Restaurant Reviews

Review: Stoic & Genuine Is a Keeper

Stoic & Genuine 1701 Wynkoop Street

Aside from the name, everything about Stoic & Genuine shouts seafood. In the raw bar, oysters and crab legs glisten on ice. Emerald-glass floats, salvaged from fishing nets, fill a case by the hostess stand. Light bounces off mirrored panels like moonlight on silvery water. Sand fencing wraps around the ceiling, and oversized shutters hang over the windows in front, the ones that would let in sea breezes and the squawking of gulls if we were near the ocean. But what, exactly, are those earth-toned shapes painted on upper sections of the walls?

As we sat at a banquette popping fried surf clams, sipping wine and watching the action in the open kitchen, we debated. Were they meant to be sand at low tide? Abstract coral? A rocky beach? Re-entering the small, narrow dining room after a trip to the loo, I finally understood: They were part of an octopus, with tentacled arms interrupted by twelve-foot windows. Sometimes you have to take a step back to see what's really going on -- and that's as true for this restaurant as it is for the wall art.

See also: Behind the Scenes at Stoic & Genuine

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz