Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Upperline (NOLA)


Recommended Posts

NOTE: This topic is part of the Eating New Orleans series.

Upperline Restaurant

1413 Upperline Street

New Orleans, LA 70115

504.891.9822

Click here for Upperline's website.

i1069.jpg

Cane River Shrimp

i1070.jpg

The Original Fried Green Tomato with Shrimp Remoulade

i1071.jpg

Duck & Andouille Etouffée with Corn Cakes & Pepper Jelly

i1072.jpg

Crispy Louisiana Oysters with Celery Root Remoulade

i1073.jpg

Crispy Louisiana Oysters with Citrus Aioli

i1074.jpg

Trio of Soups (Turtle Soup - Oyster Stew - Duck Gumbo)

i1075.jpg

Spicy Shrimp with Jalapeño Cornbread

i1076.jpg

Grilled Gulf Fish Muniere topped with Crab

i1077.jpg

Rack of New Zealand Lamb with Mint Madeira Reduction

i1078.jpg

Tom Cowman's Famous Roast Duck with Garlic Port (not shown) and Ginger Peach Sauce (below)

i1079.jpg

Ginger Peach Sauce for duck

i1080.jpg

JoAnn collects work by local artists

i1081.jpg

Her extensive collection is displayed throughout the restaurant

i1082.jpg

"Most museums and galleries close around 5 p.m., but one of New Orleans’ best collections of regional art only goes on view when the doors open for dinner at Upperline Restaurant." -- Chris Waddington, Times Picayune

i1083.jpg

Crème Brûlée with Crushed Pralines

i1086.jpg

Exterior artwork by Martin LaBorde

i1087.jpg

JoAnn Clevenger, Owner and General Manager, Upperline

With us later in the week at Uglesich's

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember having an all-garlic meal including dessert there in the early '90's. It was good food well prepared.

These pictures look like it is good comfort food. The presentations don't look terribly artsy, but the food does look as if it is satisfying in a homey way.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the food pictured above is in tasting portions. JoAnn Clevenger, our hostess (an eGulleteer) chatted with us extensively and wanted to show off most of her menu. :biggrin: Since we didn't order anything, the captions are from memory and the website's menu rather than receipt printout. All the food was so good and rich and delicious and perfectly cooked. This was easily our favorite restaurant experience of our entire vacation.

That is a half portion of the Cane River Shrimp. The brown bits with the shrimp is tasso ham and there's some mushrooms in the fabulous sauce as well. Plates wiped clean with bread -- would have picked up the plates and licked them clean if bread weren't available. :wink:

Upperline created the combination of Fried Green Tomato and Shrimp Remoulade in the early 90's, it is now copied on menus all over New Orleans. The perfectly crunchy coating on the tart barely cooked tomato slice was a wonderful foil for the creamy remoulade and fresh shrimp.

I could go on dish after dish -- everything was so good. Really, not exagerating. The gumbo in that trio of soups was the best gumbo of our trip (second place goes to a little luncheonette in New Iberia, Lagniappe Too). I let Jason finish that while I enjoyed the Oyster Stew (that's the light green one). While the turtle soup was good, it didn't have a unique taste that I could identify as "turtle." The bits of meat could have been beef for all I knew. We had fried oysters with a variety of sauces. My favorite accompaniment, however, was the celery root salad -- a nice cruchy counterpoint to the creamy oysters.

I have to mention Jason's reaction to the roast duck... "tastes like pulled pork!" Now you have to realize, Jason doesn't care for duck and never orders it. But I made him taste it. His description does make sense though, reddish fatty meat with crispy skin -- sounds like pulled pork to me. JoAnn agreed with his comment and I think it is destined to inspire a Pulled Duck dish on Upperline's menu in the future.

We sampled several desserts. My favorite sorbet among a trio was the Passion Fruit and Banana. The sweet creaminess of banana nicely balanced out the tart passion fruit. Upperline's version of creme brulee was a nice contrast of textures, with crushed praline on top to remind you of your location.

Next time in New Orleans, plan for Upperline as your first dinner of the week -- and make sure to return for a second visit as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

By far my favorite dish was the Spicy Shrimp with Jalapeno Cornbread. It sort of tasted like a cross between a latin american, spanish and creole shrimp dish. The red caramelized onions in it really added something to the dish.

The Cane River Shrimp was also extremely good, and that and the previously mentioned dish was probably my two favorite shrimp preparations (that and the Barbecue Shrimp at Mr. B's) the entire week in New Orleans.

Rachel is also correct about the gumbo -- it's extremely dark and flavorful without the roux being burned -- a difficult and impressive accomplishment.

I will also add that the Creme Brulee at Upperline was also one of the best desserts we had all week. The creme part was better than Jacques-imos, which was the second best creme brullee only in that the burned sugar crust part was exceptional.

There wasn't a single dish at this restaurant I didn't like, which is pretty amazing considering that at every other fine restaurant we went to in New Orleans that week, perhaps with the exception of Commanders and Jacques-imos, there were a lot of tradeoffs.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad you liked Upperline. I try to get to New Orleans at least 5 times a year on "business" (amazing that I find a way to meet clients in New Orleans, my favorite US food city! :smile: ).

