Inside The Upperline

Upperline Restaurant
1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA
(504) 891-9822

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Related Podcast: The Upperline

Related Post: The Very Fine Upperline

Related Video: Kenneth Smith and Jason Perlow make Gumbo

Every time Rachel and I return to New Orleans, its obligatory to visit The Upperline, which is our favorite restaurant in the entire city. It’s hard to say if its the hospitality of its staff, the incredible food prepared by Chef Kenneth Smith, or the diverse collection of native New Orleans artwork collected by the restaurant’s generous owner, Jo-Ann Clevenger, that makes it one of the best dining experiences in the Crescent City.

We’ve covered The Upperline a great deal in the past, including a podcast with Chef Ken and Jo-Ann. This time, I wanted to show all of you how a real New Orleans kitchen runs, and I couldn’t think of a better one to show you than The Upperline’s. Upperline is not a “showcase” kitchen like some of the other notable restaurants, such as Commander’s Palace (which you will see shortly). It’s got a beat-up Garland stove and it looks like its been through the wars, and is a very tight and awkward space to be in especially if you are big guy like Ken Smith or myself. But the quality of food that is produced out of it easily matches the big and recognized names in New Orleans.

The Upperline Restaurant, on the corner of Upperline and Prytania Street.

Want to see how a real New Orleans restaurant kitchen is run? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

A view of the main dining room, being prepared for service.

The first of the central dining rooms. Each room has its own unique look and houses part of Jo-Ann Clevenger’s collection of local New Orleans artwork.

The middle dining area.

The rear dining room

The mise-en-place area.

Upperline’s Garland stove.

Red onions, Mushrooms, Salt and Pepper, Cornmeal and Hot Sauce. Used for a number of dishes in the restaurant’s repertoire.

Peelin’ potatoes. ‘Cause it has to get done.

Trinity (Cajun Mirepoix of Bell Pepper, Onions and Celery) with Cajun andouille sausage for the night’s gumbo.

A package of Paul Proudhomme andouille, a popular brand used in the city.

A big pail of duck carcass stock used for the basis of the Duck Gumbo.

A dark roux, used for many kinds of creole dishes.

Turtle Soup.

Chef Ken whisking up a roux for the gumbo.

Duck and Sausage gumbo, simmering.

The French Bread for the evening’s dinner.

Chef Ken making up croutons.

The staff meal for the evening was red beans and rice.

Red Beans and Rice closeup. Ken makes a really mean version and uses a nice amount of oregano in it. This one has a bunch of andouille sausage in it as well.

One of the staff members chowing down before service.

Green Tomatoes, coated with cornmeal, for the Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade.

Fried Cornbread for the Spicy Shrimp dish.

This is one of Jo-Ann’s newer paintings, its a snapshot of people who lived in the French Quarter in the early 1960’s.

The menu.

A Pimm’s Cup, a cocktail for a more civilized age.

Deep Fryer roiling.

Chef Ken cooking up the Spicy Shrimp dish.

Spicy Shrimp being plated.

Fried Oysters cooking.

Fried Oysters with Celery Root Remoulade plated

Spicy Shrimp plated

Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade, the restaurant’s signature dish.

Duck and Sausage Gumbo. By far my favorite in the entire city.

Gazpatcho Soup.

Rack of New Zealand Lamb Chops with Madiera Mint Sauce Reduction.

Roast Duck with Ginger Peach Sauce

Stilton Cheese Plate with Pralines

This was a special Garlic Ice Cream sundae being served that evening.

4 Responses to Inside The Upperline

  1. […] Related Post: Inside The Upperline  […]

  2. Brooks says:


    That’s really nice work. There are some good photos in that bunch and I particularly liked the one of the front of the building. You caught the sun at a good time of day. Did you get plenty of snacks to keep you going through all of that grueling work?

  3. Xenos says:

    Those New Zealand lamb chops look incredible.

  4. Upperline and Uglesich’s are the two restaurants I love(d) most about New Orleans. I can’t wait to get back and see JoAnne and eat at Upperline. Did you have some bread pudding?

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