Built around a California-inspired culinary philosophy that takes heavy cues from the seasons, Upland balances a familiar rusticity with a smart global approach, all enhanced with a New Yorker’s eye for detail. Handsome natural wood and lush leather lend sophisticated substance to Upland’s brasserie-esque environment, dynamic yet intimate from the bar through to the dining room. The menu offers an artful array of starters, entrees and sides, each plate accented with chef Justin Smillie’s enticing and urbane touch. The wine program matches the excitement coming out of Upland’s open kitchen, with a worldly list and a clever by-the-glass selection that’s remarkably food-friendly.
Born in rural California and raised in rural New Jersey, chef Justin Smillie has long been inspired by the rugged elements of the great outdoors, from camping and fly-fishing to foraging for wild ingredients. It’s a mentality that informs the approach at Upland, his hit collaboration with Stephen Starr. The restaurant, with locations in both New York City and Miami, showcases Smillie’s California roots and rustic culinary sensibilities while paying homage to the culinary influences that shaped his point of view.