Upland Takes Miami Beach
On a bustling block on South Beach’s Collins Avenue you’ll find Upland, the newest restaurant to sweep the burgeoning Miami dining scene. It’s the brainchild of restaurant impresario Stephen Starr and chef Justin Smillie, the duo behind the original Upland in New York and SoHo hot spot Le Coucou, easily 2016’s most celebrated fine dining restaurant.
With the success of their New York outpost, which has hosted Barack Obama, Oprah, and Gigi Hadid, to mention just a few, they decided to move their venture to a warmer climate. Diners like Courtney Love, Karolina Kurkova, and famed DJ Diplo have quickly caught on since they opened in December.
The restaurant is named after Smillie’s hometown of Upland, California, where he first got his start in his mother’s kitchen as her sous chef while overseeing their vegetable garden. Since then, he has helmed the kitchens of New York’s hottest spots like Il Buco Alimentari and Barbuto. For Upland, he has devised a menu inspired by his travels around the world, particularly in Japan, Italy and France. While you’ll find many dishes were carried over from New York to Miami, such as the smoked branzino and the coal roasted short rib (the chef’s two favorites) he also added new dishes exclusive to the Sunshine State, such as rainbow carrots and the roasted salmon with grapefruit and pickled beets.