This year has been a bit crap, but it’s nearly over, and meanwhile dinner in a warm, glowing dining room like Upland's can be a fine distraction. The restaurant is located just off Manhattan's Park Avenue at 26th Street, but named for a city east of Los Angeles, thousands of feet up in the San Gabriel Mountains, where the chef, Justin Smillie, was born.
For all its Cal-Ital marketing efforts though, it has the unmistakable feeling of a New York dining room. Look, there is Salman Rushdie in a booth, and beside him a group of fashion editors coming down hard on a plate of beef tartare. All around, there are loud, wine-fueled power dinners interrupted by long, luxurious smoke breaks.