Tucked away just off Scottsdale Road surrounded by a foliage lined patio, The Upton makes for a great spot to grab a few drinks and nibbles, to feel a little less in the middle of a desert. I swoon and take any opportunity to alfresco dine and at The Upton it begs to be enjoyed seated outside. The colorful patio in the front has a chimenea. In the back even on a cool evening the patio is spotted with heaters with an arresting mural that emanates an urban vibe despite the coiling vines and christmas light wrapped tree.
I was immediately greeted and sat by a server who was knowledgeable about the menu which spans a globally influenced cuisine. After ordering a glass of good wine from there I let the server be the guide in terms of what to nosh on. I had to begin with the ribs that had won the award at Devoured last year. Crispy, sweet, sticky, fall off the bone, wading in a pool of scarlet hued sauce and topped with toasted peanuts. The little bit of cilantro sauce, I could have had a dollop more of, to give me some acidic kick to cut through the rich flavors that harken to a world away.
I got the cilantro sauce in heaps on the roasted cauliflower dish. I sopped up every bit of the bright, punchy green sauce with every bit of buttery tasting roasted cauliflower. I wanted to order a second ramekin and scrounge for more. Every bite had felt savory and yet exciting, it is a crowd pleasing dish for sure even though some might shy away from cauliflower only scared that it might never be flavorful and satisfying enough. The Upton proves that wrong with a simple side dish.
For the main course, the storied Southern Fried Chicken beckoned and so did the steak but the server mentioned the salmon was a favorite. My dish took a little while but the server made note of it and totally checked in when they had noticed it hadn’t quite left the pass. It was worth the few minutes of anticipation. I am happy I chose this dish paired with a brussel and toasted farro salad studded with fresh grapes. The salmon was cooked perfectly to medium rare with a perfect almost bruleed outside and a fork revealing the delicious flaky interior. It was a perfect light summer meal that left me with leftovers to happily take home. The swipe of lemon yogurt sprinkled with a spice and toasted sesame seeds. I could have used more than a swipe to add another dimension to the salad, whose best parts were the bites with the grapes. That tart sweetness was needed to add interest to the mix of brussels and farro coated in a creamy dressing.
The dish that there is always room for at The Upton is not listed on the menu but is an offering of some choices you could count on one hand. I was thrilled when Snickers was mentioned and then semifreddo came after that word. Sold! This is essentially a firmer cold mousse ice cream with the flavors of your childhood dreams. This was the adulthood version of the treat you hoped would be most of your Halloween haul or your mom wouldn’t notice you placed on the conveyor belt as she checked out at the grocery store. It was luxurious, the semi sweet chocolate drizzled atop 4 scoops of ice cream, with nougat and nuts adding that crunch throughout. In this take, versus that mouthful oversweet taste that happens in the oh so famous candy bar, it was a lighter easily finished affair, with that beautiful sound at the end of the spoon scraping the bowl.
Overall, a great meal with fantastic and attentive service on a patio like no other. Just to let you know I snuck a brunch menu thanks to the manager and I have to say the rose all day and the toasts could possibly be on the par with the cauliflower on first glance. I can’t wait for the chance to settle in and enjoy this little uptown spot once again like an uptown girl.
7216 E Shoeman Ln
Scottsdale, AZ 85251