Upland | 345 Park Avenue South
If you own a condo at 88 & 90 Lex, chances are you’ve already fallen in love with NYC and one of the greatest assets it possesses: its diversity. With its denizens hailing from and celebrating innumerable cultures, New York contains not only international restaurants, but regional American ones, too.
Take Upland, for example, a new restaurant from acclaimed chef Justin Smillie, who was born and raised in San Bernardino and is on a mission to bring you the taste of contemporary California cuisine with an NYC twist. The restaurant’s decor will transport you westward immediately: you’ll find yourself welcomed into a breezy, open space punctuated with natural oak, blown glass, and finishing touches of copper. On certain nights of the week, you might even be met by Smillie himself at one of his special events.
If you’re in search of a satisfying Saturday brunch just a short stroll from your condo, Upland won’t let you down. If you’re in a devilish mood, choose the donuts with vanilla bean sea salt, almond, and gianduja, and follow them with the naughty-sounding “eggs in hell.” If you’re being better behaved, we’d suggest the farm egg omelette, made with Bulgarian feta and spinach. And of course, we recommend a glass of the Cava Brut Reserva as a weekend treat.
Upland is an excellent venue for a work lunch. Order a tuna tartare to start, and move on to the signature Upland cheeseburger—a tower of grass fed beef, cheese, Peppadew peppers, and avocado. A bottle of Redbyrd Orchard “Workman Semi-Dry Cider,” made in the Finger Lakes, will pair perfectly.
Upland really comes into its own with its multicourse dinner menu. Tease your palate with a Junmai Kimoto sake and seared sepia with spring peas, salami rosa, and smoked labneh. Then, try the classic Roman bucatini cacio e pepe, with its heaps of pecorino romano and cracked black pepper. For the main event, we love the epic Upland cioppino—a dish of clams, red shrimp, mussels, bass, lump crab, and other seafood—paired with one of the excellent white wines on the extensive list.
Still have room for dessert? The salted chocolate chip cookies with Battenkill milk, or chocolate orange budino will surely do the trick, along with a bottle of the sweet Fattoria Viticcio wine for good measure.
Image Courtesy of @iStock.com/PeteerS