I expected Upland to be good after reading the rave reviews. But I didn’t expect it to be THIS good. Our table of four shared 8 dishes and each one was noteworthy. I would order them all again…and we thought of ordering some of them again that very evening! Thinking with our heads instead of our stomachs we restrained ourselves, but it wasn’t easy.
Though we were just days from the start of October, the menu still had an heirloom tomato salad on it. Trusting that they would have replaced it had the tomatoes not been up to par (and getting confirmation of that from our server), we took a leap of faith and were richly rewarded. Visually stunning, the tomato salad was paired with a sesame dressing that made the dish both unusual and addictive.
Though the chicken liver pasta is the restaurant’s signature dish, we opted for the spicy sausage ragu with pappardelle noodles. The noodles were homemade, had just the right bite, and the sauce was spicy and thick.
We shared two entrees; skirt steak with romesco and smoked chicken with roasted corn, mimolette, quicos + tajin seasoning . The skirt steak was cooked perfectly and was incredibly flavorful and tender. I’d rather have that particular piece of meat than a ribeye. The chicken was so moist, and the hash that accompanied it was brilliant. Remember the salty corn nuts that we used to snack on? They added both crunch and interest, in the same way that Josh Eans of Happy Gillis used them in his ham shank and grits dish. I had never seen them in an upscale dish until this year.
We ordered a nectarine and blueberry galette, and the server also brought a peanut butter chocolate cake with milk chocolate ganache + peanut butter mousse, compliments of the house for my son’s birthday. Both hit the spot, but the galette’s crust was really special. Sugary, chewy, and light.
The space is contemporary and very attractive. Though the hard surfaces contribute to the energy, we were lucky enough to be in a booth and had no trouble enjoying our conversation.
What a great evening. We will be back.