Here's a sentence you don't hear spoken very often:
"Let's meet up for brunch in Midtown"
But should you find yourself in a situation in which such words are presented to you, we actually have a good response. And no, it isn't, "Let's stop being friends."
Instead, suggest The Upsider.
The Upsider is a relatively new Midtown East restaurant that's relatively well known for being one of the best options for a meal in this part of town. Opened by a former partner of EMM Group (Catch, Catch Dubai), the people that frequent this place tend to be of a much different breed than the other restaurants in Midtown East. A breed that probably has dinner at Catch a lot.
What that means is that the clientele is younger and more attractive than what you'd find at any other place within a 15 block radius, and that the restaurant is targeted directly at that group of people. Avocado Toast is the most popular thing on the menu, followed probably by their kale salad, followed probably by a large plate of vanity. And all of that is a good thing - there's essentially nowhere else in Midtown to eat relatively healthy food in a cool and causal environment. And yes, we just used the word "cool" to describe a restaurant in the 50s.
But what we like most about The Upsider is the fact that it's good for much more than a plate of avocado toast for your stomach and your Instagram. It's also a great place for a quick after work meal, whether that means you're sitting at the bar dining solo, or meeting up with a group of friends. Happy hour is a great time to hit it, when they do $1 deals on oysters and $7 deals on cocktails. And brunch is certainly very popular, especially when the weather is nice and the tables outside can be taken advantage of. Will you have the best meal of your life? Probably not. This is not the kind of restaurant that gets nominated for a James Beard Award. But you will have a very satisfying situation on your hands, both in terms of what you eat, what you drink, and what you'll see around you. And that's about all we can ask for from Midtown East. That, and for our friends to stop asking us to meet them there.
Easily the most popular menu item at The Upsider, and as much as we're tired of the avocado toast trend, this one is a good example. The bread is the most important part of the equation, a thick cut slab of multigrain toast that you could build a soft and delicious house with.
The Upsider's burger is a satisfying thing, thanks to its simplicity and tasty bun. We're not big on topping a hamburger with avocado, but that option is there, should you choose to take it.
Article 5, Section 12, New York State Bylaws for Restaurant Menus: If your menu contains avocado toast or any kind of roasted carrot, you must also serve a kale salad.
A smart move, balancing all that healthy stuff with a plate of fried chicken. The fact that it's a good plate of fried chicken makes it even smarter. We'd recommend this as an order here any day.
Do not come to brunch at The Upsider and skip the pancakes. Even if that means you order one for the table to share. We nearly made that mistake ourselves, and it would have been unfortunate. Embrace the carbohydrates - you probably need them.