Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Cobaya Smillie at Upland Miami

I was excited when I heard Upland was coming to town.  I had never been to the original in New York City but I am a fan of restaurateur Stephen Starr and his restaurants.  I had also heard great things about Chef Justin Smillie.  On a side note, Upland is named after the town in California where he was he was born.  

Chef Smillie spent his early career working in the respected kitchens of Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Mercer Kitchen, Danny Meyer's Gramercy Tavern and Jonathan Waxman's Washington Park and  Barbuto where he spent six years.  Subsequent to that, he opened The Standard in NYC and then moved on to Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, which earned three stars from The New York Times. 

Are you not excited by that résumé too?

At Upland Chef Smillie has created a menu inspired by California cuisine yet incorporates his experience at Il Buco with some outstanding pastas.  

As excited as I was to have Upland in town, I was even more excited to get Chef Smillie in the Cobaya Miami kitchen.  For the record, we don't actually have a kitchen.  The dinner was at Upland but it was a special meal for the Guinea Pigs!

And Chef Smillie and his team delivered a delicious meal packed with great flavors in every course while staying true to the Upland theme.  He even nailed the salad. One of the best I've had. I must admit that I would have loved seeing and eating one of his excellent pastas.  Next time! The wine pairings from Beverage Manager, Jennifer Schmitt were equally as good.  Service was top notch as usual from a Stephen Starr spot.  

Upland is one of the best restaurants in South Beach Miami.  It's hard to find a better combination of food, vibe and scene in town.  It's exactly what South Beach was lacking.  It's one of those spots that is perfect for groups, dates, tourists and even families.  And that's not easy to achieve.  

If you haven't been Go.  If you've been you know what I mean and should get back in there again soon.  I know I will.

Cobaya menu and photos below.


spinach, asparagus, fava, artichoke, crispy mushroom, cotija

Lanson Brut Rosé NV.


crispy coconut soft shell crab, hemp + soft herbs

Adams & Haart, Goldtropfchen, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany 2016.


hot smoked tuna cheek, spicy mango

Chateau d'Epiré, Savennieres, Loire Valley, France 2014.


salt marsh lamb BBQ, sweet potatoes, sprouted lentils + green sauce

K Vintners Guido Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley, Washington 2013


strawberries, vanilla ice cream, granola
La Chapelle de Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes, France 2012

Thank you to Chef Smillie, his CDC Francis Derby and the entire kitchen crew for a fantastic and fun meal. And thanks to the entire service crew too. 

Huge props to the Guniea Pig Nation for your continued interest, support and loyalty.  Stay Tuned for some special dinners coming soon!  

49 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139


MON-THU: 4pm-11pm
FRI: 4pm-12am
SAT: 11:30am-12am
SUN: 11:30am-11pm

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