stella, Stephen Starr's Neapolitan-style parlor at Second and Lombard Streets in Society Hill; for photos, see

Gemelli, chef Clark Gilbert's Italian American BYOB at 232 Woodbine Ave. in Narberth, opens Tuesday; more details here next week.

Rubb, Matt Levin's "punk rock" barbecue joint at 4445 Main St. in Manayunk, is looking to open in about two weeks.

"The next few weeks" is the opening line on Avenida (the light-priced Latin at 7402 Germantown Ave. in Mount Airy) and MidAtlantic (chef Daniel Stern's locally focused tavern at 3711 Market St.).

"Early October" is the target for Koo Zee Doo, the Portuguese BYO at 614 N. Second St. in Northern Liberties.

Jolly's Dueling Piano Bar - note its new name - is shooting for mid-October at 2006 Chestnut St.

Briefly noted

Slice, the Trenton-style Neapolitan pizzeria in South Philly, has opened a second spot, at 1740 Sansom St. Menu includes many salads.

Joe Wolf, the Striped Bass cofounder who'd been helping to run the Georges Perrier and Chris Scarduzio empire, is now retail director of the Market & Shops at Comcast Center.

Neil Stein, the other founder of Striped Bass, has surfaced with a restaurant consultancy he calls One on One With Neil Stein.

Soul, the Creole BYOB on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, is gone after eight months. Owners Angie Brown and her daughter Samantha Johnson opened shortly before their debut on the NBC reality series The Chopping Block. Brown says a producer approached her about doing a TV series. She says she had a choice: a shot at fame or continuing in the restaurant business. (You can't have both, apparently.) Brown will sell food (jambalaya, collard greens and/or crab cakes) through the Good Food Market, due to open in about two weeks on Willow Grove Avenue just off Germantown.

Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or For real-time restaurant news, see his blog at

comments powered by Disqus