Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
Upstairs is a modern American cuisine establishment which offers its guests a full bar and extensive liquor and wine list. The cocktails are exciting and the dishes are artfully created. There are three dining experiences at Upstairs, our bar/lounge seating, kitchen seating (next to our open kitchen) and our dining room for a more intimate experience.
Montclair, NJ 07043
Hours of Operation:
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:30 pm
Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–9:45 pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
There is a metered parking lot in the back of the restaurant (off of Bellevue Ave) and there is street parking on Valley Road.
NJ Train, Upper Montclair Train Station is steps away from our back entrance. NJ Transit bus number 28 and the DeCamp 66 bus both stop in our rear parking lot for commuter convenience.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
Upstairs Ratings and Reviews
SO my husband and I have been using Open Table for new finds. We thought Upstairs sounded just right for us. We has a 7:30 reservation on a Saturday night and we were able to be seated immediately. That was the only good thing about this entire experience. This place is supposedly known for its cocktails. I ordered a Clooney Negroni and my husband a Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale. My drink had not been mixed properly, nor had the Jack and Ginger, seriously?? We ordered Red Sangria which is on the specialty cocktail menu and were told 15 minutes later it was unavailable. Strange for s Saturday. The waitress suggested I try to Rose Sangria which was also on the special menu only to be told another 15 minutes later that the Rose Sangria was also unavailable. Both appetizers were very good. The Sea Bass I ordered for dinner was undercooked My husbands meal, a Pork Chop, was cooked very nicely. Needless to say, this was our first bomb using open table.
The restaurant is good, very small menu but good. I would say the downfalls are the nasty cold draft you get from the door. In the winter you don’t want to be freeZing sitting at the dinner table. Bar is cool atmosphere! Drinks were good!
We last ate here right after they opened a few years ago, and weren't wowed enough to go back. Decided to give it another try, since they were still in business, so we figured that maybe they had improved. We had an absolutely horrible experience. Wait-staff is nice, but very poorly trained (i.e., not sophisticated, given the type of restaurant -- would be better suited to an IHOP-type quick-service restaurant). We ordered a few appetizers to share between the two of us. About halfway through we decided we wanted to order an entrée as well, and another cocktail. 35 solid minutes later (with our dirty dishes from the appetizers still in front of us), cocktail still hadn't come, and entrée still hadn't come. (We checked our watches -- not exaggerating here about a 35-minute wait.) And one of our appetizers from the initial order never came at all either. We asked the waiter, and his response was, "Yeah, things are coming out slow. I'd be upset, too." [The initial cocktail order was "slow," but not 35 minutes. When they were served, the waiter said "sorry these took like 5 years to come out."]
At that point, we canceled the order and asked for the check. Check came, and included the appetizer that we never got. Had that removed, paid, and left. No apologies, no "let me get the manager for you," no nothing. We won't be back.
[FWIW, the dining room also has a very weird vibe -- very different décor than bar area. Both areas are pretty shabby. Bar floor was sticky near the entrance when we arrived -- more appropriate for a college bar, not a nice bar/restaurant. Ceiling in dining room was visibly patched with mis-sized materials, with paint missing and nail heads showing.]
This was my umpteenth return to Upstairs. They just about never disappoint. I have to say that on this occasion, though the place was practically empty when we got there (early reservation; it totally packed up later), for some reason, they couldn't get my hamburger order right. (Black-and-blue--what's not to understand--came to the table medium rare--and the waiter even acknowledged that he thought I asked for medium-rare. That would not have been problem--mistakes can happen--but it took about 10-15 minutes to catch his attention to get the mistake corrected. As I said, there was only one other couple in the dining area, so it's not like he was overwhelmed. Even the french-fries were a shade off from crispy. No excuse for that. So the food was definitely NOT up to the standards set by previous visits. I still like the place, and no one rushed us to leave when we were finished eating, so I'd go back one more time--mainly for the ambience and the bar (I am so not impressed by the no-choice options of BYOB places). If it happens again, though, I'll find somewhere else to get a good blue hamburger.
The 2 star rating is mostly on value for money. After 3 visits I decided not to come back.
The food is good but not worth the charge. There are plenty of places around with better food and several are even less expensive.
1) reservation. Tried a 7:00 but was offered 6:30 as closest. SEVERAL tables were still empty when we left around 8:00. The same happened last time we went.
Service was very nice but for sure just learning. No knowledge and still learning how to handle the plates.
Prices are crazy. $15 for a Margarita and $14 for a glass of house Chardonnay which retails for less than $9 a bottle. $38 for the sea bass...
I like the bar setting but please be reasonable.....
A first time visit for Father's Day celebration. Fairly high priced but food was well-prepared and enjoyed most dishes we had. Server did not ask how salmon was to be prepared so unfortunately too rare for our taste. Beet salad was very good with generous goat cheese and both red and yellow beets. A nice touch that the burger, which was juicy and flavorful, came with salad as a side in lieu of fries. Fried chicken also nicely prepared. Dad's favorite dessert - key lime pie was a hit. Overall a good experience. Would come back for a date night or perhaps cocktails and small plates (appetizers) with girlfriends.
First - the food was very good. We started with the Shrimp app and the 3 cheese plate. For entrees, I had the pork chop and my girlfriend had the scallops and the vanilla creme brûlée for dessert (fantastic). Everything was flavorful, well seasoned and cooked well. No complaints there. The service, though friendly, was off. The staff seemed very young and inexperienced. When the waitress ran down the specials I had to ask which item was an app or an entree. She had actually listed them entree first, so it was confusing. When picking the cheeses there was one we'd never heard of and we asked her to describe it and she couldn't. They also brought our entrees out while still finishing our apps. Now, I know this is nit-picky, but for $200+ for 2 people, I would expect a little bit better service. Also, the cocjtauls at the bar were $17/ each. We weren't blown away by the drinks or the bar itself. It looked like something from the early 2000s.
This was our second visit for an empty-nester, relaxing date night. It was just as good this time as the first. The ambience is quietly chique. Appropriate attire would include business casual, dressy jeans, or date-night chique. My husband opted for 2 small plates (mac and cheese and the Thai shrimp) and I had shrimp spring rolls with a small salad and the scallops for my entree. It was all so very good. The spring rolls were packed with shrimp and had just the right amount of spice. The scallops were perfectly prepared: soft and tasty, not chewy. Both of us had specialty cocktails; I loved my "impearment" which reminded me of my favorite cocktail: French 75. We were both full without having dessert, but we'd definitely go back just for dessert. The service was good; the servers were nice and attentive. We loved the quiet ambience: most tables had couples or 3 or 4 people in quiet conversations. I'll add Upstairs to my list of Montclair favorites along with the Pig and the Prince (which is more for foodies than Upstairs and has a less intimate, cozy ambience than Upstairs). We're more likely to go to Upstairs for a small plate and a drink than the Pig and the Prince.
It's very expensive, compared to other restaurant in the area, and though the food is good, it's not worth the cost. Also, wine by the glass is overprice - $14/glass - again, higher than other restaurants in the same area. And last, the back room where we had dinner is like an afterthought, décor does not match the bar area, which is considerable more 'chic'.
Both the food and service at Upstairs were excellent. Good selections on menu, flavorful dishes, all courses (appetizers, main courses, desserts) had quality ingredients combined in interesting ways. Service was attentive and although music was playing in the background, we were able to hold a conversation at our table of four at normal voice level. This was our first time at Upstairs, we will be back.
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