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Upland

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

345 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10010 40.741599 -73.985243
Entrance on E. 26th St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-686-1006 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: American Nouveau, Italian
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
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    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
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  • Critics' Rating: ***

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
Photo by Liz Clayman

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Official Website

uplandnyc.com

Hours

Mon-Fri, 11:30am-3pm and 5pm-11pm; Sat, 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm; Sun, 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm

Nearby Subway Stops

6 at 28th St.

Prices

$18-$82

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Dine at the Bar
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

Justin Smillie would have us believe that Upland, the very fine restaurant he opened with the megarestaurateur Stephen Starr on Park Avenue South, is in some way inspired by the cuisine of his home state of California. The name comes from the town outside of L.A. where Smillie grew up, after all. The small foyer inside the restaurant’s entrance is lined with decorative canning jars of preserved lemons (Upland has a famous lemon festival, apparently). The servers are all dutifully dressed in checked aprons, like in a rural country kitchen, and the big, brassy, somewhat generic-looking space (“I feel like I’m in the original California Pizza Kitchen,” someone at our table said) features lots of painted-wood wainscoting and two decorative metal farm tubs planted with assorted flowers and wild grasses.

Luckily for us, this talented young cook’s particular version of California cuisine passes directly through the hills of Tuscany and Rome by way of the downtown market restaurant Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, where he made his New York reputation. Some of Smillie’s signature Il Buco dishes show up on the menu here (including a fine rendition of bucatini cacio e pepe, and his legendary pepper-crusted short ribs for two), and each of them is worth the price of admission. You can bolster these old favorites with a variety of elegantly rendered seafood dishes (a seasonal crudo, nicely charred whole branzino), along with a small avalanche of enticing vegetable options, the most arresting of which is a crisp-fried hen-of-the-woods mushroom as big as a man’s fist. For maximum trencherman pleasure, complement it with an old-fashioned wedge of pecan pie for dessert.

Ideal Meal

Whole crispy mushroom, bucatini cacio e pepe, roasted short rib for two, and pecan pie.

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