Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Upstairs

Friday night, Andrews parents took us to a new restaurant on the Downtown Mall called The Upstairs. It's a Ten-style doorway, leading up to a newly decorated restaurant above Escafe, down by the Omni. It was absolutely fantastic and I am highly recommending it!

When we first walked in, it was totally empty minus one table of three older men. At 8:30 on a Friday night, we were (needless to say) a little tentative about the choice. Nevertheless, they were very kind, led us to our table (good thing we got reservations...) and acted as if it was not weird at all that the restaurant was empty.

OK - all strangeness ended there, as we began one of the most delicious dinners I've had in a long time. The menu consists mostly of seafood (scallops, crab cakes, salmon), french delicacies (sweet breads, foie gras, etc.) and steaks. I quickly decided on a tenderloin, and for my sides ordered garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed mushrooms. I started with the House salad. I mean, the restaurant was empty, I played safe.

The food was out of this world. The salad was simple yet elegant, the steak was cooked absolutely perfectly, and the mushrooms and potatoes were melt in your mouth. Everyone at the table was in heaven with each dish we had. The crabcakes were a particularly big hit, as was the roasted cinnamon butternut squash side that Andrew had. The whole meal was SO delicious. We left promising each other to talk up the restaurant to anyone and everyone.

A meal like this, to me, is so Charlottesville. Nothing is ever completely normal, or smooth, or what you would expect, but everything is high-quality, genuine, and worth the quirks. Empty restaurant? Who even cares - the food was delicious. And we had great service!

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