Well, it’s official: as of today I have been on this earth for 25 years. I am a quarter of a century old. And while I’m sad it has gone by so quickly, I’m so happy to have my health, my family, my adorable Beagle, and of course, the city of New Orleans to help me celebrate this occasion. Friday night marked the end of my boyfriend’s first year of law school, so we decided to celebrate his success and my being a year older by going to a restaurant that’s been around a little longer than I have.
Upperline Restaurant on Upperline Street celebrates its 27th anniversary this year, and Chef John Besh — who I saw there during New Year’s weekend — recently said to me, “Aren’t we so lucky to have restaurants like Upperline?” And my answer was “Yes. Yes, we are.” Contemporary Creole meets classic New Orleans in this cozy Uptown restaurant which has gained many loyal patrons over the years. Dishes such as Oysters St. Claude, Roast Duck with Ginger Peach Sauce, the Original Fried Green Tomato with Shrimp Remoulade (combined for the first time at Upperline in 1992), and Louisiana Pecan Pie, keep people coming back over and over again. My personal favorite menu item is the fish meuniere, as a special, with slow-cooked mustard greens, cornbread, and topped with a generous portion of jumbo lump crab meat. The sauce is an absolutely heavenly blend of browned butter and lemon, the fish is always perfectly cooked, and the mustard greens have that classic slow-cooked salty bite. It’s the kind of comfort food I dream about.
Upperline’s menu changes seasonally (which means that the online menu is not accurate), but a few of their most popular dishes remain on the menu year round, such as the roast duck and fish meuniere. Walk-ins are welcome, although I suggest making reservations for special occasions or on busy holidays. And expect to see JoAnn Clevenger, owner and GM of the restaurant, making her rounds, sharing her stories and contagious laughter with each table.
I can only hope that my next 25 years are full of love, laughter, and more opportunities to celebrate the special moments in my life at this very special restaurant. Cheers!
I love their display of local art and the very homey feel of this dining room
Is there anything better than hot french bread and butter?
Roast Duck with Ginger Peach Sauce and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans. My dad and boyfriend’s personal favorite.
Arguably the most romantic table in the restaurant when the evening sunlight is coming through the windows