Stems & Skins pumps up its menu with new executive chef


In normal times, Stems & Skins draws a loyal crowd | Photo provided, by Reese Moore

You may very well find fresh pasta and a fresh catch on the menu the next time you visit Stems & Skins, which has announced Julian Lippe as its new executive chef.

It’s a move from one celebrated local establishment to another for Lippe, who spent the past two years working the line under chef Jason Stanhope at FIG, a 2020 James Beard Foundation Award finalist for Outstanding Restaurant. Stems & Skins was a 2019 semifinalist for Outstanding Wine Program, the medal FIG won a year earlier.

Lippe | Provided

“Julian looked us up. He was moving to the neighborhood from downtown and reached out to see if we needed any help,” said Stems & Skins co-owner Matt Tunstall.

Lippe’s culinary philosophy immediately fell in line with what the Park Circle wine bar was after, Tunstall said.

“The base component was that we all enjoy eating the same way. Lots of little bites with high-quality stuff.”

“My inspiration for the menu at Stems & Skins is driven by seasonal produce and fresh seafood,” Lippe said in a press release. “The size of our current restaurant allows me to be very flexible, leading to almost daily trips to local markets or seafood purveyors. I am fortunate to have worked with incredible chefs over the past several years, who continue to serve as inspiration to me.”

Lippe’s menu will be Mediterranean-inspired, and Tunstall said they’ll continue to offer favorites like tinned seafood, cheese and charcuterie. Lippe also plans to add more diversity to the vegetable-centric menu. 

“He’s hand-making pasta everyday, and we’re really embracing our neighbors Abundant Seafood so there will be crudos and things like that,” Tunstall said. 

In recent months, Stems & Skins has hosted several pop-ups. This will continue under Lippe, primarily on Monday and Tuesdays, Tunstall said.

“We’ve really become good friends with Bok Choy Boy and Mansueta’s and are having fun doing wines on those evenings too.” 

Stems & Skins is open daily from 4-11 p.m. (per state order). Indoor tables are spaced out according to social distancing guidelines, and outdoor dining is available.

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