UPLAND Miami, located in SoFi, is a casually chic NYC spin-off featuring wood-fired dishes with Californian & Italian influences.
Sometimes I get invited to restaurant openings and new menu tastings and, if I have a positive experience, I share it in Curated Miami so others can discover it and experience it for themselves. Other times, like last Sunday, I decide to dine out at places that have been under my radar but haven’t visited yet. Stephen Starr, the man responsible for Makoto, the Continental, and Le Zoo, all restaurants I really enjoy, opened Upland last year, a new Miami Beach eatery alongside famed chef Justin Smillie, and I’ve been wanting to go since then!
The restaurant, located south of Fifth Street, is the very definition of date night (of course I dragged my better half to my Sunday’s mission as, after Miami Swim Week, he deserved my undivided attention). Warm woods, walls lined with wine and preserved lemons and a candlelit patio makes it a perfect set up for a perfect night.
Upland Miami recommends diners share everything in order to try as much as possible, and dessert is always a great excuse to experiment, so thats what we did. To start with we ordered the Little Gem Salad tossed with avocado, cucumber, ricotta salata, and a walnut vinaigrette, which feels like California sunshine on a plate according to Chef Smillie. We also ordered Crispy Squash Blossoms which were really delicious. Smillie is known as “one of the city’s pasta savants” , so we decided to follow with a simple but requisite dish of Bucatini with pecorino romano and black pepper and Gnocchi that weren’t anything out of the ordinary to be honest. Redemption, however, comes via the mouthwatering Banana Chocolate Tart banana caramel, cashew praline ice cream and choclate ganache we had for dessert.
Throughout the meal, service was flawless. Miami could certainly use more pleasant and unpretentious bistros such as Upland.