Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dining in New York: Upland

There has been a lot of buzz around Upland, and I was excited to see what it was all about! 
Upland opened up in the old Manzanillas space in Gramercy in the late fall. Chef Justin Smillie (Il Buco, Gramercy Tavern, Mercer Kitchen) paired up with Stephen Starr to bring some California-inspired Italian cuisine to the 'hood.

I somehow got a reservation for a Monday at 9pm, just by checking a few days before. I think this was a fluke, it seems like if you want a table that isn't at 5:30pm or 10:30pm, you have to wait a month. 

The space is cozy, and the colors were inspired by the "lush rolling farmlands of California" (where Chef Smillie is from).  

We were seated in a cute banquette, and ordered some red wine by the glass. 

We ordered the octopus, the 'nduja pizza, and the pappardelle to share. The octopus was a major miss - it was overcooked, and overall not very tasty. However, the pasta and pizza did live up to the hype.

I am obsessed with the 'nduja pizza now. 'Nduja is an Italian sausage spread, I've noticed it has gained increasing popularity on menus. I first saw it at Piora, and now I see it everywhere! It is heavenly. 

Overall: I would come back here again and again until I got sick of the 'nduja pizza. The pasta was also very good, but I was starry-eyed about my new found favorite dish. Upland also had a decent selection of wines by the glass. We were too full for dessert, but I'd be curious to try that out next time too.

345 Park Avenue (at 26th and Park, entrance is on the 26th street side, not Park Ave side)
New York, New York 10010
(212) 686-1006

Upland is open for dinner (daily), lunch (weekdays), and brunch (weekends). You can make reservations on opentable,

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