Upland: Justin Smille’s Restaurant Now Delivers Big Time

20150606_175140 So, we went back to Upland. It’s still pricey but the growing pains are over. Wow, is it sensational.  20150606_175457 Every cocktail we tried was extraordinary. This one, made with chartreuse and summer sugar snap peas, is verdant, fresh, and a little savory. Appetizing, not too strong, and beautiful to boot.  20150606_182712 Meyer lemon with stracciatella, anchovy, and spring garlic

Sensational. Crispy, yeasty, airy crust topped with milky, stretchy stracciatella. It’s layered with slices of burnished, tangy lemon and notes of savory spring garlic. The anchovy is undetectable, but the pie is so addictive that you know that the anchovy’s umami powers must be at work. Don’t miss this sensational pizza.  20150606_184432 Cacio e pepe and chicken liver pastas

Both unforgettable. I am still dreaming of that cacio e pepe. I had never had this traditional Roman dish and I was shocked at how satisfying it was. Creamy, al dente, spicy, toothsome…incredible. The chicken liver pasta is meaty and fragrant with hints of woodsy rosemary and sharp Parmesan cheese. The pasta here looks like it came out of a play-doh machine and is undeniably fun and cute. Big win.  20150606_190335 Short rib with black olives, celery, and horseradish

Chef Smillie’s signature dish and one of some controversy. I can see why – this is damned good. Not overseasoned or aggressibely prepared – it has a heavy, pleasant char and lets the meat’s flavor and tender texture shine. The horseradish is applied sparinly and provides a zip and zing to the crispy celery salad and soft, meaty short rib.

Upland offered a great night. The service is excellent, the bread is still fabulous, and all of the food is now up to par for the prices. A lovely special occasion or date restaurant – I can’t wait to return. 


  1. Jill Simmers says:

    Hello Lovely Foodie! You sure do eat some delicious things. You are obviously very busy and I admire how you post pretty much daily even when you are jetting around everywhere. My only suggestion for improvement is a bit of proof-reading and greater variety of expressive words. For example, when you describe the pizza with Meyer lemon the word “burnished” doesn’t seem to fit very well. And maybe try not to use “verdant” for a few months; that word seems to come up sooo often on this blog. When I described your blog to a colleague I even said how much you must like that word due to it’s presence on your blog! And the second to last paragraph seems rushed as you’ve written god where you might have meant good, there’s a typo of ti instead of it, and I have no idea (but am slightly intrigued about) what a cleery salad is. Cheers!

    • fritosfg says:

      Hi Jill! Thanks so much for the kudos AND for spotting the typos! I appreciate your feedback and hope that you continue reading 🙂