Restaurant Spotlight: Upland
Restaurant Spotlight: Upland

STARR Restaurants' Upland restaurant is located in the Gramercy/Flatiron on 26th Street, just east of Park Avenue South. The lead chef at Upland is Justin Smillie. Upland restaurant was named after the city on the West Coast that was a major influence on Smillie's love of cooking. Upland is a symbol of California inspired cuisine in the heart of New York City. 

Smillie was born and raised in San Bernardino County. Smillie hoped to incorporate the ingredients, flavors, and techniques of California cooking in an East Coast environment. Smillie has multiple years of success in the New York market, receiving a three star review for his work at Buco Alimentari. That review from the New York Times allowed Smillie the opportunity to work at his dream restaurant. 

STARR Restaurants' Upland has been established around a philosophy that has heavy influences from the seasons. Upland combines unique rusticity with a global approach. There is also an emphasis on detail that New Yorkers can appreciate. Upland's menu has a wide variety of starters, entrees, and sides, all highlighted by Smillie's unique style. Upland is very excited about its wine program, with over 500 choices along with an innovative by the glass selection that is compatible with food. 

To match the detail of the food and drink, lead designers Roman and Williams use specific materials to highlight the true spirit of STARR restaurants' Upland. Different elements of leather, natural oak, custom blown glass, and copper are sprinkled throughout the open space to symbolize heritage and utility. Upland believes that utility and heritage are two critical virtues of the plan. Talented artist Wayne Pate has created multiple murals that feature California produce, such as citrus, figs, and artichokes. This helps showcase New York's open minded vision when it comes to food. 

Upland has four different menus; brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert. The brunch menu features doughnuts,  a citrus salad, and a pastry basket that features a pound cake, baguette, and a croissant. The regular brunch menu features dishes such as eggs benedict, farm egg omelet, and buttermilk pancakes. Other brunch menu items include an Upland cheeseburger and a margherita pizza. You can also choose from any number of side items, such as bacon, sausage, or fries. 

The lunch menu features beef tartare and crispy duck wings as appetizers. The five lettuce caesar salad, roasted cherry tomatoes pizza, and spaghettini pomodoro are popular menu items. Sandwiches include quiche borraine and fried chicken. The dinner menu features items such as the diver scallop crudo, smoked roasted branzino and grilled long island duck. If you are looking for vegetables, try the norwich meadows baby carrots. 

The dessert menu includes milk and cookies, ice cream, sorbet, and a honeycrisp apple crostata. Upland's wine collection is astonishing. Upland has the best wines from all over the World, including Canada, The United States, South America, and Europe. Vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, and cognac are also available. If none of those drinks interest you, cocktails and beers are available as well, as STARR Restaurants' Upland strives to appeal to everyone.