Upperline is a great place. JoAnn is a terrfic hostess and makes you feel like you are dining in your own home. the food is outstanding, as is the art. I have a few LaBorde pieces because I saw them at Upperline and went to his gallery on Royal St. to purchase his works.

I love the Duck and the Creme Brulee is the best in the city, IMO.

Also, did you get a chance to see the roses JoAnn has in the restaurant. Gorgeous!

All in all, a great "local" restaurant experience. But, I suspect, more and more out of towners know about Upperline now, due to the buzz.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

We spent 2 and a half wonderful days in New Orleans right after Christmas. We can hardly wait to go back, mostly to dine again at Upperline and have the wonderful JoAnn take such good care of us. We were pampered and fed beyond belief. The food is truly amazing, such richness, freshness, and depth of flavors. JoAnn was so helpful to us regarding our whole trip from the first time we called to make a reservation, that we surprised her with a gift of a special bottle of Oregon Pinot. She took care of us, big time. Wow, what a fabulous experience. We adored every morsel, every painting, every nick-knack, and mostly the special JoAnn. Congratulations to JoAnn on her unique and creative recipes and on her fabulous restaurant and on making every one feel so welcome. The only change we'd make in our trip is to have eaten at Upperline twice!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm so happy you guys liked that place! I lived about five blocks away in '96 and ate there several times. Of course, my hard earned paychecks came from cooking BBQ shrimp at Mr. B's, so I know from good eatin! It is a fabulous operation, and even as a lowly grunt of the Brennan empire, I was always made to feel the VIP.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Had a wonderful dinner at Upperline Restaurant two nights ago. Webpage

I had the Thomas Jefferson Louisiana Purchase dinner: the menu emphasises indigenous American foods with European techniques. Chef Ken Smith is an amazing chef.

I started with the Turtle Soup with Sherry. Flavors of sherry, allspice and clove stood up to the wonderful dark brown roux of the soup. I then had Sweetbreads with Mushroom Ragout served over crispy polenta triangles. I've never enjoyed sweetbreads so much: they were melt in your mouth tender.

Next, I had the highly touted Roast Duck with Pecan Sweet Potatoes and Peach Ginger Sauce. The duck skin was crispy, the meat was tender. The warm peach ginger sauce complemented the dark meat perfectly. The sweet potatoes had a wonderful praline pecan topping. It was excellent.

Lastly, I chose an assortment of sorbets to end the meal: burgundy pear was my favorite.

Owner JoAnn Clevenger made us feel so welcome: she sat with us and said that she reads egullet once in a while and enjoys it. Mayhaw May apparently is a familiar customer in her restaurant!

This was one of the best meals I've had in years. If you're in New Orleans, it's well worth the streetcar ride to get to Upperline.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. I was is New Orleans for a few days last week and actually dined at Upperline on the very same day! I doubt you would have seen me though. I had an event to attend and had to eat at the very uncivilized time of 6 PM! I was pretty much the only diner there. I was very sorely tempted to get the Jefferson menu as well, but went with the "Taste of New Orleans" menu instead. A great meal, and very reasonable - 7 courses for $35 and I was truly satiated (as in, I could barely walk out of there). A wonderful place indeed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There needs to be a mention of the artwork at Upperline. Joanne has quite an eye and has been a fearless supporter of local artists over the years. It may not be The Ogden Collection, but it is quite a collection.

And speaking of the Ogden, I highly reccomend that any visitors (especially conventioneers stuck in the CBD with a few hours to kill-it is an easy walk from the Convention Center) walk over and take a gander at the collection. It is a pretty amazing collection, especially when one considers that the primary source was one guy with a good eye and a bunch of money.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

I am having dinner at Upperline Wednesday night (20th Anniversary-my choice-I could have chosen anywhere,, but Upperline might be the best spot in New Orleans for a quiet, romantic type dinner). Anybody been lately? Got any favorite dishes? Let me know. I am trying to get out of a rut (although not an unpleasant one) of ordering my favorite things on my favorite menus EVERYTIME I eat somewhere. Help me out here.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just let JoAnn pick out all your food. She knows what's good.

When I eventually grow up, I want to be exactly like JoAnn -- what a cool lady.

And every bite I ate at Upperline was sensational. So was the service and the sisterhood in the Ladies Room. And I snatched a piece of duck from my companion's plate ---yes, Rachel, pulled duck. A dish whose time has come.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

I'm bringing a friend to New Orleans in April -- her first time to the city. We're having our first dinner at Upperline. Can't wait!

Can anyone here recall if the restaurant does Cafe Brulot? This may prove to be overkill on top of a "WOW" meal, but it is our first evening in New Orleans, and I'd like my Yankee friend to have that "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" feeling. Few things scream "not-Kansas" like a flaming orange peel dangled over coffee.

I know Cafe Brulot is served in the old-guard joints, and if necessary I can hold off till Galatoire's (or Commander's, Arnaud's....wherever).

