Stephen Starr and his projects are no strangers to South Florida — or to us. The Continental, Le Zoo and Steak 954 are all places we love, so naturally we were excited to hear about New York’s Upland opening up on Miami Beach. Helmed by Chef Justin Smillie, the restaurant serves up California-inspired cuisine that’s taken South of Fifth and the city by storm. Stop by for brunch, and you’ll see exactly what all the fuss is about.
Upland’s charming setting makes it ideal for a weekend brunch. And if it’s nice and sunny out, take advantage of the weather by grabbing a table outside. Start with the Bigeye Tuna Tartare: fresh and bright with a nice kick at the end; the puffed rice on top adds some crunch for a memorable bite. Get your greens in with a Little Gem Salad whose flavor is anything but little. The walnut vinaigrette and ricotta salata make sure of that.
Pro tip: Don’t leave Upland without trying one of the pastas. For brunch, the Bucatini Cacio e Pepe is on the lighter side and won’t send you straight into a food coma afterward. Perfectly al dente and pure, it’s worth a repeat order the next weekend. For those who do want heavier fare, we present you the Chilaquiles with skirt steak, farm egg, cotija cheese and tortillas — an ideal cheat meal.
Go big or go home with one of Upland’s monster sandwiches. The Breakfast Sandwich combines turkey sausage and gruyere cheese with crack fries, while the Upland Burger is a more straightforward creation — but no less delicious — with grass-fed beef and American cheese plus some avocado and peppadews for good measure.
During your meal, make sure to throw in a cocktail (or three). The It’s Just a Gin and Tonic‘s name is an understatement; its lime and botanicals give the drink some zest that’s a welcome companion on a South Florida winter day (80+ degrees). Despite its mildly threatening name, Shakedown Street is an approachable tequila concoction whose yellow Chartreuse agave, hibiscus-white pepper tincture and lime mix together for some thirst-quenching magic.
Upland is our favorite Stephen Starr concept in Miami — hands down. From the vibe to the food to the service, the restaurant has brought its A game to the South of Fifth neighborhood. Whether you’re in the mood for something light or something food coma-inducing, Upland Miami has exactly what you need for a Sunday funday.