Denver seafood (and burger) lovers: check out your new go-to lunch emporium. Stoic & Genuine, the immensely popular fish house in Union Station owned by Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, just launched a new lunch menu, courtesy of chef Jorel Pierce. "When we opened last year, we had an all-day menu that was geared more toward dinner than lunch. We wanted to offer guests a real lunch menu that took prep time and pricing into consideration," says Pierce, who not only jazzed up the menu with some fantastic fish items, but also added an amazing burger to the lineup. Here's a peek at the new hits.
All photos by Adam Larkey Photography
There are seven different fish and seafood dishes (all priced at $19.50) under what's called the "I'll Have the Fish" category. It showboats everything from a filet of pan-seared Skuna Bay salmon to wild-caught red Argentine shrimp (pictured) — a school of sweet, cold-water prawns that mimic the texture of lobster and arrive with one of three salads, including the Med, our favorite. Resting atop a light cream sauce dotted with feta, the salad — a tangle of fresh artichokes, arugula, olives and piquillo peppers — is topped with crispy shallots.
Another option is the Japanese hamachi — near translucent slices of lightly seared, pink flesh paired with a salad of broccoli, toasted peanuts, cubed pineapple, pickled ginger and red peppers. It's all dressed in a sesame-soy ponzu sauce.
You've all seen a tuna melt, but you've never seen (or tasted) a show-stopper like this. Nailing the wow factor every step of the way, the sandwich — layered with quick-seared albacore tuna, slaw and a slice of melty American cheese (Pierce, a playful chef, likes to interject nostalgia where he can) — is mounted on a buttered, crisp English muffin.
This is the first time since Stoic's inception that a burger has graced the otherwise oceanic menu — and it's a beauty. The altitude-high composition (no junior version here) of two thick, loosely packed, strip steak patties are seared on the flattop, then piled high with salt-and-pepper-dusted tomatoes, butter lettuce and glossy American cheese dripping over the sides. A small arugula salad topped with pickled onions can be eaten on its own, although we recommend trying the pickles as an addition to the burger for another dimension of flavor.
For something a bit lighter than the gut-busting burger bomb, feast on the East Coast-style shrimp roll. Tucked into a soft brioche bun smeared with housemade cocktail sauce and fresh-grated horseradish, the butterflied and gently fried crustaceans, lined up like dominoes, are jacketed in butter leaf lettuce. As with all the sandwiches, it's paired with an arugula and pickled onion salad.
While many new lunch dishes at Stoic & Genuine are geared toward those on a tight schedule, this is the kind of restaurant where you'll want to hang out and converse over cocktails — especially when there's granita involved. We love the Bunny Lebowski, made with Aperol-soaked granita topped with a float of cava and garnished with a duo of Castelvetrano olives.