Thanks!

Edited by BrooksNYC (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Upperline is in Pableaux Johnson's book, so we had the perfect excuse to come back and eat on this trip -- not like we wouldn't in the first place!

gallery_2_0_1590.jpg

Oysters St. Claude -- Phenomenal

gallery_2_0_26426.jpg

Aftermath of Oysters St. Claude

gallery_2_0_135896.jpg

Main Dining Room

gallery_2_0_117078.jpg

Crab Meuniere

gallery_2_0_64286.jpg

Owner Jo Ann Clevenger

gallery_2_0_83287.jpg

Original Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade

gallery_2_0_118996.jpg

Veal Grillades with Cheddar Cheese Grits

gallery_2_0_145825.jpg

Roast Duck with Port Garlic and Ginger Peach Sauce

gallery_2_0_44940.jpg

"Hot and Hot" Black Drum with spicy Shrimp Sauce

gallery_2_0_122348.jpg

Cane River Shrimp

gallery_2_0_73592.jpg

Spicy Shrimp with Jalapeño Cornbread & Aïoli

gallery_2_0_81341.jpg

Trio of Soups: Chicken/Andouille Gumbo, Turtle, Oyster

gallery_2_0_84806.jpg

Banana Carnival

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please note we did not order all that food! :blush: JoAnn wanted us to share pictures of some of her favorite dishes with you. Not that we didn't taste it all. :wink:

My duck was delicious, with it's crispy salty savory skin and two sauces. The sweet ginger peach a light counterpoint to the port reduction with garlic. Yum. Some of the other dishes were repeats from a year and a half ago, but the Hot! Hot! Black Drum was new, and aptly named. The Grillades and Grits are miles above any others we've sampled. And you could never go wrong ordering the Black Drum with Crab Meuniere.

Can't say it enough, Upperline is our favorite place to be in New Orleans, and that's why we recommend it to everyone we meet. :wub:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rachel: Upperline is my (and my daughter's) favourite place in NO too. I recommeded it to my cubicle mate, who'll be there this weekend. Not only is the food fabulous, but the service, the setting, and JoAnn make the experience indelible. I am very jealous.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

The roast duck was probably my favorite from the "Taste of New Orleans" menu a few weeks ago.

I will soon try to reproduce the fried green toms with shrimp remoulade.

Oh, and we had a crawfish boil here weekend before last. I'll post a synopsis of that soon for anyone thinking of doing a boil outside of crawfish country.

I wrote up the boil for the food section of the Capital (Annapolis daily paper), and my editor just asked me if the proper spelling was "crawfish" or "crayfish" :angry: . I remained calm and told her that dictionaries will say that both or acceptable, though in my experience, the only people who use "crayfish" or those who don't eat "crawfish". Hmph.

Bridget Avila

My Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

Upperline. If Mr. Perlow's pictures don't get you there, what can I add? Let's just say that Tom Cowman's duck, lunch at Uglesich's and fried oysters at Casamento's were the dining highlights of a memorable trip to New Orleans. Apparently it's too late if you haven't been to Uglesich's, but there is still time to try the other two.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Sharon and I had dinner at the Upperline on the 22nd of June 2005 following our trip on the American Queen Riverboat. (The food on the boat will be another post.)

This was our second visit having been there in Dec of 2004. Needless to say our first visit made the second visit a requirement.

This time we had the Fried Green Tomato's, Tourenados of Beef (with Stilton) and bread pudding. All we can say is our food was excellent in every way. Beef perfectly rare, the sauce perfect and the Stilton made it all come together. The Fried Green Tomato is something in it's own class and is not to be missed. And the bread pudding!!! Too good to be true.

JoAnne is a wonderful hostess and her wait staff is excellent. The Upperline is not to be missed if you are in NOLA.

Joe

of Joe and Sharon

Springfield, Virginia

Joe

of Joe and Sharon

Springfield, VA

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

They are. I saw Joanne this weekend at the SFA conference in Oxford. She reported the same. Best of all, Chef Ken prepared parts of our delicious Viking Range Lunch on Saturday. Man, that guy can cook.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I had dinner at Upperline this weekend. The place was packed and Joanne said that she had turned a ton of people away thanks to Tulane opening back up and so many parents being back in town (I had the duck-which was perfect and the person that I was with had redfish mueniere with the addition of crabmeat-both were delicious. We split an Oysters St Claude for a starter and a bread pudding with caramel sauce for dessert. Both were delicious. All in all, a really great meal prepared and served by some great folks.

The food was superb as was the service. I love the place. Truly it's a gem and I am glad to see that they are doing well.

Also, in the "she's great and a selfless person" category-Joanne donated the proceeds from Christmas Eve (all of them-not profit-the till) to Habitat for Humanity and she enjoyed doing it so much that she did it again on New Years Eve-though the proceed went to the Charter School in the neighborhood. We're not talking small sums here and it was a really great thing to do. THis is just the kind of stuff that she does. She is, truly, one of the good guys.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...